My life before I came to West Ridge was drug abuse, smoking weed almost every day, disobeying my parents, not coming home at night, not going to school, being disrespectful, not trust worthy, it wasn’t a good life style. I knew my life was out of control but didn’t really care if I got help at the time. I turned down previous help that I was offered and then I got locked up and that’s when I decided that it was time for a change. I basically had no relationship with my parents, I disrespected and contradicted them, and didn’t listen to anything they had to say.
When I first arrived at West Ridge I manipulated and didn’t really care about myself. After being here a few months I decided that I needed to graduate from high school, and change the way I was doing things. I had to learn how to open up and trust people. I had a tendency to keep everything to myself. I learned tools to mend my relationship with my family. I’m surprised I’ve actually made it this far, but I’m glad. I was so thankful to have the sports program here, it kept me focused on my grades and was a great outlet for me. I had a choice to do well or not to do well. Because of being involved in the sports program I chose to do well so I could participate. I also built great relationships with some of the staff and knew that they cared about me and my success.
After I left West Ridge I went to a transitional program for about eight months. I joined the army and I think West Ridge helped prepare me for this, since I learned to respect myself and others while there. My parents know that I’m in a good spot in my life. They still worry about me but it’s a different kind of worry now.
If I hadn’t come here I would be in jail or most likely be dead the way my life was headed. Advice I’d give to anyone coming into the program would be to give it a chance, look on the bright side and open up and be honest so that you can change. If you want to change you can.