We, as a species, are social animals. We are hunters and foragers – to be confined for any length of time is, at best, troubling. Being isolated on top of that, well, the studies speak for themselves and you’re all learning first-hand what I went through for two years.

So, here’s some advice: get to know yourself. No, really. What so many people fear is understanding themselves. Its why isolation can be so traumatizing, because then you’re left with no one but yourself. Embrace it. If you truly aspire to be liberated, this is the first step. Take a good hard look at yourself and ask “why?” about everything. From “what’s my favorite color” to “why do I feel the way I do about <insert topic >” and don’t stop at one why – don’t accept superficial answers.

Keep digging. It’s gonna suck. BAD.

You’ll realize things about yourself you wouldn’t have thought possible because we all carry a lot of nasty, gnarly shit around with us that impacts every aspect of our lives and most of us don’t even know it. Maybe you’re still pissed because the cool kids picked on you in high school so now you take it out on people who dress like they did. Or you were picked last in gym class and now you’re an exercise machine. Whatever…

Here’s the silver lining: once you’ve dug it up, once you’ve come to realize these things about yourself you can change them if they’re holding you back or acknowledge the reasons behind them if they’re not. either way, just by coming to understand the subconscious motivations you have you’ll become a better person because you’ll be better equipped to make CONSCIOUS decisions.

If all that sounds like too much work, I guess there’s always videogames. or, if you’re in a relationship, getting to know that person better. or the favorite of inmates all across America – SLEEP, because the less of our sentence we’re awake for the less of our sentence we actually had to do. well, hope this helps.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Steve, Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Behind Bars & Certified Yoga Instructor

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