by Sky Black \n Here is my story \n Well I grew up LDS (mormon) and was good and true to that until I was about 16 and a half. I never touched a substance. But a lot of unfortunate, out-of-my-control events happened at that time and I began experimenting with substance after substance. Started with cannabis actually! Then quickly moved on from THC and didn’t look back until later, unfortunately. \n I took the easy way out and found escape/numbness through drugs. I found heroin due to my “friend” who offered it to me if I did it with him, a lonely soul. I quickly found it to be my drug and after a few months, I was hooked. All my pain and any bullshit went away immediately. \n So as the months went by I stopped experimenting with other drugs and just fell into “H town”. All day every day I was numb. \n \n “Allow yourself change. We all have the same 24 hours, utilize yours and take care of yourself! Love yourself! “ \n Photo courtesy of Sky Black \n I would show up to class late or nod in class or not go at all. Sometimes I’d even just sit there after the ball rang for a bit until someone or my teacher snapped me out of it. I quit my only outlet, wrestling. \n I was always very introverted, very kept to myself. Very shy of the world and afraid of people’s judgements. I never wanted to let anyone down to the point where I’d never even try or speak my mind. \n I’d rather be invisible. \n So the drug life was an easy answer. I never planned on it, it just sort of happened. \n I was about 5-6 months in to “H town” and I realized…I was in trouble. I wasn’t addicted at first but after a couple months, I tried to not take it and got pretty sick. \n I started to realize how numb and dulled out I was. How little hope I had. So I had to make a decision. I either OD and end the pain, or I save my family and friends the pain of losing myself and I quit cold turkey. I wish I could say the latter was my first option. \n I was right about to begin my process of ending all the pain and something hit me… how could I do this to everyone who is already going through so much? How could I disappear and make my family and friends always wonder and regret and think …”what if?” \n How could I disappear and make my family and friends always wonder and regret and think …”what if?” \n \n I couldn’t. I could not do that to them. At this point in my heroin use not many people took notice of my problem. No one in my family or close old friend circle knew. So.. I went to my “friends.” \n For 3 days, I went through HELL. I couldn’t getting off the bed, hardly. I was shaking. All these sensations began to come back and I was beyond hyper sensitive. Any touch would hurt it’d be so sensitive or it’d make me orgasm…(weird I know, but true). \n I was throwing up. Carving into my flesh to get my mind off the overwhelming sensations. Lying in my own blood, vomit, feces, piss and semen for 3 days. All while my “friends” shot up and sat incoherent right outside the door. But I made it out alive. \n I was drinking 151 by the bottle and I’m a small kid. These years were the toughest, trying to stay clean, catch up in school, working on my passions and progressing, while begin tortured daily by my demons.The coming 2 years were disastrous for me. I found fitness which was great. It helped me obsess about something. I made progress/recovery when committing to work out. But I fell into alcohol. My new vice. \n \n Courtesy of Sky Black \n I did develop empathy from my experiences though. I decided to take fitness more seriously after those few years of self-destructive recovery, I was finally trying, so I quit the alcohol and parties for a time. Now I just wanted.. needed something to calm my mind, to help keep me peaceful and to allow me to progress without future regress. \n Fitness & Cannabis \n I had smoked Cannabis before, but I smoked 3 or 4 times with my oldest closest friend (he just passed away last year due to the same vice… RIP kck) and honestly I didn’t feel a whole lot. \n Compared to the other things I was doing and had done I didn’t appreciate cannabis. But now that I had gotten past my hard drugs and alcohol. I had gotten past the phase where I wanted to just be black out numb all day and to avoid all pain. I still had urges daily (even 6 years later I will still get urges) so I began to smoke a little bit more often. \n As I did it a bit more and began to understand how it was making me feel and I was more accepting of the herb as opposed to controlling, it just got good. My urges slowed, if not disappeared, for a time after heroin. \n I weight under 120lbs and cannabis brought back my appetite and helped me eat and build muscle. The pain killer aspect allowed me to work again without it constantly being on my mind. With cannabis…it was almost like i was normal again, like I never did the bad destructive things I did because they were haunting me every fucking second, one every day. \n I could breathe and appreciate things again. I was easier the laugh and to enjoy life and to not be to cynical. \n \n Not only has cannabis truly helped me get past my destructive habits and tendencies, it gave me a certain confidence.. a love of life back that I thought I lost. \n \n I could just enjoy life and not take it so serious. \n Now a days I’m a big advocate of cannabis and fitness. My terrible anxiety and depression developed from my past endeavors, when I’m able to medicate, is gone. Never needed rehab. I never needed prescription drugs. All I did was get into fitness and working on my body and mind, and I began to appreciate cannabis. I am showing the world that this medicine is amazing \n Nothing short of it. \n When it comes to training and my fitness lifestyle, even now it helps me so much. I’ve always had a low appetite and very high metabolism, cannabis allows me to eat my clean healthy foods all day every day without losing focus and drive. It allows me to have fun in the gym and to really get into my mind and to push past limits. I normally wouldn’t. It assists me with sleep, which is so much more important than we realize in our day and age. \n It allows me peace. \n \n \n Courtesy of Sky Black \n So not only has it helped save my life but it allows me to really live again. I have taken breaks and I can live without it if needed but then I develop some problems I might want a therapist or medication for and I’d rather not take prescription drugs if avoidable. \n I’ve gained 50+ lbs of lean muscle mass since, and I haven’t touched anything hard since the day I quit “H town.” I’ve traveled and modeled, acted, done fitness gigs all over. Who knows if I’d still be here or get to experience any of this without the assistance of cannabis. It’s truly been a blessing and I’ll probably spark up until the day I die. \n Now my goals are very very large. My best friend who passed away last year due to the same demons I got through (he told me he got clean too.. I wish I would’ve known), well.. he was very proud of me. I moved told LA after school and got into modeling and acting, and he was always a big brother figure to me. I want to make his memory proud. So I want to influence as many as I’m able in as positive way so they don’t go down the road we did. \n My big goals are to bridge the gap between fitness and cannabis, to advocate cannabis in general, to make it in Hollywood or music or fitness and to become an influencer. To implement ideas to the masses and to assist each person in my own way. To show them life is worth living. No matter what you’ve done, or have been through, or has been done to you.. there’s hope. There’s greatness in you. \n I can live a normal life again and dream and shoot for the stars. Thank you, Cannabis! \n So there is my story. \n About the Author \n Sky Black is a 23-year-old recovered hard drug addict (5+ years clean) turned fitness model and an aspiring actor. He came from the darkest depths, got out himself. Since then, he has gained 50lbs of muscle and is traveling, modeling, acting, preparing for a classic physique bodybuilding show, training and assisting online clients, helping friends and family get in shape and find purpose. He is also working to share his story in order to bridge the gap between the two things that helped save him…Cannabis and bodybuilding/fitness. Cannabis was a huge part of his journey to recovery and he advocates for it and regards it highly. You can find him on Instagram and Facebook .