“Since I was still on felony probation, I was supposed to report to my probation officer once a month, but there were a lot of gaps in there when I didn’t report for a long time and I’d have to go to jail for a few weeks. Sometimes, to avoid jail, I’d check into rehab, but I didn’t stop using. Then in February I overdosed and was really, really sick. When I checked into rehab that time, I knew I had to make some major changes. If I continued the way I was going, I was going to die. I knew I had to stay in rehab. If I went out again, I would use. That’s why I was never able to be a drug dealer. I wouldn’t have made any money; I would have done the drugs myself. So I stayed, and that place saved my life. I couldn’t have left anyway. I didn’t have anywhere to go---not anywhere good. After 5 weeks in rehab, the case manager looked for a place for me and found a community living program in Memphis.
“I don’t want to set my goals too high right now---I have to finish this program first---but one day I’d like to work with children as a social worker or as a drug counselor. My brother’s friend’s daughter was really bad into drugs. I talked to her about the rehab I went through, and now she’s turned her life around, so I feel like I’ve already made a difference with somebody. I think because of what I’ve been through, I can help other people in the same situation. I want to show kids and teenagers that there’s a different way, that there’s a way out. I want to give back.
“I don’t think God created me to die a junkie.”