The devastating tale of a young man’s journey through drug addiction and its associated criminal activity, is related in detail by the survivor.
Kevin John Carroll, who grew up in the Castle Hill Houses, spending 28 years addicted to heroin, penned a 400-page autobiography chronicling his despair and misdeeds.
Today, living on Logan Avenue in Throggs Neck, he is grateful that his wife, who he married at 17, stuck with him through the worst of times.
Titled ‘I Still Can’t Fly,’ Carroll uses authentic humor to tell a moving story about what he calls “seeing the light.”
“I was always getting into trouble since I was little kid. Usually those confrontations would end with me sprinting off,” Carroll said. “That’s where the book’s title comes from, I still can’t fly but I can sure run like hell,” the author added.
Carroll began writing the book after spending a month in rehab during the early 1990s, finally releasing it in October 2018.
“At first I didn’t want to open up at all,” he said.
It was only after a moving counseling session that Carroll began coming to terms with his torrid past. He realized writing about it would be the best therapy to recovery.
“You aren’t allowed to have a pencil or a phone during the first 30 days of rehab. I waited 30 days to get a pencil and spent the following years to write my story down,” Carroll said, mentioning that he doesn’t think he’s funny per se but he in fact “thinks funny,” leading to his book’s success.
Even though he left school during eighth grade he attributes his writing skills to his avid interest in reading.
It was Carroll’s comical personality that encouraged Hardball Press of Brooklyn to publish its first memoir ever.
That memoir begins with Carroll in a parochial grammar school, constantly having his ear yanked on by nuns, to later working with the NYC Department of Sanitation, taking more sick days than imaginable in addition to constantly fast talking his way out of being terminated.
In between those two points is the scary reality his addiction brought into Carroll’s life.
While employed by Sanitation his drug addiction somehow avoided detection. The book vividly describes circumstance after circumstance where he came within a whisker of ending his career. Today, remarkedly, he collects a full city pension.
He literally said one day, after almost three decades of battling heroin, “that’s it.”
“I know the way that I broke my addiction is uncommon, but that’s honestly how it happened,” Carroll said.
Originally, Carroll wrote the book just for himself. It represents the first thing that he has ever completed in his life.
While obviously the success and great feedback he has received is pleasing, that wasn’t the motive behind writing the tale
“What I realized after I wrote this book is that it’s not just for me, it’s for you, and it’s for someone that you know who’s going through this,” Carroll said.
“There is a way out and don’t let anyone tell you that there isn’t,” he said.
In his now 23 years of sobriety, Carroll says he hasn’t faced a single challenge.
“Not a day goes by that I haven’t woken up without a smile,” the born-again Carroll gladly mentioned.