Last night my eyes were opened. I requested to tag along with a couple guys from my home group to a prison facility named West Central Community Correctional Facility. It caters to men and woman. It is located in Marysville, Ohio, right of state highway 4. I have driven past that place at least a thousand times, on our way up to where my grandparents’ farm is. Every time we drive there and back I look at that place and wonder what it is like in there? Is there violence going on in there? And how the people are doing? So I had the privilege of taking the A.A. message to a prison facility and it was so worth it.
It was nothing like I expected. I had an image in my mind of a dark and cold room. Maybe an old prison library, like the one I was in. A small room that was very small and stuffy; with the smell of decaying books in the air. The people that I imagined to be incarcerated would all be black men. I am in no means a racist, so please don't get the wrong idea. You have to know that black Americans out number any other ethnic race behind bars. A meeting being observed correction officers, as they hovered in the background with their batons at the ready. Making it difficult for us AA’ers to concentrate on what was being said in the present. Just like they were when I was incarcerated. I am so happy to say it was nothing, NOTHING like that. It was in a large room, well lit and had nice plastic chairs that were comfortable. And to my surprise there were woman, as well as men. Some were my age, some were younger. There was only one black man, and he looked familiar. Many of the faces in that place looked familiar. I kept noticing the girls checking me out during the meeting. I don't think they had seen a man that had his shit together in a while. Or they were just feeling the prison blues. It was hard for me to see woman on visitation day, without staring too much. You don't get any physical contact while locked up so you get really horny.
They were all so very nice and respectful. They weren't wearing orange or blue jumpsuits either. They all had on a uniform, consisting of blue jeans and a blue button down shirt. The woman all had on gray sweaters. Probably to hide their features so the men wouldn't get too aroused. Name tags with their last names were attached to their collars. It was very structured. The prisoners responded in unison most of the time and all sat up erect in their chairs.
It really helped me to go last night. Not too long ago the circumstances were different. I was the one wearing the orange jumpsuit, looking at the guy who brought the meeting to me. Wishing and praying that someday I would be like that. I wanted to be a kind and giving person for a really long time. I just didn’t know how. I couldn’t imagine what I needed to do in order to help people. Well, I finally know how to help people. I help by not using drugs and alcohol. I help by showing people that if I can do it, then anyone can! I was in some serious trouble and thought I was going to die an addict in the grips of this soul snatching disease. I can’t live like that again. It is not who I want to be and it isn’t how I want people to see me. Last night really helped me to see where I would end up if I ever went back to using. I saw myself in their eyes and heard my voice speaking from their mouths. I heard the voice of my higher power and actively listened to what he had to say.
There is always hope for the sick and suffering addict. It is never too late to change your life. No longer do I wonder what my old acquaintances are doing. I know. They are doing the same thing they have always done. Addicts walking through this life like half dead zombies with their defenses and blinders up. Walking blind and not seeing the truth. Not seeing that this life is precious and not to be taken for granted. I am grateful that I no longer care for them either. They never really cared for me in the first place. The only thing that was on their mind was how I am going to get that next fix. Or how can I take advantage of this good person or that good person to get what I want. I once asked a friend of mine that I have known for years if he ever thought of quitting this shit and trying to get clean. He said no and that he never thinks about it! What? Never thinks about it. How can you not think about it? How can you like living like a slave to a substance? How can you like blowing veins? Or catching cases? Or seeing shadow people? Or being sick? Or killing your family? Or robbing, raping, being numb? Or how the f*** can you like the fact that you are killing yourself? I never liked fake people and I will continue to work on seeing past their flaws. I will continue to pray for my old friends. That they might see they can have a great life, filled with great people and experiences. Please, give yourself a break and if you already are then continue to. Have a blessed day and more importantly have a blessed life!