I started lifting weights quite heavily at age 18 after my senior year in high school. I was 5’9 weighed about 155lbs and was about 9% body fat. I was a baseball player throughout high school, which kept me in pretty good shape. After graduation, I quit baseball and decided to make weight lifting a full-time affair. I started reading Muscle Media 2000, a magazine geared towards “muscle heads” which soon became my bible. Lifting became quite an obsession; ditched work, skipped classes (college), blew off friends, all to eat and lift! I was very dedicated and determined to get big and strong just like all the guys in the muscle mag’s. Hell, these guys had the chicks, money and drove cool cars right! Big muscles are a sign of power! I knew that I had the potential to have the power! My magazines instructed me on how to eat, sleep, which supplements I “need” to take and how to train. At the end of my 19th year, I weighed about 190lbs lean. I was benching over 280lbs for reps, and was shoulder shrugging about 500lbs, which I thought was pretty good at the time. Creatine started becoming very popular at my gym and MM 2000 raved about it! I immediately went out and bought a bottle. I took creatine and some aminos for a while on and off, and by age 20, I broke 200lbs, and my strength gains were still climbing. Here I started to develop a small belly, due to all the domestic beer and eating every two hours, I suppose. I made a pact with myself, I would get up to 210lbs and then stop there. Well at 215lbs, I said only five more pounds and a hundred more on bench and I’ll be satisfied. However, at this time it was too late, I was going up fast, and nothing could stop me! I was convinced with the help from my magazine buddies, that I could not afford to lose any muscle. I spent so much time building it, there’s no way I’m going to lose it! Pretty soon I was given the nick name Girth. Then at age 22 and 260lbs, people referred to me as ‘little Dorian”, claimed from the monster pro bodybuilder Dorian Yates. I became a power-lifter between age 20 and 22. I was lifting more weight and was bigger than most guys in the gym, including the ones on roids. I was huge, but I didn’t look the way I wanted to look. I wanted to be ripped. I still looked small in the mirror and felt a bit inferior. I was stronger than most everyone around me, benching close to 500lbs, squatting about 800lbs, and leg pressing the sled loaded with plates and a 150lb kid standing on the top!! Yeah, did it all with the help of just creatine, aminos, protein shakes, weight gainers, HMB, various other supplements, a whole lot of hard work, and lots of food! But now it was time to get ripped! Around this time a bunch of Ephedra based weight loss products started becoming popular. Products like Metaform Heat, Ultimate Orange, and the new one Hydroxycut, all were being raved about in all the muscle mags. Man oh man, that Metaform Heat was powerful, before they took it off the market five times! That stuff made me fly through my workouts! I took some of these “cutters” for a few months. Hey, they were all natural! They can’t be that bad! After strict dieting, training and months of herbal speed, I was almost ripped at 210lbs, with very little body fat. I felt like crap though. I was pretty over-trained and too dehydrated from all the dieting. Damn it! Everyone around me was “juicing” and not training half as hard as me. My roommate and all my other gym comrades were all ripped and doing it with ease! All the magazines and roid head writers glorified the power of steroids. “Roids will give any person the edge they are looking for”. If the juice is done right, you can have the body of your dreams. Hey, the pro athletes that I knew, were doing it, and they were achieving stardom! I wanted to experience the power of the “juice”. Just a little boost, and I’ll be fine. One early evening I took my first shot of Testosterone Suspension, at age 23 and 210lbs lean. The next morning I was about 213lbs, and a lot leaner! How the hell is that possible! My muscles were so much harder, and I looked more cut up! I immediately went to the gym and had a fantastic workout. I felt great! Just in one day. This being, because Test Suspension is water based which gets into the system quickly. I became convinced and determined at that moment, that I would complete a cycle of steroids. Continuation of my cycle consisted of ditching the Suspension, and replacing it with Testosterone Cypionate, Testosterone Enanthate, Deca, Primobolan, Novadex and Clenbeuterol, all staggered within a four month period. I went from 213lbs to 225lbs, ripped, I mean ripped! My strength and size went through the roof. Although I never got as strong as when I was 260lbs. My muscles were tearing my workout shirts! I was never sore, and my joints felt great! I had a muscle pump all the time, and my workouts were cake! The owner of the gym I trained at asked if he could sponsor me for the upcoming Powerhouse Classic bodybuilding competition. I said yes. Then something weird started to happen. The power I had achieved, the power that I spent thousands of dollars and years trying to achieve just freaking took over! I became a sort of monster. Everything pissed me off, my dog, family, friends, TV, everything! I broke things, everything. I was so damn powerful. I could throw anyone around. No one could mess with me! I hated everything. Anger and destruction took over. I looked around one day in the gym, and I saw what I had been blinded to before. Almost everyone in the gym was using steroids. The girls the guys, the freaking kids! And they all looked like crap! My roid buddies all were messed up physically and mentally. They were abusive in their relationships, abused alcohol and drugs, were extremely paranoid, had no conscience when it came to selling steroids to teens, and had all sorts of health problems. I looked around, for the first time in my gym life, I really looked around. My God, I was becoming just like everyone else. I faced myself in the mirror and saw a person I didn’t know. I felt like crap, mentally and physically. I had to stop using steroids right then and there. I did. I started to lose weight and strength rapidly. Every joint in my body hurt bad. My appetite was gone. Patches of hair were left on my pillow. I consulted my “friends”; most of their words of wisdom had to do with taking more steroids. Yeah right. One buddy just starting his third cycle in the same year said “dude, you just gotta stay on the juice!” He is no longer around by the way. I stopped using roids in late July of 1998 at 225lbs. By November of 1998 I had lost about 15lbs and looked a bit fatter. I had my brother take some pic’s of me at this time because I knew that I would never look that way again. I felt horrible. By January of 1999 I had lost so much strength and weighed 185lbs. By April of 1999 I weighed 170lbs, and could barely look at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t train, sleep, eat or do anything for that matter. My eyes were sunken in my head, my skin looked like it was falling off my bones, my body hurt terribly, and I was horribly depressed. What the hell happened to me!! That power that I once had, remember, the power that I spent my freaking life and life savings trying to achieve, was ripped from me completely, plus some! I had no strength or vitality left in me at all, and I was only 24 freaking years old! All the damn roid head writers or know it all roid users had no answers for me now! They told me what damn supplements to take and what steroids are the best, but what about when you get sick. What happens when the god damned steroids kill you. What do you take then? None of these bastards have any answers or are willing to help now. In April of 2000 I weighed 163lbs was 5’7, yes two inches shorter, and surprises just kept on coming. Now, not only did I have no strength, couldn’t digest food, had pains all over my body, was consumed by depression, had constant thoughts of suicide, and continued to lose weight, but now my skin looked yellow, there were muscle twitches all over my body, and I couldn’t sleep more than 2 hours a night! Oh yeah, my hormone levels were basically non-existent. By the end of February 2001 I had visited over a dozen doctors and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars trying to get my body back to some sort of normalcy. Nothing and nobody would help me. Finally, in 2003, after seeking out every medical, non-medical, and self treatment I could, I started to regain some energy. I began to attempt to exercise again. Once a week, then twice and up to three times per week. Every workout was painfully horrible. I would periodically have bouts of weight loss, digestive problems and pain that would limit me from exercising or doing day- to- day activities, but I pushed myself. I still push myself, everyday. And I still have muscle twitches, weight fluctuations, and pains. My liver has a cyst on it, is painful sometimes, and my digestion is way out of whack. The list goes on. I guess I’m lucky. Some of my friends are in jail, look worse and feel worse than I do, and some aren’t around anymore to discuss their mistakes, or waste their time writing stories like this one. In my quest to get healthy again, I began my studies of the endocrine system, medicine, and everything there is to know about steroids. My studies lead me down a different path, which has shown me how lucky I really am, to know what I know now. However, there is not a day that goes by that I wish I never made that mistake of using steroids. Not ONE day!