Roger H Crouell, Jr
Peer Support Specialist
My name is Roger Crouell, I am from a small town called Trenton, NC.
My journey started when I was about 13 teen years of age, when I couldn't find myself as a person. Growing up in a house of 8 people and parents earned below the poverty line, we had to make do with what we had. Being the oldest male out of my siblings, I was looked upon to take on a more responsibilities than my younger brothers.
I was introduced to alcohol and illegal substances as a teen to fit in with my older cousins and guys in the neighborhood because I just wanted to belong and be accepted by them. As the years went on my urge to try new things grew, not knowing that I had and addicted personality that led to harder things other than alcohol and marijuana.
I was always into sports and got good at basketball and baseball, which my family and the people in the community thought I had a real shot of going off to college and then to pros. I didn't take it serious because I did not put in the real work to do so because my focus was on sleeping with women and partying most of the time.
As time went on my drinking picked up and I became anger on how my life was turning out and finger pointing not taking on any accountability in how my life was playing out. I couldn't see what I was doing to my life and the people that cared for me, so I cope with it by using and drinking.
Crack cocaine was introduced to our town back in 1987-88 and that was a game changer to most people in my neighborhood, it was new and exciting. Back then I didn't fall victim to it until later, but I was on the street corner selling it. The fast money was a rush itself and the control you had over people with it, I seen good girls go to bad and guys I looked up to go down. I had my fun with it at least with the women and one of them ask me to try it while she performed a sexual act on me and that was when things changed for me as well.
In 1993, is when everything came to a end for me as far as "Freedom" it was 2 days after the New Year and some guys showed up on my door step saying that I owed them money for some drugs that I was selling for them. I felt like I didn't owe them anything and treats were made and weapons drawn, before I knew it guns went off. Two people got hit by my doing, one died on the scene and the other one was in serious condition, the other two fled the scene. I was arrested charged with first degree murder and attempted murder!!
I stayed in the county jail for 9 months where I later took a plea deal for 15 years, because a jury trial if found guilty would have been "Life and 50 years". I spent 5 years and 9 months in prison!!
After my release in June of 1998. I couldn't get myself back on track because I found myself hanging with the wrong set of people again, it wasn't immediately but it came. I found employment and was doing well but I started back drinking which then led to other things. I acquired 3 DWI's 98, 01, and 04, went back to jail for assault charges, and just feeling like a failure again after all the things that happen to me prior in life.
Something in life happen to me one day that made me think there is something better than just partying, sleeping with multiply women, and just living life on a fly by day attitude. Someone finally got me to open up and express myself without judgement or disappointment. He seen me for who I was and what I could be, I never forgot the words he spoke to me that day "When you get out the way of yourself and let God use you, see what happens in your life" that hit me like a ton of bricks!!
Today, I can say I am happily married with a son, went back to college to got my degree in Human Services Technology (Mental health and Substances Abuse) , Certified Peer Support Specialist, and the Owner of Crouell Intentions Detailing LLC. SOBRIETY, SELF-LOVE, SELF-CARE, SELF-DEVELOPMENT!!!