I got mixed up with the wrong crowd when I was in high school. I was absent a lot and ended up finishing school with no qualifications. So I started dealing drugs to make money. Two days before I turned 17 I was arrested and ended up spending 1.5 years in a young offender institution.
Just before I went to jail my partner had a son. When I got out of prison I wanted to make sure I provided for them. I’d always wanted to work with kids so I had this grand plan of going to university when I got out of jail and getting a job in social work.
But when I was released, even though I had enrolled in university, I never went. I started selling drugs again instead and justified putting off going to uni because I needed financial gratification now.
Six years later I was arrested again and returned to prison in March 2014.
I’ve got two years till I get out but I know things won’t be the same next time.
Because now, thanks to Spark Inside, I know what I really want out of life. And I know that my old life selling drugs will never give me what I want.
Doing the Hero’s Journey™ workshop helped me put my life in perspective and see exactly where I was at. It showed me that I kept falling back to what I knew rather than pushing through to what I really wanted. It also helped me see the blocks that were getting in the way.
And the one-to-one coaching helped me clarify what I wanted long-term — to help my family — and that doing that gave me a sense of self-worth. But trying to provide for them by selling drugs has only ended up hurting them, and me, because I’m not there, and that’s what they really want.
No punishment can stop you committing crime if you don’t want to stop. You need an understanding of what you can gain from not doing it.
I know that selling drugs ultimately hurts my family and me — and that gives me the incentive to kick the habit.
Just as importantly, the one-to-one coaching gave me a chance to talk about where I wanted to go in life and how I am going to get there without resorting to crime.
Up on the walls of my cell I’ve got tools and techniques I’ve learnt through Spark Inside and they keep me focused on the future I really want. This time around I know I am ready.