From the June 2015 magazine.

From 3,000 Miles Away

A man serving 30 to life learns a new way to live from someone he's never seen

From my first drink at 12 years old, I kept going until I got sick and passed out. This seemed perfectly normal to me, since this is pretty much how I saw my parents do it. In high school I began to mix other things with my alcohol, but I remained an alcoholic at heart. As much as I hated to admit it, I had become like my father. I began to commit felonies to support my addictions, and prison sentences followed. Finally, at 35 years old, I was sentenced to 30 years to life. As a “career criminal,” society had given up on me, and I had given up hope on myself.

I sobered up many times over the years, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not. I had many opportunities to change the course of my life, but I refused to look within myself and see that the problem was not simply the alcohol and drugs.

-- Tod C.

Chino, California

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