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By Gary Busey, Actor, author

As told to THINK editor Megan Carpentier, edited and condensed for clarity.


Doing drugs was the opposite of goodness, it was the opposite of love. I was the guy that found a toilet that was empty of water and spent a lot of time spitting in it to fill it up. It never filled up; I never filled up with grace and love and harmony when I was doing drugs.

Being on drugs makes you the opposite of everything that you are, in the truth that you own in your heart. You are a child of God, we are all children of God, and we are made in the image of God. We've got fingers and toes and legs and shins and shoulders and shoulder blades and stomachs and endocrine system, intestines, big and little. A heart, two lungs, kidneys. Look how we were put together; it's beautiful.

We're a lot more than a puzzle, but why mess up the puzzle by doing cocaine or other drugs? Your puzzle's beautiful. There's only one puzzle like you in the world.

I overdosed on cocaine, eventually. I became conscious on the hospital table and there was liquid coming out of my mouth, my nose and my eyes.

What happened to me was that, right after I did "The Buddy Holly Story" — a movie where I received an Academy Award nomination — a fellow who looked like a Beverly Hills cowboy showed up at my door. He told me that he was going to be my manger, and he had a gift for me. It was a blue box from Tiffany's and, in the box, was a rock of cocaine as big as a 50-cent piece and thick, with my initials in it.

He said, "Take this. You'll be more creative." I tried it, and I got hooked bad. I became a cocaine addict for several years.

I overdosed on cocaine, eventually. I became conscious on the hospital table and there was liquid coming out of my mouth, my nose and my eyes. And they said, "Well, he had a bunch of cocaine in his pocket." Then, when I got out of the hospital, I thought, "What have I been doing? I've been dancing with the devil in a circle that's very tight and the devil always leads the dance."

Cocaine is an element and a mineral from Satan; you don't want to dance with Satan like I did. You want to stop the dance, get out and have fun and freedom. So I stopped. That was May the 3rd, 1995.

It almost killed me, but I had the healing angels of spirituality come around me, and they took me out of it and took me away from it. I realized, after I stopped doing cocaine, how crazy and stupid my thoughts were. I thought I was so creative, but I wasn't.

If you're doing cocaine now, you gotta stop immediately, no matter what it takes. Don't think that it's something you have to lose; think of it as something you're gonna gain. You're gonna gain yourself back: You're gonna gain your happiness back, your logic back, your mind back, your coordination, everything. You'll trust yourself better.

The fact of the matter is, when you do drugs like I did, they become the number one relationship in your life; your family and your career run a distant second. You will never be what are supposed to be nor fulfill the purpose that God has for you by doing drugs; you're just signing your death certificate without a pen.

Now I have 25 years sobriety on cocaine, 25 years of freedom. I have a Buseyism for freedom: F-R-E-E-D-O-M stands for "facing real exciting energy, developing out of miracles." The best freedom you can have is knowing that you are a miracle: You were born a miracle and you are a living miracle. So, be yourself, and live in the harmony of what God gave you to be when you were born. Think on that; feel that about yourself. And you won't need to abuse substances or alcohol or needles or pills.

The best freedom you can have is knowing that you are a miracle: You were born a miracle and you are a living miracle.

Get away from drugs; get away from cocaine; they're not needed. It's better to eat good food, to listen to good music and to understand the spiritual world of everything we are. You can't do that with drugs; they'll take you away from your truth. So stop it, and you'll thank me for it later. (Although, in the beginning, when you stop it, you may hate me. But that's okay; hate is an emotion that comes with growth.)

You are your own best friend and your own soulmate; it all begins with you and ends with you. But you know what end stands for? E-N-D stands for "exciting new direction." So the end of doing drugs is a whole new rainbow, a place of paradise for your mind, heart, soul and spirit. You just feel better. Doesn't everybody want to feel better?

That's why I use the word guts; G-U-T-S stand for "giving up the substance." Just do it. It's easy. Forget about it. Move on. All of you are a blessing to yourself and to life and your family. Everything you've done in your life, even though some of it was hard, is good, because you go through it to get better. And that's why we're on earth.