The one year anniversary of my release from Bridgeport will be in late June and I can’t believe how time has passed. Upon entering prison I knew it was going to be a life changing experience. I had the advantage of not wanting to use drugs or alcohol and the awareness that my incarceration was the “beginning of the end” of my commitment to The State of Connecticut but there was anxiety stemming from what life was going to be like inside those walls.
My optimistic assumptions came true. The majority of the inmates were convicted of drug trafficking and theft but there were a few violent offenders that had committed their crimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being an addict, I could understand how their addictions lead them to Bridgeport. Most would admit they had a problem but few were willing to get help. Before I went to jail I knew I was going to be stronger by the end of my sentence because of my spiritual beliefs and the support from my friends and family. I was saddened with the number of inmates who were not as blessed as me.
My focus since my release has been on completing my community service and attending alcohol education classes while figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. During the last few months I’ve realized my freedom of employment, travel, and visitation was the linchpin in understanding that perception molds my life. Once those freedoms were taken away I realized I had not fully enjoyed them because of the mental prison I built by placing monetary wealth before spiritual health. Both are material but the spiritual gives me the gift of being content. I knew this before I was stopped for my DUI but I did not believe it. Prison gave me the gift of it becoming a visceral part of my being. Once I made the conscious effort to drop the quest for money I was able to feel free to discover who I am.
The meaning of my DUI experience continues to present itself. It has taught me lessons in acceptance and gratitude from which I could not have learned another way. How else was I going to understand my attitude can lead me to success or destruction? Jail worked for me. It convinced me the individual decides how to interpret their own life-events and they decide how to use those events in a constructive or destructive way.
Finally, I wanted to thank you again for all of your help. You gave me excellent guidance and support on how to handle myself during my incarceration. Your friendship is another data point in understanding what Walt Whitman meant when he said, “I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.”
Look forward to seeing you soon,
Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
at Christ Church Greenwich 254 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, Conecticut 06830
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1232, Weston, Connecticut 06883
Central Ministry & Office: The Retreat, Weston, Connecticut
Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Minister/Director
Lynn Springer, Advocate, Innocent Spouses & Children
George Bresnan, Advocate