“I come from a place called the Mid-Ohio valley. If you’ve heard of us, you may have heard this place is known for being the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in America. From a young age, drugs and alcohol affected me greatly. I’ll get to that shortly. But first, I’ll tell you a bit more about my childhood.
When I was growing up, my life was great. I came from an amazing family. They really went above and beyond to show me I was loved and cared for. I got to travel and experience so much more than a lot of people my age ever could. However, I’ve always felt like I was different. I hated how I looked. My teeth were crooked, I was overweight, I had this crazy slicked back hair cut and I just felt different. So I gravitated toward people just like me or what I thought were just like me.
As I got a little older, right around the age of 12, I was introduced to alcohol by one of my best friends. I instantly fell in love. Not really with alcohol, but with the feeling it gave me. Shortly after, I tried marijuana for the first time. Now that was what I was looking for. I no longer felt different. I felt like I could connect with other people via the use of drugs. But from the very beginning, drugs caused problems for me. I started to act out in a very aggressive way. They affected my mood greatly when I didn’t have them. Contrary to popular belief, smoking pot can affect your mood and behavior. Especially if there are already underlying mental health issues.
With my mood and behavior changes also came legal issues. I was incarcerated for the first time at the age of twelve. As embarrassing as it is for me now, I was very angry and aggressive, specifically towards my family. I was violent; I would attack my dad, punch holes in walls. And it doesn’t stop there. I was also violent and aggressive towards children my age. This caused me many problems over my adolescent years. I spent over one and a half years incarcerated before I ever even turned 18. Which where I’m from isn’t normal at all. Now my feelings of being different were elevated greatly because I had yet another thing to set me apart.