Today I’m in a place where even the most challenging moment in my life I have value from that and I learn from it. Every day is kind of a gift for me and everything that comes along with it. I take the good and the bad and I go along with it.

A lot of people that come out of jail, they don’t have any faith in themselves. So when someone else who doesn’t know them, who’s in a business of making money, is willing to give them a chance, that helps. It put me in a place where I got confident, and through that confidence I was able to excel and today, it’s like, the sky’s the limit.

Before I was in treatment for drugs, I was in jail for 9 and a half months and previous to that I worked in restaurants and hotels off and on through my 20s. But I never really had any solid employment for too long without causing trouble.

Sometimes I wonder how it happened. How did I get here?

It was fun at first. But the problem with addiction is that it kind of takes you to a place where eventually it’s going to become unmanageable, and eventually you are going to replace all of the quality things you have in life with just that one thing and that’s having and getting drugs. Along with that comes crime. It took a long time but eventually that’s all that my life was about.

About a year before I got arrested, my mom died from a complication with brain cancer. It was in that moment where I just gave up all hope. I was really close to my mom. For all the stuff I put her through and my family she always remained at my side. She was always as supportive as she could be. She didn’t really ever give up. So when she died I didn’t really care if I even lived at that point, I really didn’t.

This might sound crazy but her having passed away was necessary for me to hit my bottom and get to where I was actually complacent enough to get in trouble and open my eyes to look at the situation I was in. I didn’t want to fall into that cycle I’d seen so many others fall into. That was my driving force in the beginning. I didn’t want to lose my freedom. Then over the course of a six-month treatment I went from not wanting to be in trouble to wanting to change my life and live a different life.

I still use my survival skills I picked up as a drug addict, just in a more positive way because I live a more positive life. I want it all, I’m hungry. To continue to grow. Knowledge. Happiness. Getting old. That wasn’t necessarily in the cards for me. I mean, I was heavily addicted to drugs the last six years of my using, so to be clean today and stay clean, I’m very thankful.