Our featured author, Travis Sackett, tells his story through the book called My Life with Karma. As we talk about teen homelessness and addiction this month, Sackett’s story is about how he almost lost everything through an addiction to opioids. I feel the best way to see the impact of a disease or consequences of decisions made is by understanding someone else’s experiences.
Sackett overcame an abusive childhood and went on to study criminal justice in hopes of making a difference. While in training, he suffered some injuries in a motorcycle accident which led to an addiction to opioids. He wrote his book as a way to work through his journey to recovery, but also to bring attention to often-ignored populations that are forgotten or left without a voice.
I learned about his book through a writing group on Facebook. My Life with Karma, talks about Sackett’s journey through addiction and how others helped him to become sober.
His story starts with an abusive childhood which leads him to pursue a career in law enforcement. He wants to make a difference and help protect others from these same types of situations. While at the police academy, he learns that the structure of the force isn’t all about helping others as he thought. It was more about trying to control society through abuse and violence.
While on the force, he rescues a dog from a bad living situation. He names her Karma. She becomes valuable inspiration for him when life gets tough.
He sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident for which he was prescribed opioids to control the pain. After becoming addicted to them, he did anything he could, even illegal things, to obtain cash to get more. While on probation after one such event, he was badly beaten by a man who thought Sackett was trying to steal from him. That situation created the disabilities he lives with today as a CCAR-certified recovery coach.
Link to the author and book If you want to learn more about Travis Sackett and his story, here is a link to My Life with Karma
What does his books teach us about Teen Mental Health and addiction?
Travis Sackett dealt with many challenges that affected his mental health. Sackett’s story gives us a look into how his mental health was impacted by his childhood, his chosen career path, and what happened to him as a result of his addiction.
And the best way for us to see the impact of the consequences of decisions made is through someone else’s experiences. Even though everyone’s path can be a little bit different, we can learn from people who have gone before us. Travis Sacket puts his story out there to show how he became addicted and his journey to work through it. Just reading this book may keep a teen from choosing drugs and alcohol as a way to manage their anxiety.
What can we do?
Teens deal with anxiety over navigating issues they face with little life experience to guide them. Sometimes they get involved in drugs and alcohol due to peer pressure, but sometimes addictions start because it feels good and helps escape the anxiety they are feeling.
They don’t have all of the answers and the internet isn’t the best place to find them.
I feel many of these situations could be prevented if the teen felt comfortable reaching out to someone close to them. As parents and caring adults, let’s make ourselves available to help teens sort out how they are feeling. Talking to our teens about mental health provides them an alternative route for dealing with issues. Instead of seeing homelessness or addiction as the only answer.
So, make a plan this week to check in with your teen. Start creating that safe place for them to share what might be on their minds. Teen Mental Health Matters.