Carl’s Recovery Story: True Compassion

By Carl, a Certified Peer Specialist, SCI Greene, Pennsylvania*

True compassion not only tries to understand the pain of others, but also provides practical assistance…

Well, in 1993, my Developmental Articulation Disorder kicked in and I didn’t have any type of social communication skills. At 16, I still was not developed (mentally). That none development led me to a poor judgment call. Someone who I probably could have saved was killed from my poor judgment of how important human life was (is).  

I was convicted to a life sentence. So now my outlook on life and within me changed. The big change came when I learned what recovery was in 2011 when I took a CPS training (Certified Peer Support). I learned that recovery is “Remembering who you are and using your strengths to become all that you were meant to be.” I had a choice all along. I didn’t have to live out what my diagnosis was. I was the expert of me, and I had the power to control me. I want to let you all know, that you can push through any barrier that you believe is holding you hostage. We are slaves to whatever we let control· us!!!!! I peer men every day and in our groups, I can see how strong they’ve become-why? Because they believe and I have given them the proof (The Evidence) that if I can make it, so can they and so can you. Choose not to let your heredity stop your destiny and choose not to let anyone limit your life…

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This story was submitted to ITE/MH through Supporting Incarcerated Veterans Training, a collaboration among the PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association, and Drexel University.

 

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