To a Young Man in Jail

Dear L,
It was with great sadness that I learned from your mother about the most recent turn of events in your life. It seems that trouble just keeps coming. I am so sorry about all the sad and painful events that have surrounded you and your family in the past several years. There is no sense to it. It is not easy to understand or accept and I think we all want to know “why?” do bad things keep happening. Sometimes I think about all this and feel overwhelmed by sadness and other times I feel very angry…but at what? at who? There is no script for this life and we cannot always predict or control the things that happen to us, around us. Bad things do happen. And they often do happen to good people. This fact is one of those big mysteries (and frustrations!) in this life. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why do some people seem to have such an easy life? Why do some people always struggle and suffer? Where is the justice, the fairness?”

To be honest with you, L, I do not have any answers – even at 48 years old I cannot pretend to understand the world much more than I did at 18…But it is not all bleak or hopeless. One thing I do know now is that life can and will change, people can change and small acts of courage and kindness really do matter. They do make a difference to all who experience them. So if people can change, then that means they can change for the better and that life – even when it seems so hard and futile – can turn itself around and become happy and promising. I know this to be true because I have experienced it and seen it. Belief, trust, faith, conviction, hope, love….all of these words represent powerful ideas and feelings and give us a sense of promise because so much opportunity and goodness exist in us all. Just as there can be great pain, as in the death of someone you love, there can also be great joy, as in the birth of a new family member. These things, which seem so vastly different, exist on a continuous spectrum and all of these are available to you in this life.

I know right now there is much sorrow and I feel for you and wish you did not have to experience such pain. I feel for you as you await the court’s decision about what will happen in your immediate future. I know it must be scary and that you are missing your family alot right now.

I heard from your mother that you now want to go to a treatment center, that you are serious about getting help with your addiction to drugs. No matter how this addiction started, it exists now and is affecting your life in so many adverse ways. Addiction is a real and serious problem, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It controls you and keeps you from thinking clearly and choosing wisely. Yes, drugs may numb you from the pain for a little while, but when the drugs wear off – and they always wear off – the pain is still there only now it’s pushed a little deeper inside of you. The hardest (and bravest) thing to do is to address that pain and somehow find your way through it, not over it or around it. I know you can do this and believe that treatment for the addiction problem is the first very important step toward reclaiming your life and finding some form of peace, happiness and hope.

We are all thinking of you and praying for you, L. I know you are a good person who has been surrounded by many tragic events. But you can have a bright future, whether that means going to college, finding a job, starting a family – whatever. The choices are yours but your body and mind must be clear so you can make those choices based on what you truly want and need in your world. Only with a clear mind can you begin to make your own pathway into the future,

I don’t know how you feel about me writing to you and my words of “advice” which come to you unsolicited. But I hope you know that I am coming from a place of compassion and kindness as I truly want the best for you and think that you can turn your life around and become the man you are meant to be. Right now you are in jail, your freedom is limited but this will pass soon. Addiction creates a different kind of jail, a jail that exists in your body and mind. You can escape it but it takes strength, courage and work. Stay strong and know that we are all hoping the court helps you to find a treatment center. We can only take one step at a time and this, I think, is the first important step to health and recovery.


About waggingmytale

I am an English teacher, writer, animal lover, and aspiring athlete. If you stop by and read or "stumble" upon my blog, please leave a comment and say hello. It's nice to know who visits :-) Namaste!
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2 Responses to To a Young Man in Jail

  1. ditchthemarriage says:

    Thank you for this post. Someone close to me was recently arrested, is addicted to drugs and awaiting the fate of the justice system… I really found this to be profound and meaningful, Namaste 🙂

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