Forward by Christopher
In September I posted “Freedom Is A State Of Mind” about how I handle my time and incarceration. Doing time can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Incarceration is how we choose to see it, and the same is true for how we choose to view life.
My co blogger and best friend in life Felicia, has endured a harder life than most ever will. She has overcome so much. Despite everything she has discovered the same truth I wrote about in “Freedom Is A State Of Mind”.
We believe that our experience can be shared by others in the positive ways we’ve discovered, that my previous letter } “Freedom Is A State Of Mind” and now hers “Freedom Is A State Of Mind (Pt.2)” may help someone who feels trapped in an unhappy existence. Felicia and I live in the most difficult environments one ever could, but we choose freedom over incarceration.
Freedom Is A State of Mind (Pt.2)
Freedom! What does freedom mean to you?
A person incarcerated -are they in prison or free? As a 33 year old woman doing a long sentence, my answer isn’t so simple. Some here might say “Oh, I’m, not incarerated, I’m free as a bird.” But my question to them would be “Are you really free?” Are you really free from the things that imprison you?
Having survived many terrible situations outside these gates, I’ve discovered that prison isn’t just about a building with barbed wire fences, correctional officers and a warden.
Prison can be a drug addiction, an inescapable abusive relationship, a dead end job, depression and the list goes on. There’s many levels to what prison means to me. There are days when I am more free while locked up than I ever was in the place I called home.
Sure, I was ‘free’ to run wild, work, go to the store, etc. But I was battling a drug addiction where most days something as simple as getting out of bed was damn near impossible. Arguing with my THEN husband on where the next high was comnig from or to what limit I’d go in order to make that dollar today.
Stealing, keeping a job long enough to make a paycheck and then quitting, ripping off an employer, selling things in your home and then turning around and lying to your children about where it went, or the worst of the worst, having to lie to your children about why there’s no food or very little food in the refrigertor because mommy’s high was more important than that hunger pain in their little bodies. Feeling the pain of those lies, facing the guilt and shame, knowing that what you should be doing and what you are doing is wrong. Refusing to face reality. Feeding your addiction and numbing your mind was easier.
I believed I had never been incarcerated prior to January 24th 2018. But now that I’m here creeping up on my 4-year mark, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been imprisoned multiple times for long sentences. Coming to Ohio Reformatory for Women has saved my life. It has opened my eyes and freed me from my own prison.
I am now 1,258 days sober and counting. I recently became a high school graduate. I’m now pursuing higher education. Both something I wasn’t free to do while in the ‘comfort’ of my own home.
Some of the freest people I’ve met have been locked up behind these gates. Why? Because they found the key to unlock their mental handcuffs.
I am happy, capable of loving something and someone other than drugs and chasing something more important than a high to numb the pain, walking a path of positivity.
Freedom is just that…a state of mind no matter what your ‘prison’ may be. There’s always a path to freedom, look closely. It’s in the eye of the beholder.
Felicia (ORW) (OH)
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