Education Director Denise Achee: Hi! Thank you so much for wanting to share your experience with us.
Johannys M: You’re welcome.
DA: How many days have you been here?
JM: 88 days.
DA: Oh that’s great so you were able to like do the whole program. Do you think that that was beneficial, staying for the full time?
JM: Extremely! My life…like I’m actually happy right now. Like I’m so happy! And like my whole family, like now… well they’ve always loved me but like now like I feel like I know that they do and I know that I have them to count on.
DA: And what brought you…did you come in here willingly or did you have an intervention?
JM: It was an intervention. I didn’t know I was coming here actually.
DA: How did that happen?
JM: My mom. Well I was in Arizona because I was traveling with my mom and my dad. My mom told me that we were going to go to Fort Myers to like…for her to get a job. So we came here and she said that she had to get something for her job and then Michelle came and knocked on my window and was like, “Oh come with me.” [laughs] So…
DA: [laughs] That was a little scary. How did that feel? Were you really upset or…?
JM: When I found out what it is?
JM: [laughs] I still didn’t believe it! I was like, I have to stay here? Like I have to sleep and like live here? For how long? Like I was just so angry at the time and like shocked more than anything.
DA: And what would you like to share like what happened or why your parents thought it was necessary for you to come to rehab or treatment?
JM: Well yeah. My usage of drugs became extremely unmanageable and like I told my mom to her face that I was not going to stop doing drugs no matter what. But I was wrong.
DA: And what was your drug of choice?
JM: Weed and molly mainly.
DA: Okay and how do you feel today compared… like how is your thought process and physical being since you’ve been off drugs?
JM: I have feelings. [laughs] Like I feel things. I feel pain, I feel happiness, like all this stuff that I didn’t before, you know? Now like I think clearly, like I have no worries at all like…
DA: You’re not waking up with that feeling like you did something wrong the day before.
JM: I don’t feel bad at all when I wake up.
D: You’re clear and you’re happy.
JM: Yeah and I’m healthy!
DA: When you came in here had you gotten behind in school or was it on track?
JM: No! I was like failing. I was like doing really bad because like I got kicked out of my high school so it was kind of hard during school and then I did virtual schooling until I went to Nevada. I was there for only four weeks so I only did four weeks of school. In Arizona, my mom didn’t want me to do school because she knew I was just going to get drugs and I was doing really bad in school.
DA: And how is education going for you now? What happened?
JM: I have like one point away from getting an ‘A’ in geometry.
DA: [claps] Yayy! In geometry online?
JM: Yeah! That’s my worst subject.
DA: Did you get any tutoring when you were here or did you do it on your own?
JM: Some stuff I didn’t really understand but…
DA: So you got the help?
DA: That you needed. Doesn’t that feel wonderful?
JM: It feels amazing! Like when Jessica came in here and told me about it I was like, “Ah!”
DA: Isn’t that great? So you feel empowered again right?
DA: You’ve got your life back. How is your relationship with your family now?
JM: It’s amazing. Like my mom is my best friend, but like my mother, you know? And she’s just amazing and like before my brothers didn’t want anything to do with me because like my brother has a baby and he’s my nephew so you know how he’s trying to be a dad and so like he doesn’t want anything bad around his child. But I like…that like really opened my eyes when he told me like that I couldn’t be around him if I didn’t stop but of course I kept using. But like now, I get to see my nephew everyday like I know I can talk to my brother about like anything so I don’t have to like hold anything in. So I’m just like so happy.
DA: That’s great. And your relationship with your brother has gotten a lot better and what is your plan when you go home? Are you going to…what are you changing?
JM: I’m changing everything. I’m changing my people, places, and things. Like I’m moving to an apartment with my mom and it’s just me and her and of course like I’m still going to see my brother that like lives like right down the street. So only like a few minutes and I’m not going to be hanging out or talking to any of the other people that I hung out with and used with because they’re bad influences on me. And I’m not going to do drugs; I’m not going to be around drugs.
DA: And are you going to continue in online school, is that your intention when you go back?
JM: Yeah if I go to high school it’s a really big trigger for me…so yeah.
DA: You prefer to work from home, on virtual [school]?
DA: And you’ve done very well on virtual [school] so that’s worked for you. You’re happy that there’s online school, right?
DA: Well we want to congratulate you. We’re very, very proud of you! [clapping]
JM: Thank you!
DA: You’ve done fabulous and it’s so wonderful to see your face right now. Just seeing your shiny face! I remember the day you came in here and you were in tears and miserable and unhappy and the world was going to end and you were a victim. But you’re not a victim anymore right?
DA: Well I ask you that when you do graduate I always ask everybody to please send us a picture of you with your diploma.
JM: I definitely will.
DA: And remember we’re here for you and we’d love to hear from you and see how you’re doing when you leave.
DA: Alright, thank you so much and good luck!
JM: You’re welcome.