Hooksett author pens story of redemption

  • Hooksett author Matthew McCain wrote about his past issues with substance abuse and bipolar diagnosis in ‘Scribbles: A Drug Story.’ Courtesy photo

  • Scribbles: A Drug Story by Matthew McCain. Courtesy photo—

Monitor staff
Published: 4/29/2019 10:09:55 AM

In all honestly, Matthew McCain isn’t quite sure why he’s still alive.

But he is.

The 26-year-old from Hooksett spent years self medicating with drugs, alcohol – really anything he could get his hands on. There were suicidal thoughts, an undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a genuine ‘I don’t really care attitude.’

It all started in 2009 with sleeping pills and cough medicine. He eventually moved up to cocaine and Oxycodone and things got understandably a lot worse. At many different points, McCain found himself at what some might consider a crossroad​​​​​​, but each time he made the decision to keep using.

He would spend much of his paycheck on whatever he could afford and get his hands on.

That is until he finally hit an all-time low.

It was Sept. 3, 2012, and McCain had been stealing sleeping pills from his mom. They were a lot stronger than what he was used to and mixing them with cough medicine, turned into the night where everything changed.

He woke up in the emergency room, his heart had stopped and it was during this time that he knew things had to change.

“It took a long time to get used to it because it’s hard to tell people you need help,” McCain said.

In Scribbles: A Drug Story, released last year, McCain details his years of drug abuse, his inner battle with being gay and what led to his decision to finally turn his life around. The book is filled with very strong and pointed language, a raw look at his life and journal entries that give an uncensored account of what he went through.

“So if you add up undiagnosed bi-polar depression, being a closet case, and the beginning stages of drug abuse, you get… ME!” he wrote.

McCain said he felt compelled to write the book. Both for himself, the list of friends he lost along the way and those he will hopefully help. It wasn’t easy, but something that needed to be done.

“I was just like, ‘I need to write it,’ ” McCain said. “And I had to write it quick.”

The emotion is raw for McCain and he doesn’t hold anything back. He couldn’t because this is his story and he felt the need to tell the truth – the whole truth.

“I wanted it to be fast and quick because that’s how it happened in real life,” McCain said.

It’s written in a way that’s meant to be both informational, but borderline condescending. It’s funny, sad and heartwarming, once you get past the brazen use of language.

McCain attributes his desire to self medicate with “I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was suffering from undiagnosed bipolar, but there’s no doubt that much of it was because I hated that I was gay. No question,” he wrote.

His journal entry from earlier on that fateful day in 2012 shows exactly where he stood.

“Done. Over. Giving up. Won’t be a next time. Bye,” it read.

When McCain left the hospital, he knew he needed help.

“On that night, in that moment, in that ER room, I found rock bottom. And I knew it, too,” McCain wrote.

And he had an open conversation with his mom.

“I didn’t fight, nor did I try to change her mind. There was no reason to. I had ruined the second and third chances she had given me, and there was nothing to make her think that I was suddenly going to change,” he wrote.

It ended with “I need your help, mom because I can’t do this on my own,” McCain wrote in Scribbles. “You won’t have, to,” she smiled.

Once he was able to admit he needed help, for both his drug use and mental health, McCain has been on a much different path.

“It took a long time to get used to it because it’s hard to tell people you need help,” McCain said.

It’s been a long journey, but he’s trying to do as much good as possible with what he sees as a second chance. Over the last three-plus years, McCain has been writing. He’s released a few novels, including one due out later this year.

But Scribbles is different. This is about him, and it’s not easy to put your life out there for all to read and judge. Although, if it can help just one person, it will be all worth it.

During the course of writing, McCain made many revelations, like “Now don’t get me wrong, DRUGS ARE BAD FOR YOU ... but ... they do help in getting you to rock bottom faster,” and “It might sound strange, but I’m glad I was an addict back then instead of now because if I was, I probably wouldn’t be alive.”

Scribbles is available on Amazon, as well as other online book sellers.

McCain is donating proceeds from the book to Hope for N.H. Recovery in Manchester.

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