I had a history of getting into trouble. Soon after I started smoking marijuana, I began to sell it. I was arrested 5 times, the last being in 2005. When I was up for parole, I initially wanted to enter the Correctional Options Program (COP), which is targeted for non-violent offenders. But once I heard about the Turn About Program (TAP), I knew it would be a better fit. I wanted to enter a program that was going to help me stay clean and stop disappointing my kids. The TAP program helped me change my life.
I never had to live with stipulations and rules until I was in TAP. In prison you do not have a say in when you eat, sleep, etc. But in TAP, although you are expected to follow specific rules, you are not forced to do anything. For the first 30 days of drug treatment I was monitored and even though I could quit at anytime, I knew I needed the structure, because without it there was only trouble.
TAP was the first organization to accept me and place me in a drug program. TAP made me realize that marijuana was a drug that I had to put aside. I had never even read pamphlets or been involved in any 12-step programs; but after learning the information, I realized that I had a problem. I stayed on schedule and started in a new place. I didn’t go back to where I had lived and I never regressed into my old mentality. The TAP program helped me obtain housing, a car, and my kids. My family is back together and I am working my hardest to keep it that way.
I would say my main accomplishments are having a comfortable place to live, gathering my family together again and furthering my career in a hair salon with my daughter. I just moved to other side of town where I don’t know anybody in order to stay out of trouble. I used to think that I needed a lot of people around me to have fun but that is not true, the TAP program made me realize that I don’t need those same old people around me. If it wasn’t for the TAP program I know I wouldn’t be here. I can talk about my problems today, instead of holding everything in and getting high and saying f*%@ everything, I think things through.
In my future I see myself opening another hair salon or a restaurant. I’m currently working on being an entrepreneur and staying grounded.