Bill H.

Age: 46

Addiction:  Pills (Perocet, etc).

Status:  Smokes marijuana, no pills for two years

Bill’s life began in poverty and violence. His mother, who had mental health issues, worked two jobs and could barely keep him alive.  Bill looked at the poverty, and at the people who had good cars and nice clothes and started dealing in his early teens. He worked his way up and did not use drugs until his early 40s.

One day his father, an enforcer for a motorcycle club, asked Bill, “Would you rather be feared or loved?” Bill said, “feared.” His father punched him savagely. “And now?” “Feared.” “Good, love just makes you a victim.”  He tried to punch Bill a third time, but Bill kicked him on the inside of his leg, taking him to the floor, where he stared pummeling his dad. “Good,” said his father. “Better to be feared than to fear.” Bill learned to run – towards a fight, not away from it.

Bill’s aggression is abetted by ADDHD.  He had a long record of misdemeanors – mainly petty theft and minor domestic violence.  He was never busted for dealing.  He feels victimized by two of the women in his life – both, he feels, set him up.  The second time, the woman called her mother and asked her to call the cops.  She then drew a knife on him. He drew his own knife – and that’s when the police broke in.

In prison Bill found God, “and didn’t lose him when they let me out.” “I was a habitual liar, told people whatever you wanted to hear to make you think you’d get what you wanted. Not any more.” Now he says he gives money away and helps those in need – and everybody knows him by name.  “It’s easy for me to find money or women,” he says. “I made a lot of money in this town, could get you anything you needed.”

He got out of prison to find his mother with Stage One Alzheimer’s. His desire to support her has helped him stay out of trouble. His relations with his current woman are strained. He has 5 kids of his own and has fostered two kids of a former girlfriend.

Drawing is his solace, and he says he plans to become a graphic artist. “Love just makes you a victim … I don’t believe that any more,” he says.


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