I have a very good friend of mine who sadly, has been in and out of prison since 1980. We have been friends and corresponded through letters and actual prison visits since I was about the age of 12. Recently we spoke about what it was like for him to be back in prison after having been out for a few years.. How it made him feel to lose his freedoms of all kinds once again. Through his words I realized, I am just as imprisoned as he is..I thought, gosh, I’m doing time right along with him.. I bet you’re scratching your head right now thinking, “is she nuts? what the hell is she talking about”.. I will explain.
When a person ends up doing hard time they lose all of their freedoms. They are told when to sleep, when too eat, when too shower, when they can go outside in the sun and fresh air for a few hours, when they can talk to someone on the outside, when they are allowed a visit from someone on the outside and for how long all of these things will last. They are told if and when they can have sex sometimes it’s denied indefinitely. They are told what they can read and watch and for how long they can do that.. Their entire lives are run by a system that has complete control over them and any revolt or rebellion against this system means sure penalties and punishment that WILL be carried out.. This is how the criminal who is imprisoned lives.
While I am not an imprisoned criminal, I am imprisoned in my own body. My body because of my illness determines all aspects of my life. When I will and won’t go out, when I will and won’t be able to see people or talk on the phone, when I will and won’t be able to eat, when I will and won’t be able to shower, when I will and won’t be able to get out of bed. When I will and won’t be able to enjoy something such as a movie or a book without having to deal with a pounding headache or feeling so sick you think you’ll die. And, if there is any revolt or rebellion the body will surely dish out the penalties and punishments that you WILL suffer.. Like my friend who is doing time, I can relate too his anguish of his living conditions.. You are living a life determined by someone or something else, people you thought were friends become non existent because no one has time for the one who’s locked away from society just like no one has time for the one who is locked away from society because of illness and suddenly you find yourself standing there alone.
So, maybe that is why my friend and I have been together so many years.. we are doing time side by side….