From Survivor to Thriver

Mental Health Healing, Recovering From Addiction and Finding a Purpose After Prison with Keri Blakinger

January 17, 2023 Erik DaRosa & Marc Fernandes Episode 95
From Survivor to Thriver
Mental Health Healing, Recovering From Addiction and Finding a Purpose After Prison with Keri Blakinger
Show Notes

In this episode of From Survivor to Thriver,  we sat down with Keri Blakinger who struggled with mental health issues, chronic suicidal ideation, and drug addiction for years before it landed her in prison for two years. 

Keri shares her story of how she emerged from the depths of depression and addiction and found healing with journalism and community. 

Keri Blakinger is a Texas-based journalist and the author of Corrections in Ink, a memoir which details her path from aspiring professional figure skater, to her two years spent in prison after she was arrested in 2010 during her final semester of her senior year at Cornell University with six ounces of heroin, to prison and, finally, to life as an investigative reporter covering mass incarceration. 

Today she is a staff writer at The Marshall Project, whose work focuses on prisons and where she is the organization's first formerly incarcerated reporter. She previously covered criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, VICE, the New York Daily News, and The New York Times.  

In today’s episode we cover: 

  • Surrounding yourself with people who understand your experience
  • Keri’s mental health struggles and why she turned to heroin
  • Drugs as an escape mechanism 
  • Chronic suicidal ideation
  • What happened after Keri attempted to take her own life
  • Why prison isn’t a way to enforce sobriety 
  • How journalism helped Keri find a community
  • Self-care

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Keri. Make sure to visit her website and follow her on Instagram. You can check out her book, Corrections in Ink: A Memoir here. 

Thanks again for tuning in. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Please remember to leave a rating and review of our show. It helps us grow and reach those who need it. Also, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 


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“There’s nothing I can say that is going to make depression easier to live through, but people do live through it.” -Keri
“Sometimes when you’re learning something new and there’s a compound failure where you’re beating your head against the wall, that leaves a mark.” -Marc
“Mental health issues don’t just suddenly go away.” -Erik