17 hours ago
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Trying to Progress
April 29, 2010
Since moving here to Eagle Point, I've gotten to know some new orangemen. Some who sadly have no hopes for the future and simply sit idly until the day their release comes around. Stagnant. Doing what they've always done-the way they've always done it. Then there's Woody...
At first glance, Woody blends with the skinhead population. Inked from his neck down, shaved head and in great shape. "I'm not a skinhead," he proclaims to those who inquire. "Yeah right. You're NLR (Nazi Low Rider)" I joke. "I'm a motorcross racer from California," he explains.
Woody and I hang out together all day. Although he is nearly 8 years younger, we are alot alike. Two components that make our friendship work so well are, our strong will to leave the life we are living behind and be successful, and our similar experiences/attitudes regarding drugs and addiction.
Woody is from Southern CA, but has lived in Prescott AZ for a few years. Sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stealing a motorcycle, he is being released in November. We've been spending hours every day going over his game plan, short and long term goals, as well as repeatedly reminding and remembering all of the things he must avoid in order to make it and not come back. It's an unbelievably long list, but most things were simply learned behaviors and irrational thinking patterns. We've recognized and replaced by repetitive use of more positive thoughts and behaviors. Let me explain one which Woody has helped me with immensely.
Up until moving to Eagle Point Unit in February, I spent nearly all of my time in my cell. I read and wrote nearly all day. Since my best buddy, Tony, went home, I rarely spent time outdoors. I became even more reclusive and unsociable. I was getting more depressed and even found myself questioning whether I truly could succeed at my plans for the future.
Woody works out 5 days a week and is in great shape. He's ripped and works hard to stay ripped. One day he asked me to work out with him. He explained that it'll chase away my blues, make me feel better, pass the time and if I stick with it all the hot chicks will want me. Hell, who could say no to all that! LOL. Now, I work out for 2 hours every Monday through Friday with Woody, who pushes me-but isn't "pushy". He and I walk around aimlessly just talking about our goals, plans, etc. He's managed to get me into the habit of drinking lots of water and only 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day. Although often times my muscles hurt, I feel healthier. Stronger.
Woody and I also share a love for art. He is amazing with pen & pencil. Often he will draw an outline (pattern) of things and I will do the shading and/or color. I get a good feeling from Woody. He will succeed if he just doesn't give up or forget. He's ready and eager. I believe in him and he believes in himself.
I'll miss his company in here, but want him to go home and do this thing. He's a good man, with intelligence, experience and his head on straight. I only want to see him again if it's in society with his plans moving forward and him exceling or at least surviving clean, sober and safely.
Woody has told me much about his family and their lives when he was growing up. His parents sound like really cool parents who love their kids, who also are very funny and down to earth. They're Christians, just like Woody is.
My new friend is a good guy. I am convinced he'll succeed upon his release. He asked me if I'd join him and his family for church upon my release. I would consider this offer, but my best friend, Tony, will in fact be with me my first time setting foot in church since I was a kid. Tony opened my eyes to what it is to be a Christian and changed many of my ideas of what is expected of you as a Christian. I'm not there yet, but I can now imagine the possibility of me joining Tony in church. Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to join Tony, Woody and all of my other Christian friends in prayer. For today...I'll just hope that their prayers for me are heard.
-Wow, this entry was all over the place. LOL.