Gerald, 35

Meet Gerald

My childhood is hard to talk about after they split up. I wish the world was different and families never fell apart. My heart goes out to kids like me.

I was an emotional wreck and nearly drove my momma crazy. By high school, I was struggling with an addiction to cocaine. My momma is the example of love. The faster I spiraled out of control the harder she tried to save me.

When I was a kid, I would argue with her, throw fits and tell her I was running away, then walk out the door like I was really leaving. She would let me go, not because she didn’t care, but because she knew I wouldn’t make it past the end of our driveway.

My Momma was a perfect example, she didn’t smoke, drink and never partied. I was never abandoned or abused. She worked night and day to support me and my sister and give us the life she never had. She taught us right from wrong.

As I got older and truly started falling away, she chased after me in my addiction. She was not gonna lose me and refused to give up.

Just thinking about my mom and how she managed to remain faithful and stay strong through my struggle brings tears to my eyes.

Now, I’ve overcome addiction, the biggest obstacle in my life. I’m getting somewhere, glory to God.

Since I’ve been in the system I’ve taken classes. I’m taking one on horticulture where we are learning about how plants grow, basic plant pathology and pest management. We grow our own garden and operate and maintain small lawn mowers, tillers, weed eaters, blowers and trimmers.

Besides going to school, attending my garden, and belonging to the prison ministry, I love exercising. Since last year about this time when my sobriety really took off I’ve been working out twice a day. Believe it or not amidst all the chaos in here there’s still lots of love and positivity.

One day, I’ll get to go home and live the life I’ve always dreamed of. I’ll be free from the bondage of addiction and no longer a slave to sin, prove to myself and others that there has been a complete transformation in my life that only God could accomplish, and, hopefully, one day marry the woman of my dreams.

Although I have lost my way countless times in here, I continue to choose just that, and maybe these words here will help some to see that. I caused more pain than I’ll ever be proud to admit, and plenty of havoc too, but I’ve also spread love on end. I have done good deeds, and leave laughter in my wake.

My intentions are always to put a warm smile on another person’s face. Everyday, I’m trying to be a better person. Despite my past and the malicious wrong doings upon me, that is what I choose. I am worthy of love, capable of so much, just like you.

Yes, my demons haunt me every single day and night! But I overcome them and try to be a good person, which is the only way to be free. I’m just like you. That’s my truth and I thank you very much for listening.