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Home » Dr. B.J. Davis on Freedom from Self-Doubt at TEDxSacramentoSalon (Transcript)

Dr. B.J. Davis on Freedom from Self-Doubt at TEDxSacramentoSalon (Transcript)

Dr. B.J. Davis

This is the full transcript of clinical director of Strategies for Change, Dr. B.J. Davis’ TEDx Talk: Freedom from Self-Doubt at TEDxSacramentoSalon conference.

Dr. B.J. Davis – Clinical director of Strategies for Change

I work as a co-director at a substance abuse and co-occurring mental illness treatment agency. And not a day goes by that I take that for granted.

In 1999, I paroled from prison for the second time. For the second time. Apparently once wasn’t enough for me. Yeah, it’s pretty scary. That’s me.

All told, I spent over eight years in prison on probation or on parole for numerous felony drug charges. For 10 years, I woke up smoking crack every morning and went to bed smoking crack every night. I spent most of my time trying to escape the helpless, hopeless reality of my life by getting high.

On the worst day, I remember selling an $8,000 car that my mom had given me, that I’d left to my crack dealer for [44] $20 rocks. That memory is so painful that actually this is the first time I’ve ever shared it publicly. I came as close to giving up on life as one can without jumping off.

But something extraordinary happened to me the second time I went to prison. About two months into my sentence, I got a letter from my ex-wife telling me that my mother, the person I professed to love and care about more than anyone in the world had had a heart attack and was likely going to die. This wasn’t my biological mother who had abandoned me shortly after I was born. But the real mother who had raised me as her own for all of my life.

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