This is a continuation of letter excerpts written by “Lori”, serving her third year in prison for making meth in a home that was destroyed. She shares her mental and emotional processes.
“Being here is like being stuck in a revolving door. Nobody is here long enough to get to know.
“I have another new co-worker. She is a – well, every time I say something good about my co-workers they leave or we argue, so I’m not gonna say anything about her.
“Nothing much has changed since last Thanksgiving. But that’s all right.
“I put a nail and hammer through drywall yesterday. The teacher was very sarcastic. I finally broke down and cried. I never cried in front of a big group like that until yesterday. Emotions that have built up for awhile came out.
“Some days I can’t stand it here. Other days I’m glad I’m here. I confuse myself.
“I’m 23. That’s so close to 25. I can’t wait to get out of class. One woman really gets under my skin. I know I’ll run into people like her on the outside – people who think they are better than you. Why do I let her bother me? Am I questioning myself crazy?
“I have learned history can predict our future. I hope to learn more of my family’s history.
“R-DAP stands for Residential Drug Awareness Program. It’s worth up to a year off my total sentence. There’s only one thing in question – I have a three-point enhancement for substantial harm to human life because when the house blew up there were people in it – no one was hurt. But I might not get accepted to the program.
“I am chairing two Narcotics Anonymous meetings. As of the 25th I will be smoke free for three months.
“The more meth I did, the less I ate and the more weight I lost. If I thought I looked good, the better I felt about myself. Meth kept me up and going although nothing got done. I felt like I couldn’t function without it and I wouldn’t do anything without it. I became mean when I came down off of it. I hated being on it, but didn’t want to be without it. I wanted help but I was too embarrassed to ask. I was literally killing myself.
“One day I dropped my son off at my parents’. Needless to say, he’s still there 4½ years later. I promise to tell teens about consequences. That they will lose everyone who ever loved them, how they will be used and straight-up robbed from, and that they will also be the robber.”
Lori is experiencing loneliness and boredom. Drug recovery is exhibited by her unusual and unexpected emotional outbursts. She is working the program and learning about her reasons for using. She also is taking tentative steps toward finding a better way to deal with life’s demands.
Like other converts, Lori wants to help others avoid drugs.
Ronda Bishop is a licensed mental health counselor and experienced parenting educator. She has worked as a counselor, teacher, and life coach for the past 15 years. Questions for Ronda can be e-mailed to email@example.com