I would like to share with you my personal anime story. It is a story that pulled me out of depression and addiction and eventually inspired me to create this blog.
It begins near the end of the Fall of 2017. My twins had just turned a year old. I was trying to find and keep a good job, learning how to raise children, dealing with sleepless nights, and struggling to make ends meet. A dark cloud of depression loomed over me and my life.
One day a friend of mine offered me a couple pain pills to help me feel a little better. They did seem to help at the time, they gave me a warm, content feeling and worked to alleviate the stress and depression I was going through. For once in a long time I felt like doing something other than laying in my bed all day…
For a couple weeks I continued taking a few pills here and there with my friend. Before long I had a hookup and was buying my own. Then all of the sudden, no one had them anymore. I asked around and they were not to be found. I had grown a little used to them, so I wondered- What was I to do?
Around that time I learned that a close family member of mine had recently been prescribed Oxycodone for back pain at work. I slipped deeper into a darkness. First, I asked for a couple to help with muscle pain, headaches, etc. Then I surprised myself by going to their house and taking a few when they weren’t around. That’s how the slippery slope began. I took more and more. I went in when no one was home to get some. I got more and more addicted and as I did my tolerance built. Soon I was taking around ten a day, then closer to fifteen.
The days when I could not get them I did nothing except lay in bed and think of the drugs. I schemed horrible ways to get more. I would cry and tell myself, “No more, you can’t be stealing from family, taking something they need.” and then I would find myself taking the pills again, sometimes it felt as if some other force was driving me (The force of addiction I believe, not to take any blame off myself, it was my choice that led me to this point).
I kept it all a dark secret inside of myself. My friends, family, even my wife did not suspect anything for a long time. The pills wore on my relationships, my sleep and eating schedules, my performance at work- yet I only thought of getting more. I was not the same person anymore. I hated myself..
So where does anime come in? Around the same time these events were coming to a crest, another friend of mine was at my house and brought up that he had recently been watching the anime One Piece with some friends. My experience with One Piece was perhaps reading one chapter of the manga in Jump and seeing an episode or two of the 4Kids dub. Needless to say, I did not have any interest in the show, I always thought it was a little stupid, over the top, I didn’t understand how some people could be so into it..
So one day I put One Piece on while my friend was over, mainly to humor him. I made it through the first couple episodes and it started getting a little more interesting. About that time, my family members came to me and cornered me about the missing medicine. I had taken such a large amount (probably forty or so in a span of a couple days). they knew it was me taking them, and they were concerned about me. I tried lying at first until eventually breaking down, yes it was me, I can’t stop taking them, I don’t want to be addicted like this, I don’t know what to do.
I quit cold turkey, I had to get straight for my family and friends and myself. The next couple weeks of withdrawals were hellish realms. I would lay in my bed and feel like crawling out of my skin. I couldn’t sleep or eat, I stared at the clock and watched time slowly slipped past. After the first few days, I was able to at least go into the living room, but I still felt like doing nothing. I thought I would drive myself insane. So I put on One Piece. I just kind of stared at the tv while it was on. I slowly became absorbed in it. The withdrawals were fading away and I had found something I loved to do that wasn’t drugs. I watched the Arlong Park Arc and I was hooked. One Piece was amazing.
I continued to watch One Piece every day. My withdrawals subsided and I started to feel like myself again. Luffy taught me the value of friends during hard times and to never ever get up. I used him as a role model to make it through the bad times and to stay clean. I watched other animes, getting into the whole culture and establishing myself a new hobby that eventually led to the creation of my blog.
Over the year I watched as much One Piece as I could. 866 episodes in 8 months and I caught up with the current airings. That is how One Piece and Anime saved my life, brought me out of a deep darkness, and why I will always be grateful towards anime.
Now I want this blog to share my story, hopefully I can inspire others who are going through hard times. I know some of you must have similar stories that can also help inspire. I would love to hear them. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org