Hello, my name is Harvey Pollard. This is the story of what my life was like prior to Mariners Inn, what I’ve done since I’ve been a client at Mariners, and what Mariners has helped me with during my stay. Become I came into Mariners Inn my life was completely unmanageable. My family couldn’t control me and my friends weren’t really friends unless our friendship involved doing something doing something negative and unnecessary. I started smoking marijuana, taking prescription medications, and drinking alcohol as a minor. I loved the feeling of being high all the time; it helped me to escape my pain from anger, depression, grief, loss, loneliness, and being bounced around the court system as a youth during my time as a ward of the state.
I had a mother and a father I was conscious of. I knew them well as a matter of fact but for some reason I couldn’t seem to stay in either of their grips. It’s like they just let me slip away into the system, as if I wasn’t their son at all. Like changing their lives for the better to get me back was too much of a task or I was just too much of a burden on them. So, time progressed and me and my sister (who have the same mother and father) were adopted by my older sister (same father) and her side of the family. At that point in time I was 9 years old.
Soon after, I became accustomed to a whole new family of my own, yet still visited and stayed in contact with my mother’s side. Life continued like nothing ever happened and I got almost everything I wanted from my new found “Mom” as long as I did good in school, respected my elders, and didn’t do the things I used to see my mother and father doing. As I got older though, I started to fall into the street life and I wanted to be a part of something I only knew the basics of. I knew I could make money in this way of life, I knew I could get high in this way of life, I knew I could buy guns in this way of life, but one thing I didn’t know about this way of life was how destructive it was.
Once I set my mind in my mind this is the life I wanted to live, my whole life did a 180 degree turn. I went from an academically progressive young man to a troublesome, stealing, drug using, violent, no more, no positive drive having grown dummy in a downward spiral. Throughout the years of being in the streets I lost two brothers, a number of so-called friends, numerous family members, my self-respect, pride, reams, love, and my future. The whole time I thought I was gaining something, when in reality, I was losing everything including my mind.
In August of 2010 I caught my first felony with multiple charges facing 10 years in prison. I got lucky and only go probation because the judge showed mercy on me since it was my first time and I came into the courtroom humble and honest. From there I thought, wow being humble and honest to people really does take you a long way. One thing I didn’t know was that it didn’t pertain to the street life. In the following year, I started dealing heroin. I was probably the most humble and honest dope man any addict could buy drugs from. I got comfortable with my surroundings and my new way of dealing with people; knowing in the back of my mind I had to rough, rugged, and raw to make it out in the streets but I continued to be humble and it soon caught up with me.
In June of 2011, I went to hang with some friends after an all-nighter of selling drugs on the block. I got in the car of a very close friend and proceeded to drink, smoke, and get high. Unfortunately, I was unaware of what was about to happen. My friend put the car in drive and we pulled off from the spot we sat. We got two blocks away from his house and the whole car got shot up. At first, I was just trying to figure out of the shots were coming at us or if they were just shooting in the area. That’s until I got hit with a shot from an AK47 round that went in my back arm and came out of my chest. They continued to shoot the car and I ended up being shot 8 times with 3 different guns. After that, I knew it was time for a change in my life. A lot of people want to die, for reasons unknown to me, but personally I don’t want to die at all!
That’s when I decided to check myself into Mariners Inn. I used to be self-conscious about knowing I would have to tell someone I’m in a drug rehab but honestly, now-a-days, I would tell someone I’m a productive member of society due to the services, love, and friendships that were so freely given to me in the Mariners Inn Program. Mariners Inn has helped me to get my life back to the way it should have originally been. They have helped me become a better man to my family, a better many to myself; they helped me build my character, strengths, my support system, and my over-all everything back up. They have assisted me with taking care of some personal business and with cosmetic things such as my teeth. They have helped me with my medical issues and accommodated me with a comfortable stay. Mariners Inn has helped me more than words can explain and that’s real!
Mariners Inn is a great facility and I would recommend it to anyone who has a drug problem or someone who has nowhere to go; but those someone’s have to be willing to work towards a better lifestyle. They have to be ready to dedicate themselves to recovery and staying clean. They have to really want what this program has to offer. And, most importantly, they have to want to change. Change is key. If you don’t want to change then the miracle is never going to happen.