Coming from a small town, there wasn’t much to do, not much money to be made so I’ve been in and out of jail for the past seventeen, eighteen, nineteen years. I have mental illness, depression, anxiety, ADHD; I have all kinds of mood swings. For the past three years I have been involved with the Justice Project. They have helped me get situated with my new life. I’ve got myself an apartment and everything to go in it. I live in a clean spot, good neighborhood, good neighbors. Being out and free is a good motivation to stay clean.
The program has provided me with steady appointments with my Doctor for my ADHD, support to have and keep my own place. I’ve been out of jail almost two years, the longest time in my life. I wouldn’t be standing here telling my story if it wasn’t for them because I’d probably be back in jail. They help me keep sober. If I have triggers to use I can call somebody at the Justice Program and they will help me step by step.
I don’t be around negative people or users anymore. When I’m feeling down and out I call friends, family, and my daughter for their help and support and to calm me down in rough situations. The reason I am out as long as I am is because of my daughter. She is 7, I turned thirty in jail and I realized I had to turn my life around for her. I’m on the road to quitting cigarettes now, I do a lot of things differently like who I hang with, who I share my feelings with. I’m doing this because I’m motivated to stay out and be in my daughter’s life, have her grow up around me and be able to do stuff for her. I can’t be doing anything for her if I’m inside.
I think there are a lot of people that don’t know a lot about mental illness and how it affects people in their daily lives. There’s not a lot of information out there but there’s information for just about everything else. They don’t want people to judge or think any less of them. Go look for help because there is help out there. I encourage people to go and talk about it because the sooner you talk about it the sooner it evaporates from you. I advise everybody to seek help. There is help out there. The Justice Program is a great spot for getting help with your mental illness.