recovery: Portrait of young man in ball cap, necklace looking out at the city.

My Sad, Bad Past No Longer Defines Me, Thanks to Recovery

When I took my first breath in this world, it was while being placed into the arms of a child herself. A drug-addicted and alcoholic mother at the age of just 16 and, needless to say, my mother was a very reckless, sad, incapable parent.

Woman’s hand touches hand of husband to prison with a cloud sky background. Tags: freedom, love, sacrifice

These Four Faces Free Me From My Prison Walls

I thought that I’d grown into a man knowing exactly what it meant to love someone from your heart. I thought that saying the words “I love you,” like the rest of the world, would be enough to exchange those core emotions with another human being that you’d become attracted to. But what do you think? What is it to love if there’s no deeper significance in just the three words I love you, alone? Does loving someone or something enough set you internally and physically free?

drugs: Conviction focused determined passionate confident powerful eyes stare intense male

After Falling in Love With Drugs, My Focus Is on My Daughters

Ten years ago I met my wife. We were high school sweethearts. We fell in love fast. Our love was like electricity. We were together every day. Things between us were great. She was the best friend I had always wanted. We stayed together all through high school, graduated together and moved into a home together.

Self-esteem: Flower struggles to break through cracked pavement.

Low Self-esteem, Feeling Alone Let the Gangs, Streets Shape Me

I am 38 years old. I have been incarcerated almost 15 years now. I have a sentence of LWOP (life without parole) plus 25 to life for a first-degree murder with drive-by enhancement. I was raised in the Bay Area on the Oakland side of the water. My family was big. Dad’s side was Mexican, mom’s side was white.