Lawrence was 12 years old when he first experimented with marijuana, and by 16 he had moved onto stronger drugs like meth and heroin. He received his first felony and was sentenced to six years of incarceration. While incarcerated, Lawrence claims he found solace in befriending gang members and even inherited the nickname “Big Country.” Upon release, his liking for the criminal lifestyle grew beyond just the use of drugs, and he began manufacturing and selling meth. He ignored his family when they tried to get him to change his ways, and he admits that he thrived on feeling respected and feared by his friends.
A Clear Mind
Lawrence was arrested again, and this time he was sentenced to 20 years. His family had given up on him and he felt alone. Once he was back in prison he felt at ease being around his fellow gang members still inside. Toward the end of his sentence, Lawrence was transferred to a residential reentry facility and things started to change for him. He was away from the crowd he knew and was finally able to clear his mind. He knew it would be a long road ahead, but was ready to put in the effort and make a change. He took advantage of the reentry programming and learned a lot about himself. He realized he’d become his own worst enemy, and that if he wanted to change his life he had to be sober.
Lawrence has been living back in the community for seven years now, happily married, and enjoying life.
“I am finally living life the way it was meant to be lived, and for the first time in my life, I am happy. I hope my story gives you hope when you need a ‘lift me up’ and feel there is no one to turn to. I am proof – If I can change, you can too!”
– Lawrence H.