Odd Man Out
Never fitting in and not quite knowing where he belonged was a constant feeling for Miles as he was growing up.
He was different than the other kids and like children tend to do, they picked on him for it.
“I didn’t know where I fit in, being mixed raced,” Miles said.
His mother comes from a predominantly white family and his dad is African American.
“I didn’t know which side to fit in on, I didn’t know who I was as a person and I got bullied a lot.”
While he was growing up him and his mom had a lot of problems. He started running away and was gone for months at a time. For awhile he felt like his friends were more of a family to him than his actual family was.
“I realized that they [my friends] didn’t care anything about me.”
Miles started smoking Marijuana and drinking with his friends at 13. He says that while he was out with them getting drunk his mom would call him and ask him to come home but he didn’t really care. When he finally would come home he would go right into his room.
“I remember her coming in and just yelling at me ‘You’ve been drinking’ I just laid in my bed and passed out. When I woke up every poster I had on my wall everything I had hung, just everything was torn down.”
This dynamic continued until he was 18-years-old and had his son.
“I found out I was having a kid when I was incarcerated, I believe for a breaking and entering … I made a call to her just to see how she was doing and she told me she was pregnant.”
They decided to keep it, and in the back of his mind, he knew he wanted her to because he thought that having a baby would keep him on a better path. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
When he was 19 he started smoking Percocet, which led to him using Heroin.
A couple months later Miles was with one of his friends who started injecting it, Miles told his friend he wanted to try it. So his friend helped him shoot it and from then on Miles was in love.
“I didn’t care about what anybody thought, it made me hole at the time.”
Miles was in danger of losing his family due to his using.
“I was going to lose everybody in my family just because of my stupid mistakes.”
He was using Cocaine and shooting Heroin, it got to the point where his siblings were afraid to be around him.
“I was on a bunch of coke and I was freaking everybody out in my house. I started hallucinating and my brothers were pretty much done with me.”
His sister thought that Miles was losing his mind, he spent $3,000 in two days and had nothing to show for it.
No one could understand his actions and they were fed up with dealing with it. His brothers and his sister told him that if he didn’t get clean they wouldn’t be a part of his life.
“That was the first time I got introduced to AA or rehab. I went out there and I was there for about two weeks, I didn’t really pay attention to anything I was just caring about doing the 30 days so my family would be happy.”
Miles was talking to his son’s mom every day and she was constantly telling him how much she missed him. He missed her and he missed his son. He convinced himself that he would be okay leaving rehab after two weeks.
“That made me [think] that I could just go home and I can just smoke weed and just drink like a normal person, I didn’t have to use needles. I kept rationalizing the decision, I needed to be home and take care of my son.”
It wasn’t even 24 hours after flying back home to Boston when he started using Heroin again. Throughout the course of him getting clean he did something he calls “Rehab Hopping.”
“I’ve gone through about 12 treatment centers … just not really giving it my all.”
On the Edge
One Christmas they all went to church as a family, Miles went to pull out his cigarettes and a bag of Heroin fell out of his pocket, right in front of his mom and siblings.
“I was just trying to come up with excuses. They pretty much made the decision that I couldn’t come back home.”
His son’s mother started keeping her purse in her car to keep it safe from him. Miles’ addiction got to the point where he took a crowbar and broke into her car to get to it.
“The whole side fender was just ruined – because I had no self-control. No self-control over myself or any of my actions.”
Miles went to work the next day, and came home to an empty house. While he was gone she packed up all of her and their son’s things and left.
He kept trying to rationalize what he did. He told her everything she wanted to hear to try to get her back, that he would get help, stay clean, he would fix it. But it didn’t work, she was just done.
He used this as an excuse to take pity on himself and continue using.
When he did go into treatment next it was in California. While he was there him and two others were planning on leaving and getting high with a friend he had in Long Beach. The rehab found out about this plan and kicked him out.
Miles met up with his friend who suggested they start selling Methamphetamines.
“We don’t have Meth on the East Coast, I had never done it in my life. It was a totally different thing.”
Miles became extremely paranoid, constantly looking out windows, convinced that the police were coming for him. It got to the extent that he felt the only way to stop it was to load too much in a syringe and overdose.
Keep Trying Your Breakthrough is Coming
Miles was on the verge of suicide when he got a phone call from a woman who had been there to help him in the past. She convinced him to let her try to help one more time.
As the driver got there to pick him up Miles was having second thoughts.
“I was about to hop in the car and I was like na I don’t think I can do this and I started walking back inside the hotel she was just like ‘miles would you please get into the car’ I gave it that shot, I got in the car and I went to treatment.”
Miles told them he would stay for 30 days and then he was going back to Boston. This time, he took his treatment seriously, and 30 days turned into 90.
“I knew 90 days couldn’t hurt and that it would just better me as a person. I did intensive outpatient for a couple of months and then I did a sober living.”
Miles knew that there was no going back for him that he wanted to put in the work to live a clean life after going to his first conference.
“Being in a room with thousands of addicts sharing the same problems you have, the same character defects, the same situations that I’ve been in, was just amazing. That experience of being with people with multiple years, 10 years even 30, 40, 50 years [clean] … I knew from then that this is what I want.”
It was there that he met his best friend, who ended up convincing him to move to Arizona. They now own their own marketing company.
“I’m so blessed to have the people in my life that are just there for me when I have a bad day. It’s a blessing to have everybody that I love dearly in my life.”
His family has come back around and are a part of his life again, the one this he doesn’t have is his son.
“I’ve tried to reach out and I totally get why she doesn’t want to take that risk with me. I do hope that soon I’ll be able to make that amends and be the father that I can be.”
Miles has a support group no matter what side of the country he’s on.
“Everybody in my life thought that I would never be able to get this that I was just done for. That I was either going to die or that I was just going to keep living this miserable life. If I can do it, if millions of other people can do it – It is possible.”