Hi my name is Nathan McNew and this is my story my brother (aka best friend) Anthony and me.  I was going through I rough time in my life about 8 years ago. This was the first time I went to rehab didn’t know what to expect. Many new people I thought I did not belong here.  I don’t use drugs,  All I did was smoke weed and that’s ok. Maybe some coke every once in a while but that’s it.

Anyway,  I didn’t fit in at all.  It was hard for me to relate to what they were saying because I had never hit rock bottom. I never used heroin or any hard drug like that. So it was hard for me and I didn’t want to talk to nobody. I had to go to op 4 times a week with one day off so I couldn’t get a job if I wanted to. Then I started to talk to this guy who had been there 3 weeks longer then me and from there we became friends.

In rehab they taught us the buddy system and we were the perfect example of the buddy system. About 2 months later him and me got out of the program went our own way. We were such good friends that we were arrested together for doing the same thing. When I look back at it now its kinda funny.   We tried to take a pair of shoes…come on, shoes? We both needed shoes, so we thought what better way to get them when you have no money than to steal them. Needless to say we were caught and went to jail.  

Even that didn’t break our friendship, it just made it that much stronger. So after we got out of jail, doing like 2 days,  we said we need to go some where.  We came across a halfway house. The first 2 weeks were free but there was one problem one of us had to stay out till a bed was open. I made the choice to stay out for what felt like a week.    A bed finally opened up,so I hopped on that. We were doing good there, no drugs and not drinking but then came the rent issues. We had no money to pay the rent.  We couldn’t pay a two for one type of thing he had to pay his and I had to pay mine at the time it was 300 a week.

Fresh out of rehab and no work experience.  It was hard to find a job so in the end they kicked us out. Now Anthony has a sister so we call her to see if we could live there for a bit till we can get on our feet. Even at the point we never broke our friendship; you see I’m the only child  and he has no brother so we became brothers.  We stayed at his sister’s house for about 3-4 months and let me tell not the most relaxing months.  It was like riding the world’s craziest rollercoaster but at least we were not on the streets.

There were times when we thought about leaving but where would we go?  How would we make money? So we endured one more month until Anthony called his dad. By chance his dad was in town and he came to pick us up. We never looked back we were so thankful that we weren’t there no more but who knew that this would indeed be the most challenging part of our lives,  none of us did not even his dad. For 3-4 years all three of us have been through a lot.

Me and Anthony had great jobs, paying rent, doing what we wanted to do. I even got my learners Drivers License. We spent the holidays together and I was part of his family.  His dad thought of me as his own son in such a short time. Our friendship became a brotherhood and nothing could stop us. Until one day Anthony and his dad got in to it.  Anthony left and I didn’t want to leave him by himself. When we left the house we never looked back on that either and closed that chapter for good.

Sometimes  when you think something is a good idea it turns out to be a mistake. I can’t say it was a total mistake because if it was not for him(his dad) I would not be where I am at today. With the job skills I have today there was a lot to be thankful for. Back on track when we left the house we still had jobs. Now we were living from hotel to hotel until we couldn’t afford it anymore. That’s when we became homeless for the first time.

We made a promise to be brothers no matter what happens in life.  While we were on the streets, it was during winter.  We had just came onto the streets and didn’t now nobody.  We had our stuff taken.  We found a bed,  a queen size one at that and we were sleeping beside a building in front of everyone to see.  People were walking by and it didn’t faze them. It was like they had seen this before.

There were times where he was dependent on me and I was dependent on him.  We had to spoon each other just to stay warm.  It was in the high 20s low 30s, really cold and with a thin blanket it was not a good night sleep. Eventually,  we found jobs for a phone company spinning their sign make less money then what we were used to but we needed money. So let’s do it. I would work one day and he would work the next day. That was our gig for about a month.

Now across the street from the place were working there is a casino. We would go in every so often just for giggles and didn’t think nothing of it. Just two homeless kids in a casino. It became an everyday thing for us, now almost an all day thing and night. We had more food more drinks and more cigs for free. What more could you ask for?  We thought we had it made had everything but we didn’t.  We were still on the streets.

Then my parents came to where we were and took me out to lunch and asked me if I wanted to come back home I said no I don’t want to leave Anthony out here by himself his is my brother. 3 days later they called and said ok he can come but there where going to be rules, no drugs and alcohol,  which was no problem.  We went to my parents house and everything was going good.  Until one day when we had a fight with my parents.

They made me choose to stay here or go out with him and this is how great my brother is; he said stay here be with your parents I’ll call my dad. His dad came picked him up and that was the last time I have seen my brother.

Now Anthony is in Oregon living a life he thought he would never have, a better life.  Me, I had my downs but now I am back with my parents and doing everything right this time.  Getting things I have needed for the longest time.

We may be thousands of miles apart and live two different lives, but; WE ARE STILL BROTHERS FOR LIFE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. I miss you bro and love you too.  I hope to see you again someday….

Nathan J McNew        2/11/20                                                                                                       

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