I was on the West Side Highway in a 4Runner Jeep, on my way to the Bronx, when I first heard my first record ‘You Remind Me’ on the radio. I thanked the Lord immediately and the next thing that came to my head was, ‘I’m going to be able to get my mother out of the projects.’ She was living in Yonkers’ Schlobohm Projects. I believe I was 19.
I purchased her a house in Jersey. I was so happy for her, because I wanted her out of that environment. She was very, very, very happy. Just happy and confused at the same time, because stuff like that never comes true where we lived. She didn’t know what to do, but she seemed kind of pleasant and at peace.
I don’t think there’s ever been any real sun after that. I had been doing drugs since I was 16 years-old. I was already consumed with the whole thing. That was just a day that was a good day; you have good days and bad days. That was a great day.
The day that I decided to stop all of the madness, was the day my boyfriend (now husband) was getting ready to leave. I had no idea he was going to leave me. He had already planned, ‘If she comes home drunk again, I’m out.’ And I had already planned ‘I’m not going to do this, there’s something about this guy I need to see it for myself.’
I came home sober, he was so happy. He told me he was glad that I didn’t smell like alcohol. He said, “I’m so glad you came home early, because I was going to leave you. But I’m going to stay now.” And that was the sun through the clouds.
I believe environment plays a big part in what happens to you. I was in an environment where nothing was changing and everyone was hanging out with me and drinking, clubbing, and doing drugs with me. The minute something different came in my life and I got a chance to see what it means to be sober, and have confidence in myself, things changed.
When you can see yourself clearly, that’s when you know you need help. The only time you can see yourself clearly is when something different happens in your life. You start to begin to know that I want whatever that person has. That’s basically the point when you start wanting something different. You start wanting to look for the answer to how to get it. The answer I learned how to get it is dealing with my own issues – stop blaming everybody else for the stuff that happened to me years and years ago and just get on with my life and handle the pain, pray to God and help me let him through it.
[tags]Mary J. Blige[/tags]