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A life and a story inside A Heiney

My name is Adrian and I am 36 years old. It is 4 days till my birthday, I can say that with pride and understanding of who I am, I didn’t recover, none of us really do. While we might get our lives back and also regain trust and love from those who were brave or stubborn enough to keep holding on when things got rough in the course of our journeys, we also lose a part of ourselves and replace it with experience. This isn’t a bad thing. This truth can be said of anything that takes us out of our comfort or overall well-being.

Since the day I was born I was faced with a lesson that would present itself as many times and in as many ways as it could: “I was not meant for an easy road by any means.” I’m not complaining. As a matter of fact today all these things make me a masterpiece of divine creation. I know this whole thing is about anonymity but I can’t hide these things and at this point I have no wish to.

I was born with the last name Heiney which is a Welsh word meaning “protector of deer”. Somehow that Welsh word became a surname to some Ukrainian people and through marriage and some cosmic humor it came into my possession. A young man who is 3rd Puerto Rican,3rd Polish and 3rd Ukrainian, and total homosexual living in Pennsylvania. My gym class shirt said “A. Heiney” written in sharpie. I digress.

Born to a single mother with mental health issues and growing up dirt poor with no extended family or hopes of making it past the line that welfare had set for me my life was not an easy start. My mom, for the sake of her anonymity and for comedic purposes we will call her “Sandra D, never drank or did drugs, even the smell of cigarettes made her ill. She has had her battles riddled with abandonment, obsessive compulsive behavior, agoraphobia, and the list can go on. She was determined to homeschool me, which I was till 4th grade. My youth is riddled with molestation events (not by her), delinquency, and being socially awkward in school. I just never fit in as much as I tried. Fitting in was not meant for me. I was raised wiccan, so church didn’t offer me a sense of community either. I never finished high school.

I started dabbling with drugs when I was 16. I used over the counter cold and cough medications, robo tripped with cough syrup, abused my mental health drugs, and was buufing (rectal use) neurotin and concerta which produced cheap and ultimately cheap and horrible highs. At the time I didn’t see it as anything serious but rather just that “Heiney likes butt drugs…”. I started smoking weed when I was 17, and at first I hated it, but then it became an obsession. I couldn’t go outside without getting baked and still I didn’t even fathom that addiction was in anyway a “thing” for me. I hated alcohol and still do to this day. As time passed I moved out on my own, and suddenly I became open to Ketamine, which I loved. I thought coke was dirty but eventually I was doing it. Then I discovered psychedelics and became obsessed because I had suddenly become connected with an understanding of my spiritual roots in a sense. I didn’t just “do drugs” I explored and learned as much about them as possible. It was a culture and a way of life for me. I knew from an academic standpoint what was going to happen to me. And I was at a happy standstill. I was in a 10-year relationship that ended abruptly which is when I started using meth. The first line I did I knew I was in for an adventure…. And it was quite the adventure!

I moved to Philadelphia, cashed out my stocks and my 401k from working at Wawa and went from being a casual user to a full-time drug dealer. I was lost in a grip. I didn’t have to think about the pain of losing my ex. I didn’t have to think about the fact that not even 2 months after the break up I was diagnosed with HIV. I now had “power.” I was making money hand over fist. I was able to go on an airplane for the first time in my life, on my 30th birthday I boarded my first airplane to Chicago bound for Steam works. I was able to travel, and make so many “Friends”. When I sold a bag I sold myself. Basically, I was a drug dealer with prostitution as a gift with purchase, and I was ok with this. I felt accepted. I was taught to sell by this older southern gentleman. He would get stuff in, hand me and some other young idiot tweaker a bag and a syringe and say “Here you go my little Guinea pigs!”. I don’t need to go into the details but basically I was being pimped out and used to check to see if the drugs would kill us. Then I found my own connection and did things my way or so I thought. In the beginning I lived in an 8 hour to 8 hour cycle at club Philly and 2020 (bath houses in Philadelphia) It lost its novelty quickly, sporadic visitors would ask if I’m “taking loads?” I would respond “no I’m taking naps.” I saved up enough to get my first apartment 2 doors down from the bath house in heart of the gayberhood, and life was good. Eventually all good things must come to an end. HIV turned into full blown AIDS. I lost my connection, lost my apartment, and lost my sanity. I started hearing voices. Suddenly no one was my friend. I began borrowing money from whoever I could, begging for places to stay in the winter, sleeping on the side of buildings, or in the park, train stations, anywhere my eyes would shut on their own, I was close to death and that was ok because I had already died inside long before it got this bad.

I eventually returned to my mother’s house. She had gotten married and got her life together, and had begged me to come home. I had no choice as it was that or the cold winter streets of Philadelphia. I got on a bus and headed to central PA. I ended up on a cot in my parents living room, and of course I required privacy so I turned the cot and clothes racks from ikea into a tent in my parents living room. I was 33 years old living in a blanket fort in his parents living room.  Still I continued to go out and seek that which destroyed me. I put my new family through hell with the paranoia and the voices, running in and out, having my 67-year-old step dad drive 2 hours away to pick me up because I ended up in Harrisburg paranoid and without shoes in an ice storm during Covid. I still refused to feel accepted by the only people who were trying to accept me.

I eventually got a job, my first one in 8 years, at a motel. I worked there for 2 years. I was using far less than ever but for some reason it did me in far worse. I tried making friends but they were not ready for the absolute disaster that I was. I was completely bonkers and I would embarrass myself really well. The only person who wanted to be around me was my mother, and even she was finding it hard. When I finally reached my absolute rock bottom worst. I would sit in my room and smoke my bubbler trying to masturbate. I would hide under blankets and cry. I no longer had any sort of grip on reality. My life was really dark and really sad. And I had maybe… the slightest clue as to how bad it was. It was time for me to open my eyes. If you think I’m going to tell you I found Jesus or some shit you are wrong. I always had spirituality even on my darkest of days, however I wasn’t always aligned with it. I wasn’t listening to my heart, my soul. I didn’t know how to just be me.

I went to rehab on march 1st of 2023. And it was exactly what I needed. At first I tried to blend in and be quiet. I was in an all male facility in East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania. Pyrimid Hillside. I thought I was the only gay person there, I decided I needed now more than ever to be open and authentically myself. No editing no filter, I started just saying everything that came into my mind. Everything that I experienced and was told to not talk about by people my whole life because, “you just don’t say these things.”I talked about. The more I exposed myself the more people related and accepted me. Not for being like them but for unapologetically being like me. I started kicking down doors in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul. Doors which held me back since before I learned to walk and talk. I restarted the LBGTQ+ alliance group and found many other people who were also in similar shoes. But more importantly than other people accepting me I began to love me: the savage realness, the look of cringe or joy people have when I speak. I realized how much power and effect I actually have in this world. I still have insecurities here and there, and sure, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am mine, and that keeps me warm. Recovery is not a destination and it’s not linear. Recovery is a state of being. For me it is living without destroying yourself inside or out.

There is no failure, only more opportunity to learn about ourselves. Even if you relapse, I personally don’t see it as losing time, sometimes we need to be reminded as to why we are doing what we are. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Some of us can move forward and never look back. There is peace that comes from this program and it’s fellowship and that peace comes from being the osmotic entities that we are, taking in other people’s stories and experiences and releasing our own. It’s how we connect, relate and ultimately stay alive. Like I said we don’t fully recover. Our roads have no end and anything is possible when living life on life’s terms. However, if we do it right , some days being exactly who and what we are is just the best thing ever. Keep coming back, it works if you work it. 

—Adrian H.

On the Top

It’s hard to be tactful with a needle or a pipe in your hand, shaking like a chihuahua. It’s hard to be sexy when you give it away without soul or actual desire. It’s hard to be spiritual shut away in a darkened hotel room. Tireless obsession, fueled by desperation, for something you can’t quite put a finger on. Staring in a mirror watching ghosts, picking away the shame and guilt. Hiding from the angels that watch you. Crying out for the devils to drag you into hell because it’s “hot.” Nausea crests waves over you as you try to count the loads inside you and lose count in the double digits. Afraid of air conditioners and fish tanks because they are roasting you on a podium. “She looks dehydrated.” “Do you smell her feet?” Says no one in a room by yourself. Tear the baggy in half and lick it… scrape the stem and feel anxiety claw from the recesses of your mind as you admit to yourself that you are out of money, and no one is going to front you anymore. “Tiny jockstrap and pale complexion, you never score. You just get an infection…. takes you all day just to get an erection.” You would cry, but you are too dehydrated and just don’t have the capacity in you to do so. At least not tonight. All the door handles, remotes and computers are covered in lube… just one more squirt is never enough. Fierce things come to fierce people, and you, Miss Thing, are a lion. Simple days are gone, a scab picked and flicked off onto the carpet. When did partying become everyday life? How much are you willing to throw away? How much are you going to die before you live? I’m not judging. If you can’t tell, I’ve been around the block a few times. I threw a bunch of cock rings into the bushes around here somewhere. Not my first rodeo, not my first clown. Keep coming back. It works if you work it.

—Adrian H.

Ver. 0.2.10


  • Fixed permission issue on Meetings beta page
  • Removed online meetings from In-Person Meetings page
  • Changed URL of In-Person Meetings page to /inperson
  • Changed URL of Meetings beta page to /meetings and created redirect



  • Performance optimization
  • Depreciated Calendar
  • Minor layout fixes
  • Added Hyperlist page
  • Changed single announcements post layout to horizontal card


  • Removed sticky header
  • Fixed announcements loop mobile layout


  • Introduced Meetings beta page


  • Introduced horizontal announcement cards for homepage and announcements page
  • Added webmail link to Site Index and Intergroup page
  • Minor layout fixes


  • Added MARCMA page
  • Fixed tablet layout issues on header
  • Moved “Posted On” date to the bottom of the announcement cards
  • Minor adjustments to elements


  • Expanded header and footer to full width on desktop
  • Centered logo on header and repositioned menus on desktop
  • Incorporated mega menu trigger into logo
  • Introduced new full width footer
  • Created Site Index slide-in
  • Revised Changelog slide-in
  • Refreshed Stories page and implemented Loop Grid queries
  • Minor layout fixes


  • Minor layout fixes
  • Standardized heading fonts H1 through H6 for uniformity
  • Transitioned more text elements to REM
  • Added CMA Fellowships Directory page
  • Fixed mobile menu 


  • Introduced new horizontal logo design and enlarged proportions on header
  • Thinned header
  • Recolored the title bar above header to pale gray
  • Introduced new color schema throughout site with more bold, contrasting colors against neutral backgrounds
  • Restyled New to CMA? page
  • Introduced new Intergroup logo with Lottie animation
  • Simplified homepage layout
  • Introduced design blog
  • Set button border radius to 15px site-wide


  • Replaced homepage slider with new hero design
  • Added Lottie animations
  • Added change log page
  • Implemented Loop Builder for queried posts
  • Redesigned announcements carousel on homepage
  • Redesigned announcements archive pages with infinite scroll
  • Minor fixes to layouts
  • Unified button color schema
  • Optimized database
  • Removed old page revisions for performance


  • New header layout
  • Implemented mega menu
  • Recolored major elements with more saturated hues
  • Homepage redesign with scrolling clouds motion at footer
  • Footer condensed and restyled
  • Added Daily Check-In page


  • Restyled Newcomer page with cloud graphics
  • Changed name to ‘New to CMA?’


  • Added Stories pages
  • Configured Stories category and blog query


  • Header rescaled and added background blur


  • Added Elections page


  • Added Online meetings page


  • Homepage refresh
  • Added Announcements carousel


  • Added Dual-Diagnosis page


  • Added Newcomer page


  • Introduced card-styled elements throughout site
  • Complete restyling of Meetings page with card-centric layout


  • Container reduced to 1140px
  • Header resized and  boxed


  • Initial release
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