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…


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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