Motivation to be and do better comes in all forms. You can gain it through daily affirmations written on Post-It Notes on the bathroom mirror, reading self-help books, or talking with friends and family. It can also come from a prison cell wrapped up to look like a rehab facility.
For Justin resident Cassie Samons, it was the latter. Before prison, Cassie went in and out of 10 treatment centers. The rehabilitation only working for a short time.
“I had been clean for years, but when I had a C-section, they pumped me with all kinds of narcotics, and the cravings just took back over,” Cassie said. “Tarrant County, where I lived at the time, had no mercy. They didn’t care if I had a husband and four kids, one being a new baby.”
On June 25, 2010, Cassie turned herself into the county. Three days later, she was transported to SAFP (pronounced safe p). A day, she says, she’ll never forget. For the next seven months, Cassie would spend every day determined to transform her life.
“It was called rehab, but it really wasn’t,” Cassie said. “The guards got in your face and yelled at you. It was the worst.”
SAFP is part of the state’s Substance Abuse Treatment Program run by the Rehabilitation Programs Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The program is supposed to provide different treatment options for individuals suffering from substance abuse addiction. And for some, it works.
Cassie left SAFP in February 2011 and was forced to spend two months in a halfway house in Dallas, again ripped away from her family. Missed birthdays, missed holidays — she knew she couldn’t relapse. While other women went back to their addictions, Cassie stood strong in her faith and her motivation to go home.
“I had the strength not to do it because I wanted to go home,” Cassie said. “I missed my family so much. Like anything else, how you make a positive out of a negative is up to you. It’s a choice. And, I chose to go home.”
Over the past 11 years, Cassie has turned several pages in her story. Following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps, real estate has become a lifeline. Gaining knowledge about the ever-changing market and confidently valuing properties, Cassie has made a big name for herself. As a REALTOR with JP & Associates, Cassie is passionately addicted to helping her clients find their forever homes.
She became so busy that two years ago, her husband Jason Samons joined her business.
“We literally tag-team everything,” Cassie said. “If I’m too busy, he steps in. If he’s too busy, I’ll take over. It works out good. Plus, he’s my best friend. I don’t see it any other way.”
Cassie said her addictive personality is now used for things that only positively affect her life: her family, working out, and working hard for her clients. She encourages others to keep self-care a priority and do the things that keep you grounded.
Eleven years ago, Cassie may have hit rock bottom. But today, she is flying high.
“Even though it was the worst thing that ever happened to me, on the other foot it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I got clean from it,” Cassie said. “I have huge faith now. I follow the signs, I listen to God, and I let Him run my daily life.”
Cassie, husband Jason, and their children Tanner, Maslin, Turner, and Macy live in Justin. They are currently building their dream home. They continue to encourage each other and those around them and want people who may be struggling or know someone who is struggling with an addiction to know that there’s still time to change your story.
photos courtesy of Cassie Samons