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The Strife In My Life: ‘Give yourself a chance … when you’re not part of the problem, you become part of the solution’

Art created by Darryl Thomas on July 21, 2022. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)

Hi, my name is Darryl Thomas, and this is a short poem about my drug addiction. The poem describes the way of life I had when I was using until I finally asked for help and turned my life around. Through God’s will, I was able to change and no longer use drugs. I am no longer homeless, and I don’t have to commit crimes to support myself. I recently received an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and may further my education. I’m a prime example of it’s never too late to change. 

Read more: Kensington community member: ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and you’re never too old to learn’

I wrote this poem in memory and consideration of the people who are still in active addiction and who are still using drugs. I watch as they “beat the bricks” (supporting their addiction by finding ways and means to get one more). I still think of the times when I was still using drugs, and when I see this, it keeps it clear to me where I was and where I came from. I hope through this poem that I can reach out to other people still using it and for them to give themselves a chance and ask for the help they need.  

The Strife In My Life

The duties of my life were good and true blue

So I thought I had nothing to do

But the drug usage at the same time

Filled my life with dereliction and crime

I thought drugs weren’t the problem

It was other things and people that kept me at the bottom

And I believe this because I was so much in denial 

That the using staggered my survival

It wasn’t until near the end

That when I made God my friend

That the self-destruction I was in 

And life of crime came to an end

If this sounds familiar to you

Then this is what you need to do

Give yourself a chance and make the right resolution 

Because when you’re not part of the problem

You become part of the solution

Editor’s note: If you’re dealing with a substance use disorder, please check out the following resources and services from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.


Editors: Siani Colón, Zari Tarazona / Designer: Siani Colón

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