How are you doing? I mean really doing? Anyone ever ask you that? My counselors do in here. My former wife asked me that and I wished I would have thought about it more and given her an answer – or at least been more real with her when she queried.
Inside corrections you basically do what you are told. People do not care how you are feeling. What would it matter anyway, you still end up doing what they want and tell you to do. Hey, that could be why so many fail once they get out. They are so used to not thinking for themselves, being told what to do, that they are not used to thinking past the next hit, drink, fling, buzz, hook-up or whatever. Not much place to hide anything in here. You also do not want to ask what some guys are up to, and most of the time you really do not want to know what they are truly thinking. Of course that doesn’t stop some guys from doing things they ought not to do.
Like the ones who make hooch from old apple juice or anything else they can lay their hands on. Or the ones who make tattoo guns from radios or other electronic gadgets. Or the ones who find ways to bake things without an oven. Or cement things together without tools, super glue or duct tape. In most all cases, you would never even know this type of thing goes on till someone goofs up, tells the wrong guy or gets caught somehow. If this country really wanted to get things done they’d ask inmates to solve the problems. Not only would they get multiple responses, they’d also get it done cheaply. But I digress.
What I was up to was no good when my wife asked that question prior to my incarceration. I just didn’t want her or anyone else to know about it. So, like others in here, I kept secrets and didn’t let anyone know lest they try and stop me, which I didn’t want because I was enjoying myself too much even though I wanted to stop but couldn’t on my own. Hence, if I really answered that question, I would have had to look at the ugliness of what I was doing and stop, which as I said I wanted to do, though deep down I needed help to do it. Understand? Probably not, unless you have been there before. How could I risk so much, my wife, family, job and career for lust? Why indeed.
One reason was because I could. Being my own boss meant no one was supervising me or overseeing me as almost constantly occurs in here (yet they still misbehave!!) Another reason was because it gave me a high, a satisfaction, a sense of being needed and wanted even though I knew it was fake, contrived and wrong. Because I felt unworthy, the guilt pushed me to feel better about myself. So I acted out, which made me temporarily feel better till the guilt returned and the cycle started again. The time between those cycles grew shorter, and the need to act out grew stronger, a fatal mixture for sure. Fortunately, in here most times, I see the cycles getting broken before they go around – at least much of the time. As with most secret activities, one has to observe very closely or be close to someone to know when anything out of the ordinary is occurring.
So now, when someone says “how are you doing?”, I can answer with a clear conscience. Not having to lie or conjure something up is actually a big relief and feels quite liberating. I truly had a huge load lifted from me as a result of being so transparent as they say, though a little too late. Of course in here one never knows who is lying or telling the truth. After all, 99% are innocent, right?
My hope and prayer is that whenever someone asks that question they a) really care and mean it, and b) no one covers up anything or shifts in their seat because of being exposed. I am learning again how my God sees it anyway, no matter how much we try and hide. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden couldn’t hide from their sin, no one can. Even me. My joy comes from being able to share everything at all times as I work to keep my life in the light.
As you know or come to know if you are reading this, it was not always so with me. I made a good living, unfortunately living in the dark – or at least the shadows. I was no where near this lucid before on things that matter, only things that didn’t matter or have consequence, except to me. Hence my self centered behaviors.
As you read on, and I hope you do, you will get a sense of what I went through when my world, my flesh and the devil collided with the world of God and required inside corrections.

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