Functioning Addict first draft

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I met Keith Lawrence in third grade, by sophomore year of high school we'd become very close and not long after that he became my vice. The thing you'd never guess about this exceptionally bright, overly witty, kind hearted, redheaded soul is the secret life he hid from everyone. A heroin addict and cocaine distributer is not the first thing you'd think of when you look at Keith, and not anything you'd ever suspect about him no matter how well you know him.
Like all things good, Keith's luck changed and his life went downhill. You'll see his rise, demise and reprise through his intimate life with his family, friends, peers, professors, and his own thoughts naked on these pages. He's a self-described hesitantly-emotional person, and his guts are spilled here for everyone who has ever felt like their glass is half-empty. This is the life of a functioning addict.
"I hate waking up, every time I do I'm paralyzed in fear. I can only hope that time crawls during sentencing." This was a text message I received from Keith at 9am on September 15, 2009. This was the first emotion I had seen from him since being arrested in March. That very moment is when I started to realize the gravity of his situation for the first time. Feelings are a strange thing, and feeling someone else's feelings is an all together overwhelming experience. However, if I've learned anything, ever, it's just that "it sucks to grow up, but everybody does."
Years ago at the age of 12 Keith recalls taking his first shot and smoking weed for the first time. After that, he didn't have any interest in doing it again. By 15 he was smoking weed and drinking and taking miscellaneous pills. This all started, he claims, when his first girlfriend broke up with him. "I went through the 'my first girlfriend broke up with me' phase and started taking a lot of pills and selling a lot more." This didn't go unnoticed by his Christian parents, who sent him to treatment for a short time.
At the age of 16, after treatment, his alcohol use basically ceased to exist for a while as he continued with the pills and the pot. "It wasn't long before I started selling everything I was using to support my habit and fell into some people who lead me into opium." Once he got his license later that year, he'd become one of the largest distributers of weed in our high school. Things were going well for a while, but the tables turned shortly after when he began shooting heroin. By the time he turned 17 he'd shot up for the first time, alone, which he admits to always knowing he would do for months or years before.
This is where you may lose a little respect when you learn that the first time he shot up was via his younger brother's diabetic needle. This kept progressing and he began making "starter kits" at night before school, kits that had cotton, spoons, needles, a lighter and a balloon of heroin. He started shooting up at school in the fall of 2006 at which time he was attending Normandale for PSEO. He would have time in between classes to go to Minneapolis to score more product. It didn't take long before things started to spiral out of control.
Keith had started shooting up 6-8 times a day and didn't care where or when he was doing it. "A friend called me and asked that I drop off a bag for him, I realized I was driving like shit on my way there and must've blacked out some time on my way back home." He was arrested and put in juvenile detention after the police found him passed out crashed into a mailbox and landscaping rock literally 45 seconds from his house. He plead guilty to a 5th degree felony and DUI charge. The DUI was on appeal for 6-8 months and eventually was overturned, while the felony charge was adjudicated thanks in large part to lawyer Doug Hazelton.
(Keith's story does not end here. Lives have been changed and poor decisions have been made since then. Currently I'm waiting on legal documents that were put in the mail yesterday.)

1 Comment

I really like this story and what you have so far. You have great detail, which drew me in and kept me wanting to know more about Keith and his life. You use really great words to describe him, his life and what he is going through. One thing that would make it a little interesting would be to add quotes from his family or friends. Otherwise, I think your off to a great start and I am looking forward to reading the rest of your story.

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This page contains a single entry by butle228 published on April 8, 2010 1:20 PM.

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