March 26, 1987 - October 02, 2018
March 26, 1987 - October 02, 2018
The Michael Stephen Boyd Memorial Foundation was founded in memory of Sgt. Michael Stephen Boyd. He was a decorated Marine who served with honor, including a tour in Afghanistan. Michael, like so many of our other Veterans, suffered from severe PTSD as well as pain due to injuries sustained during his time in service. He battled injury induced opioid addiction, which led to a heroin addiction when he was no longer able to obtain prescription opioids. Michael struggled often with homelessness, joblessness and a vicious cycle of sobriety and relapse.
Michael often voiced his belief that he didn’t deserve love or loyalty. He felt that his addiction negated anything good about him, and that he had to “earn” the love of others. He referred to himself as a junkie and as worthless; words he internalized as the very definition of who he was. He would play songs with “loser” in the title regularly because he said they “felt like” him. He rejected the idea that he was worthy of love and affection simply for being who he was. Outwardly he presented the image of someone who was happy, friendly and outgoing, yet privately would express the negative way he truly saw himself. Michael, according to Michael, was broken, and nothing would fix him. Nothing except heroin.
Michael loved heroin. He loved the way it made him feel (or not feel). He loved the escape it afforded him. It was his way of coping with not only the horrors of Afghanistan that haunted him, it was his way of coping with a lot of other personal issues that he didn’t feel he could face any other way. But he also hated that he hurt the people he loved with his addiction. He hated not being able to be a part of his son’s life. He hated the disappointment he knew he caused. He hated that it made him a hypocrite telling his girlfriend’s teenage son that he would kill him if he ever found out he touched a drug, and then getting high behind a closed door. He hated himself for being “weak”, for needing heroin to face life. He hated the lies it made him tell….the sneaking and secrets he kept from everyone. He was ashamed of his addiction; he loved the drug but hated the man it made him.
Michael tried. He tried hard, and he tried often to get and stay clean. He wanted sobriety; he wanted to be a man he could be proud of. He wanted to be someone he felt was worthy of love, friendship, loyalty and dedication. He struggled with reaching out to others for help; he felt it was a weakness not to be able to get and stay clean on his own. The times he did seek traditional inpatient recovery, he was discharged feeling frustrated and without the proper tools to manage not only his cravings for heroin, but also without the support to manage the issues that led him to use in the first place. Frustration and cravings, shame and self-hatred, the desperate desire to be the man he couldn’t see he already was, led to a brutal cycle he couldn’t break. Michael lost his battle with heroin on October 02, 2018 to an IV drug overdose.
Michael never saw himself as others did. His addiction colored his view of himself with such self-hatred that it was all he could see. What he failed to see was that he was so much more than an addict. Michael was a hero. He was a son, a brother, a father, a friend and the love of someone’s life. He was beautiful and smart and loving and silly and absolutely incredible. It is the hope of the Michael Stephen Boyd Memorial Foundation to honor Michael’s memory, to give his death purpose, by helping those like him achieve long lasting recovery by offering support and resources that address not just your addiction, but all aspects of your life. We hope to succeed where others have failed by taking into account the frustrations Michael encountered and ensuring that you have all the tools necessary to make significant and lasting changes. This will be Michael’s legacy.