Each morning, I groggily wake up to the fact that I’m in prison, sometimes with an attitude, or in despair. I’m getting used to it–this is my life now. If I can’t yet handle it, I try to go back to sleep, but always fail. That transition from pleasant freedom of a dream to the drab gray reaity of the penitentiary is a bumpy ride at best, as anyone whose done even one night locked up can attest. After a couple years, even my dreams became suffused with sociopaths, schizos, and sharing bunks with murderers, as in my daytime existence.
I’ve still got big plans for life. The tedious doldrums of prison life is best remedied thru self-improvement. From all the books I read, they all seem to say the same things. First, exercise and meditation are the basic habits of becoming a better self. Maintaining a calm, quiet mind becomes a prerequisite to skillfully navigate the tumultuous chaos without.
Expressing myself creatively is the only decent therapy available to me in prison. I might be depressed, but I’m not crazy enough to qualify to regularly see a psych. It’s almost cliche to become a rapper, artist, or writer after getting locked up.
Now, I’m writing these little blog posts about my life incarcerated, in the legal system, and more, like I’m imposing order on the train wreck that is my life. I’ve been reading a lot of self-help since I’ve been down so a lot of it reads like “The How Not to Guide to Life.” Apparently, writing about your moments of greatest self-sabotage, weakness, and regret is how you transcend them.
All this self-reflection has got me wondering: why me? or, why wasn’t it me? I could just as easily not be here today. I overdosed on the same stuff but was administered naloxone. Was there some deeper reason, some mission I had yet to accomplish in life, ordained by some higher power?
I’m learning, from the silence, probably not. However, I’m making it up as I go, the meaning emerging from the patterns of my life.