I’ve always had this weird paranoid fear of some kind of critical event happening during my sentence before I get out, almost exactly like what’s happening now, so it’s surreal for me and I’m trying to keep a level head… not too much of a struggle, but keeping things in perspective helps definitely.

As far as the lockdown situation goes, one of the things that has been integral for me to adapt to this lockdown is perspective. Basically, accepting the reality of things as they are and embracing the situation instead of, like future-tripping or clinging to the past. In my time, I’ve seen that kind of denial over and over again being used as a sort of solution that’s not a solution. And especially when embracing that reality is something ugly, like a history of addiction or violence in any one of their many forms. In this specific situation, it’s the pandemic spreading around the world, affecting everyone equally.

I know that kind of denial is something that I personally struggled with especially at the beginning of my sentence, and once I was able to accept what was happening, I was able to see a way I can move through and past what was happening. Which led to a shift in perspective for me, and helped me to adapt to the new paradigm in which I found myself a part of.

Time and again I’ve met other men in here with me who came to the same conclusion in one way or another and they all were succeeding in their pursuits, whether it was reaching out to loved ones scorned, or fighting for time back that they had lost to the system. So in my experience, this is something that has proven itself over and over, regardless of creed, gender, or economic status. Embrace what is, and what is will yield.

A second thing I have done is read alot, and I mean ALOT alot. Even before I started taking classes through Walla Walla Community College, I went to the library at SCCC religiously. Fiction, nonfiction, it never mattered to me what I was reading, I always made sure to make time for it. Back issues of magazines and newspapers were always interesting, because then I could kind of move forward through time and follow a given story as it developed, but also having 20/20 hindsight info that kind of helps to analyze the decisions that were made and the consequences that followed. Then, of course, sci-fi and fantasy fiction always proved entertaining, as any avid reader will agree. There are a number of new sci-fi writers that are blurring the line between sci-fi and straight science and if you look at history, a lot of the old-school sci-fi writers and stories led to out technologies and sciences we have today So yeah. Read a book. B-)

I’m feeling like this might be a prime time to plug some good ol’ fashioned education (^_^) Learning a new language might help to distract the mind, whether it’s a language you’ve always had a mild interest in, one that you already know a bit of, or a language that’s completely foreign to you and are intimidated by! During the year of 2017-2108, I was looking at heading to a different facility and completely different custody level, which meant a HUGE change I was faced with. I began studying Japanese, and I lucked out in having a native speaker I had daily interaction with which helped me make it into a habit. and I was also able to completely immerse myself within the activity and thrive in applying what I learned in my everyday life. Plus, I figured if I could learn it well enough, I can put it on my resume, and it might be useful for me in the future. I should say I have ulterior motives in encouraging learning a new language: I think that if maybe more people could speak more than one language, they might be willing to listen and speak to each other instead of whatever it is people do now.

Does that make me naive? Maybe.

Does that make it impossible? Nope.

Really, there are a plethora of things that I have learned over time that helped me to cope with being quarantined from society, and the way I see it, it’s a never-ending thing. That being said, I think those few things I mentioned I think might be applicable to being locked down on the other side of the fences. Also, I’d be really interested to know if I get any feedback from this, b/c this is an unprecedented time, and I definitely have more stuff I can offer from my experiences!

There are plenty of times when I feel lonely and sad, but if I picture myself as a mountain top, and the lonely and sadness are the clouds the blot out the sunshine, I know eventually the clouds will pass, and the sun will shine on me again. (^_^)


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