Asking for Help

Asking for help is the biggest thing that I would encourage someone to do when facing a difficult situation. It’s not always easy, but man, trust me when I tell you that it’s a whole lot easier asking for it before a heap of trouble arises rather than after.

I started using drugs at the age of 12 (weed) and even if I tried to use the excuse that I never harmed anyone or anything while doing it, I’m old enough now to understand that it was still severely altering my life in negative ways. I lost track of my education, made excuses/lies to my family, stole things, and I just overall changed into a young man that started to fail more than succeed. I’ve always struggled to fit in with the crowd, so I started compromising myself to make friends and what I mean by that is I began to make poor choices with the expectation that others would like me more. I was wrong, but it took me a long time to understand that.

I came to prison with a 25 to life sentence at the age of 17. I’ve now been incarcerated for over 19 years. It’s lonely beyond belief, and the main thing I always stop and think about is the simple fact that crime, on any level, just isn’t worth it. Jail sucks. As hard as life may be on the streets it still comes with something absolutely beautiful each and every day, and that’s the ability to make choices. The ability to adapt and change your situation with hard work and dedication so that you can overcome obstacles.

You still have an entire life ahead of you to lay the groundwork to a better sense of happiness. You can do it; there are a million success stories out there. The key is to take things one day at a time, set realistic goals for yourself and have the dedication to see them through, and more than anything have the strength to reach out to others when you’re struggling and in need of help. I believe in you. Start today.

James

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