I was always getting into trouble as a kid. At primary school I would kick the dinner lady, squirt my milk at other kids and just get up to mischief. I was never settled.
My dad was in prison most of my early years and my mum, brother and I just moved from estate to estate and school to school.
I was first arrested when I was 13 for robbery and it was just the beginning. I was hanging around with an older crowd, getting into fights, and next I was arrested for violent assault. I was kicked out of school at 15.
By 18 I was selling drugs, smoking weed every day and making loads of money. I had a nice girl, I had lots of nice, flashy stuff, and I was part of a tight crew. I was even doing college and though I wasn’t really focused on it, I was passing and had plans to go on to university. Life was good and I felt untouchable.
Fighting was a part of everyday life. One day we beat some guys really bad and left them. Two weeks later the police came to my house to arrest me for it. I was sent to prison for 4.5 years but released early on a suspended sentence.
When I got out I couldn’t adapt. I wasn’t making money like before so when I started mixing with a couple of friends big in the game who were telling me to come and make some money, I did. I got back in and before you knew it I was back on top.
A few months later the police stopped the car I was in, found cannabis, and I went back to prison.
Back inside for the second time I felt really bad that I had let my mum down. She was so disappointed in me, she thought I’d changed. I felt fully demotivated about life and figured that since I was in jail again I would never be able to do anything with my life now. I was paranoid that I’d lost everything and there’s nothing worse than that.
I only went to the Hero’s Journey™ workshops to get out of my cell, but the guys who ran it were on the level and really seemed to care.
I felt heard and understood and it felt nice to open up, which I wouldn’t normally do.
When I had the one-to-one coaching we went through a lot of stuff. We talked about consequences, he reminded me of what choices you have and made me see the bigger picture. He gave me some tools to help when I get angry, which really got me through my remaining time in prison.
My coach helped me to believe in myself again. He helped me see that I’m a smart guy and I still have a lot of options open to me.
Since I got out things have been good. There have been obstacles, but I’ve got through them because I’ve got decent people around me and I’m very comfortable with myself. I’ve got a great full-time job and I’ve already been promoted.
I’d tell anyone to work with Spark Inside. When you’re in prison you’re at the bottom and Spark Inside can give you self-belief and help you see how you can be happy with your life again, and you can’t ask for more than that.