Remember my NA series and all those NA Meetings I attended? Well they just now paid off in the form of good time. My release date has been adjusted from 8-9-32 to 3-7-32. I haven’t done the math, but according to DOC, that’s 155 days!
Upon receiving this good news I was also informed that I will be getting back an additional 90 days at my next review in August. All I gotta do is remain infraction free, stay in The Dog Program, and receive positive evaluations.
It feels good to be going the other way. To be earning good time rather than loosing it. To be living in harmony rather than conflict. To be progressing rather than regressing. To be making friends rather than enemies. To be focusing on the positive rather than the negative.
For almost 23 years my environment hasn’t changed. PRISON! It’s still full of misfits and misconduct. But what has changed is my attitude, perspective, outlook, and priorities. During my quest to seek knowledge and understanding I’ve learned that the mind is like a garden. Either you can intelligently Cultivate it, or neglect it and let it run wild. That’s why its crucial for me to constantly cultivate my mind by weeding out all the wrong, useless, destructive, impure thoughts. And nurturing my mind with right, useful, constructive, positive thoughts.
By constantly pursuing this process of mind evolution, I am starting to reap the rewards. Such as: I found my beautiful soulmate in Suzie, I made it to The Honor Unit, I got accepted into the dog program, I’ve met new people and have devolved new friendships, I’m no longer getting in fights or hurting people, and I’m earning back good time. Just to name a few.
For years I allowed my mind to run wild. The results were devastating! For more on the devastation you can read my ebook titled, STONE CITY : LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.
I was oblivious to the fact that a deeper level of consciousness existed. I was mindlessly wandering through life, and inappropriately reacting to everything life threw at me. With a neglected mind, I didn’t stand a chance. But with a new and improved cultivated mind, I have so much hope and excitement for today and the rest of my life.
If you had the power to be happier, to change your environment, and to have better relationships with friends and family, would you use that power?
Of course you would!
So why don’t you?
The power is within you.
Take the first step and read : “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. This book will teach you LAWS OF THOUGHT that cannot error. By reading this quick little 55 page book, you’ll be taking a crucial step towards intelligently cultivating your mind. I hope you feel inspired.
This book is awesome! I’m talking about the NA book, sixth edition. I can literally flip it open to any random page, and find something practical and useful.
I randomly flipped it open to page 19. As I read, I thought to myself, “This was the wrong page to flip to.” I was testing my “Any page is practicle and useful” theory. And I found page 19 hard to relate to.
It said things like, “Do we fully accept the fact that our every attempt to stop or to control our using failed?”
My Answer: NO, I don’t accept that. I have succeeded.
It also says, “Through this desperation, we sought help in NA. When we come to NA we are physically, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt.”
Not me. I was assigned NA as a pathway to earn back 6 months of good time for smoking weed back in 1996. As for being physically, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt… not me! I’m thriving in all three.
I just wasn’t feeling page 19. So I tried again, this time flipping to page 113.
It said, “You may not relate to everything you read here – just as you might not identify with everyone who shares in a NA meeting – but we hope that at least some of these voices will touch and inspire you.”
Hmmm….page 19 had great meaning to me after all. Empathy, understanding, different perspectives. It’s all part of the never ending journey.
This NA post is about the 12th principal in Chapter 4: HOW IT WORKS. It says,
“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principals in all our affairs.”
When I translate and apply this to my daily life, it reads like this: “Having had a spiritual awakening, I carry the message of hope and love through my actions as I practice these principles in all my affairs.”
By writing this post and giving these principle’s specific and in depth thought, it adds to the long and tedious process of cleaning up a once very polluted thought atmosphere.
This is exactly why I love NA and what it’s doing for me.
At first I was reluctant and skeptical. I’m not a drug addict. I don’t need NA. I’m only here to get back good time. But as I sat in that very first meeting, I realized I needed to change my thinking and seek the good within this program.
My hope is that someone reading this will get something valuable out of it that they can apply to their daily life.
PS – I’d like to give a shout out to my amazing wife, Suzie. Thank you baby for all your hard work and dedication to this blogging thing. Thank you for loving me the way you do. I love you and appreciate you with all my heart. Mwah!
Back in 1996, I lived with a couple heroin junkies at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Wa.
They tried like hell to get me to shoot up that brown liquid syrup. I was offered hundreds of dollars in free dope to “just try it”.
I held my ground and refused. However, I did break weak and smoke some of that icky sticky boom-bonic supersonic chronic. AKA: Weed.
It was only a matter of time before I got caught. My first dirty UA (urine analysis) cost me 180 days of good time.
Thats when I decieded that smoking weed in prison is a bad idea.
To this day I have passed every UA with ease…simply because I don’t use drugs. I’ve been clean and sober for over 10 years.
I’ve never suffered from addiction to narcotics. My problem was alcohol & fighting.
So why NA?
Because my counselor told me I must attend NA for 6 months in order to get back my 180 days of good time.
As I’m sitting in my first meeting, the speaker gives a brief speach as to what NA is and how everyone is to introduce themselves.
He explains that EVERYONE is an addict, regardless of how much they used, what they used, how little they used, or how long they’ve been clean.
The introductions start and goes around the room. When it gets to me I say,”My name is Steven, I’m an addict.”
Those words coming from my mouth didn’t feel right. I immeadiatly start to question wheather or not I want to be here. A negative attitude started to creep.
Because the truth is…I am not an addict. I’m only here because I smoked weed 20 years ago. And these meetings were assigned to me in order to earn back 180 days my good time.
I close my eyes and focus…meditate.
I recognize that NOW is the time I need to control my mind and re-evaluate my thinking. Now is the time to put everything I’ve learned into action.
Thoughts are things. And different thoughts create types of manifestation. If I’m negative, I’ll recieve negativity. If I put nothing in, I’ll get nothing out. My perception is my reality.
So right then and there, I changed my mindset. I did away with the compulsive thinking that was leading down a path of negativity. And I replaced it with positive thinking.
Such as : “These meetings CAN help me and assist me in my rehabilitative efforts.”
I came up with a goal : To Broaden My Perspective
I flipped open the big blue book in front of me. It’s called, “Narcotic Anonymous (sixth edition)”
As I read through the table of contents I realized I could identify with alot of what I was reading. Especially if I substitute a word or two.
On pg 15, it says, “We can no longer blame people, places, or things for our addictions. We must face our addictions and our feelings.” (I substituted the word “addiction” for “problems”)
I like the philosophies and principals that NA represents. I will use this program to broaden my perspective as I focus on issues within my life that I need to overcome.
And so far, it’s working!
I’ve overcome the “My name is Steven, and I’m an addict” thingy.
I’m focused on the positive opportunities that NA offers. All I have to do is attend with an open mind and a positive attitude. From there, everything else will work out the way it should.
The following journal entry was written on 1-4-09, as I was doing seven months in the hole for getting caught with a cell phone.
Today I filed a grievance on Sgt. Paulson for adding additional items after I signed to send out my Play Station 2. I’m seeking $12.55.
I also sent James Thatcher a letter requesting he give me back 245 days of good time that CCA took. CCA violated my due process. Therefore, they illegally took good time from me. Eight months of good time! I need that. Do you have any idea what I can do in eight months on the streets? In that amount of time I can make over a million bucks!
They ended up giving me back 200 days.
650 days! That’s how much good time I have lost.
So how does one lose almost two years of good time? I’ll tell you: fighting, assaults, smoking weed, riots, refusing to program, failing to disperse, and getting caught with a cell phone (just to name a few).
I was a knuckle-head! I was 21 years old with a 43 year sentence. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel…therefore, I didn’t care.
I was bad. I was constantly getting in trouble. I was constantly losing good time!
Just read my ebook, “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary” and you’ll see all the struggles I’ve had to overcome. Struggles that I inflicted upon myself.
Today I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m still paying for all of my foolish actions.
I recently had my yearly review. This is when administration takes a close look at my paperwork and my actions.
I asked for some “good time” back. They said I must first attend NA classes for six months, twice a week. Then I will get 120 days back for a dirty UA back in 1996.
I’ve been completely sober for over 10 years now. I have no desire what-so-ever to use drugs or alcohol. And I have every desire to attend NA for six months. So it’s on! NA, here I come. I’ll do whatever it takes to earn back all my good time. 120 days is a good start.
At my review next year, I’ll ask to get more good time back. And I will do whatever meetings/classes they assign me. This process will continue year after year.
Right now my release date is in August 2032. My goal is to get it down to November 2030. I’d be 57 years old when I get out.
Over 37 of those years will be spent in prison. That fact alone inspires me to achieve greatness. I refuse to take my incarceration in vain.
Please help support me and buy my ebook, “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary.” In order to see how far one has come, you must first see where he came from. I still have a long ways to go. I’m currently writing my second book called, “Stone City: Redemption.”
I invite you all on my journey. I will rise up and achieve great success in all areas of life.