Ep 13. Miguel Leon: Fleeing Gangs, Homelessness, and Drug Addiction
By Nate Eckman
Miguel Leon has overcame homelessness and drug addiction. He’s escaped from gangs. He is born and bred from the streets. To many, his story can feel flat. Because we love the Hollywood arcs. We love a plot line that moves from struggle to a clean victory. But that victory isn’t so clear with Miguel. Within a year of this recording he recently relapsed. This doesn’t lessen his accomplishments in sobriety, or classify him as someone who “hasn’t changed.” Far from it. As I say in the beginning of this episode, why doesn’t Miguel just give up? Why doesn’t he just admit that he’s an addict and will always be an addict? That despite his best intentions he’ll never be anything but the gangster he was growing up? Because he won’t be. He isn’t any of these things. Miguel is changed. He’s not normal. He’s resilient. His victory started with separating from his gang in New Jersey, continued into choosing to battle drug addiction, and lives on today as he lives with an incredibly positive spirit despite his hardships - which included him living homeless and at times in prison. As I think about Miguel’s story I’m genuinely curious to know, what - to you - makes a person resilient? I think it’s about the fight in them, not the victories behind them.