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Straight Talk The general Ex-Offender discussion forum. If you have done time, this forum is for you.

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Old 10-23-2019, 07:07 AM
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Firebrand Firebrand is offline
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Default When Knowing Is Not Enough

Yesterday was yet another revelation or confirmation about the sadness to do with addiction, recidivism and/or poverty in the lives of two people I know personally and the fact that one day at time, for those of us who’s incarcerations are directly linked to using…..YOU’RE EITHER MAKING GAINS EACH DAY TO STAY FREE AND SOBER OR IF NOT THAT THEN, YOU’RE KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE TRYING TO GET BACK IN WHETHER YOU’LL ADMIT OR NOT.

She’s tucked away in a TDCJ facility some 30 miles outside of Houston and for her it’s what the consequences yielded for not making good of SAFPT, probation and most of all staying away Ice. I met her some 3 years ago and as fate would have it, she’s my last love. I haven’t been with anyone since we were together the summer of 2016. She moved on with her life when she made the mistake of moving back home and while being home sick is hard for anyone to deal with after any type of stay behind bars, she’d have done well to start over elsewhere. She knew that temptation & availability were just that much more of an enticement when they present themselves in a familiar setting. Old playmates and playgrounds are killers in the war on relapse which proves to be the killer in the attempt to stay free. Still, she’s in her late 30s and so…..time is on her side, just now. She was given some type of an FI (made parole) in early summer which more than likely will involve yet another substance abuse program to be undergone, but the question is WILL IT WORK THIS TIME?

He and I were at a place for those who have nowhere to go upon release from prison that still have parole to contend with. Around X-Mas of last year he landed a good job and reunited with a former girlfriend. They tried it again, he moved in with her and just then, life looked pretty good, no doubt. Halfway houses of the state approved variety here in Texas are an evil entity unto themselves. They’re best/worst of both worlds (prison vs. free world) in that you’re not really as free as you thought would be when you got out, but all the stuff that’ll absolutely get you put back in prison or least jail…..it’s all right there in your face just daring you to partake of it. If you do, well…..you’re 4 star ding a ling and I outta know because I have and so I guess that makes me an 8 star ding a ling…..or something. But not in this season….not today.

He’s not back in prison because he’s not on parole, but he is homeless and he’s homeless because he lost his job and his girlfriend and the reason why he lost those precious things are because of Ice and Crack. Just now as the weather turns cooler where upon it will turn cold, he’d be better off back at the halfway house or jail when Old Man Winter comes calling and an empty stomach comes screaming.

The 3 of us….her, him and me……….we knew what fate had in store for us when we chose to taste of the forbidden fruit in our lives. She is young and if I’m not mistaken, this is really her 1st rodeo and so…..chalk it up to experience with the hope that once is enough. For him, he’s more like me. He’s been down more than once and at some point the focus has to change from the importance of how I feel to the importance of what I do…..doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. How I feel……it matters, but it can never matter enough to influence the good to be done for the sake of staying free and for me. I’ve been here many times before in this place where I stand in this season of life and that’s why knowing is not enough.
You look at all the people you’ve known in your life whether they be sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fiancés, siblings or friends and this correlation between the life behind bars and the life of addiction…..it all has to do with this one issue regarding the way one feels vs. what is one to do each day for things to be as right as they need to be. And it’s hard transformation to undergo. It’s a hard thing to put into practice (sobriety/recovery) and maintain one day at a time. It really is. It gets better, but it’s only as good as you allow it to be each day because in the end, you know what the real truth is. They don’t judge us because of what we feel, they judge us because of what we do. No one goes to prison or gets out of prison because the parole board makes a decision to do with feelings. They make decisions based upon the actions one took that landed them in prison and the actions one takes while in prison. You stay out because of what you do and you go back there because of what you do.
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