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The Adversity Advantage

Aug 23, 2021

One of my favorite conversations to have on the show are those that amplify incredible stories of recovery and hope. Jen Cutting has one of the wildest and most inspirational stories I have ever come across. Today Jen has been sober for nearly 4 years, is a recovery warrior, and works closely with the prison system to help other women.


This would have seemed nearly impossible not long ago as Jen has been incarcerated multiple times for drug-fueled felony charges. In fact, she even had and raised her daughter while she was in prison.


Today she will walk you through her shocking and moving journey that is filled with many highs and many lows. 


Jen grew up in Staten Island and like many, was raised in a very financially stable home with two parents. But, she found herself being smothered by their protection and control and began to question her self worth.


Shortly after high school she met a man that was nearly 10 years older than her and that relationship gave her a taste of what manipulation, addiction and artificial love felt like.


After breaking it off with him, she used his credit card to buy a plane ticket and move to Florida where she quickly got a job as an exotic dancer at a local strip club. On her 21st birthday she was introduced to cocaine, and that’s where things took a turn for the worst, as it quickly turned into a lifestyle. It got so bad, that she moved back to Staten Island before her 22nd birthday.


While she thought it could be a catalyst to help her get her life back together it actually had the opposite effect. She met another man, began to strip at another local club and was prescribed Vicodin after an injury. Jen was prescribed Vicodin for months and months after her initial script and found herself in the depths of opiate addiction. After her doctor left, she was forced to get her fix illegally. So, she found men at the club who could get her pills and eventually this lead to her trying and shooting heroin.


The debauchery continued and her and her then boyfriend were caught stealing to support their heroin habit. She was arrested on a grand larceny charge and sentenced to time in prison. She does her time, gets out and begins right back where she left off. She catches yet another grand larceny charge and ends up in a diversion program where she was able to kick the opiate addiction for good. Shortly after her release, she fell in love with another convicted felon and became pregnant.


After violating her parole, she found herself back in prison again but this time facing a much more challenging stint as she was pregnant and her due date was during her incarceration. Not only does she successfully have her daughter, but she was also able to properly raise her with the help of other inmates and the prison’s nursery program.


You would think that after all of this, Jen would finally throw in the towel. Well, she didn’t. She was arrested for selling meth and found herself incarcerated once again. To make things even worse, she lost custody of her daughter. 


Today, she has full custody, has been sober for nearly 4 years, and is giving back by helping others in recovery and in the prison system. She is here to tell you the story of how this all happened and more. 


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