this is my story and I believe sharing it is critical in my recovery. I'm a 43 year old male. I have impulsivity and bipolar disorder. I've always bought things I didn't need or spent money wrecklessly. I had an addiction for seeing women and escorts as well before. the story I'm about to tell is watered down as it would be too long to write. I'm your average Joe who was in the wrong place with the wrong people at the right time to become a crack cocaine addict. I met this girl on an escort website in august 2018. she lived north of me, about 30min away. I was super manic that day. long story short when we met she handed me a pipe and asked if I wanted to try it. stupid enough I did and didn't even think to ask what it was. I had no idea it was crack, if anything I thought it was weed. I was naive, I didn't use drugs before. I was immediately hooked and didn't find out it was crack until a few days later. I went on a 3 day binge with her and her family. I didn't come home, I spent all of my money too. and yes I said her "family". I soon found out her mom, dad and siblings all used drugs as well. when the girl got tired of me she politely but swiftly handed me off to her mom and dad and I continued to use with them. I missed worked. clocked in and hung out with them instead. used my sons and my wife's money to buy crack. I even started filling drug dealers cars up with gas on my companies dime for drugs. I was hooked pretty bad almost immediately. I can't list all of the stupid things I've done for crack but a few are: quit my job of 3 years. kept dissapearing for days on end. drove these people to various stores so they could shoplift. drove the women to their tricks. allowed them to smoke crack in my car. I tried to quit twice before and never made it beyond 3 weeks. I tried N/A and while the group talk was helpful I absolutely dispised their philosophy. I tried various doctors and meds. my therepists cut me off because I was a drug addict. the state and county couldn't help me either as there was long waiting lists for detox and or therepy. nothing seemed to work so I continued using. eventually my wife became an addict as well after I talked her Into trying it. now there was two addicts in my house. it's like a contagious diesese with no end in sight. my wife lost her job in the process too. to sum it up I couldn't keep a job because I either used all of my paychecks on crack or I was stealing from my companies. I couldn't pass drug tests for new employment. wasn't paying my bills, feeding my kids. even brushing my teeth or taking showers became tidious and not a priority. I thought I was a big shot having a dealer that called himself my friend and would look out for us. boy was I wrong. the drug makes you a zombie. it lies to you, it reprograms your brain. all it wants is you to use more, even if you don't get high any longer " which I wasn't ". I soon came to the realization that those people and my dealer weren't my friends. a friend wouldn't sell you drugs or put you in harm's way. my wife and I are 14 days clean today. there came a time we both had enough and stopped using. we were about to loose our home. our kids found out we were using and threatened to tell the family or call the police. we finally realized the lie the drugs offered. we finally saw we were going nowhere and would end up homeless drug addicts. we're lucky we weren't in jail or even worse dead. my wife was a shell of herself. she lost weight, was gaunt. she was having panic attacks and cocaine phycosis. I was feeling like **** every day, i gained 50 pounds from eating like a pig after using "over a 10 month period". our life's were a wreck and to say the least became unmanageable. we finally decided to make a change. we cut off our dealers and eliminated negative Influences. we both have new jobs. it feels good to be clean even though it's only been a few weeks. I think the physical withdrawal is done but the mental withdrawal is still here and it's a bitch, I can tell you that. I can't speak for my wife but I'm either tired, depressed, void type feeling and can't make myself happy if I tried too. while things are slowly getting better I know it's a long road ahead to full recovery. it feels good to not rely on dealers or drugs to function. these 14 days sober have done more for me than the 10 months I wasted being a junkie. the moral of the story is stay far away from crack. it's the devil. also it's absolutely possible to achieve sobriety without 12 steps or rehab/treatment centers it just takes will power and allot of patience. sometimes I wish I could get back my old life before drugs. I now realize that can't ever happen. we will have to start over from scratch. thanks for listening.