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"Six years ago, Honorable Judge Sean Persin, joined in the mutual decision with other judges in Tippecanoe County to save my life from addiction by sentencing me to long term inpatient treatment. They were willing to make a decision for me that I was unable to make for myself. I had overdosed on heroin for the 9th time before people finally intervened to take control of my life for me. I wasn't at the wheel of my life, no one was, and I was hurting everyone who cared for me. I had burnt every bridge and was in and out of psyche wards for attempts at suicde. Through mental health assessments, I had been labled with mental disabilities that made me eligible for social security benefits. I was a total wreck and had one foot in the grave. I remember the day Judge Persin told me I was going to rehab, I screamed and I cried and I went hysterical in the courtroom. I was trying every tactic I could think of to be able to continue in the comfort of my chaos and he wasn't having any of it. After I sobered up in jail, I was afraid to get released because I knew that I would die. I was somehow able to get out without getting accepted into rehab and within two weeks I overdosed for the last time. It was a miracle that anyone found me.

I tried to stay sober at first but I didn't have the tools, mentally, physically, or spiritually to withstand my temptations and persevere to get out of the hole I put myself in. So, I had overdosed at my aunts house, where my warm welcome was short lived. My aunt was known for slapping the hand of anyone who ever touched the window unit, the air conditioner was never to be adjusted and it was noisy! However that night, she said that she just had a feeling she should turn it off, a feeling I believe was God. When she did, she heard a gargling sound in her bathroom and it was me taking my last breaths behind the door. Her son, being that he was slender enough, had to be the one to slip through the only crack that could be made in the door and move my body out of the way. It took 6 shots of narcan for the EMT's to register my pulse. That incident led me back in front of another judge, Judge Morrissey. I had violated probation and my judges came together to decide that I needed to go to treatment. I had 3 open court cases and my other was with Judge Zeman. They all agreed to sentence me to Through The Gate where I was ordered to complete the full 8 month life recovery program.

Since then, six years ago, I no longer struggle with mental illness or addiction and have not relapsed. I work at Through The Gate as the Director of Marketing and Communications and I also teach and counsel residents. If you would have told me then that one day I would be joyful and have continual peace in life, I would have never believed you. I was depressed and anxious my whole life, even struggling with self harm, and didn't think that could change. I am now married to a godly man and we have 4 kids. I get to have my son, who I lost custody of during that time in my life, every other weekend and that is more than I deserve! I wish that every judge would know that they can be the sound mind for those who are unsound. They are the only ones in that position, the only ones who are able to choose life for people who have lost all hope to live. I am one of the lucky ones, one of the blessed, who's judges judged me in need of serious help. I owe my life to them! My kids, my parents, my whole family has been restored in a ripple effect of that one decision and generational chains have been shattered. I can' thank them enough."

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