FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Jon Borel began writing poetry after he was arrested nine months ago for burglary and resisting arrest.
“Living in constant denial believing I had all the answers, enjoying the disasters of methamphetamine as it robbed my life like a cancer,” Borel read from his poem “Save Yourself.”
It was his 13-year meth addiction that landed him behind bars at the Franklin County Jail.
This arrest became a turning point for him, he said it was rock bottom at 44-years-old.
“These drugs will literally take your life. They may not kill you, but you’ll want to be dead,” Borel said.
For the last five months, he has been in the jail’s Fresh Start Program.
Poetry has been an outlet for Borel for 20 years, but it wasn’t until he spent time in jail that he started using the tool to overcome the denial of his drug addiction.
He then saw how his words could influence other people.
“Trying to be a positive influence and role model now on everyone that’s wanting and willing to make changes,” Borel said. “The hardest part for me was realizing I had a problem so I started expressing myself through my poetry and it’s a much easier way to bring it out.”
He says the 12 Step Program and a new faith have helped him.
“You have to be willing to change yourself, that’s the only way you can change yourself,” Borel said. “Now these programs can give you structure, and help you grow in your changes, but you still have to be willing to make that change. And rock bottom did it for me. I don’t have anything out there I don’t have anything to go to. I am 44 years old. I need to build my life from scratch. I almost wanted to believe it was too late.”
Meth has stolen everything from Borel, he’s accepted his decisions and now hopes his poetry will inspire change.
“Cause I know I’ll never beat it alone. It’s robbed me of everything of meaning and it’s left me without a home,” Borel read from his poem titled “Save Yourself.”
“I don’t have anything left. There’s nothing else you can do to me right now,” Borel said. “I don’t have a home, I don’t have a family, I don’t have my kids.”
His poem “Change” was published by a prison ministry called “Joy Through The Stamp Ministries.”
“It’s impossible to get everybody off the streets, but it’s not impossible for people to start making a change, and I feel like if one person stands up if one person out of 100 stands up and takes that step that’s already making a change,” Borel said.
Borel said he has made peace with being in jail and wants to continue getting stronger and mentoring others before he is released.
“I hope that by hearing this, by people hearing this poem it will click something in them to make them either want to write their own poetry on their addictions or give them more power in fighting their addictions.”
Borel has not been sentenced yet but is hoping to be enrolled in the rehab program.
Once he is released from jail he hopes to tell his life story and prevent others from making the same mistakes he did.