I have won quite a few awards for good decision making. They have all included a one-night stay in the local jail and free bologna sandwiches.

Going to jail is one thing but being in prison is entirely different. I don’t need bars to be a prisoner. I have been an inmate in the prison of my fears for more nights than I care to admit. I have been imprisoned by my addictions, my habits, and my actions. I have been a slave to my emotions and an indentured servant to my guilt.

Holding myself hostage in a big, free, open world is more tortuous than any jail cell could ever be. Being locked up behind bars leaves you with minimal options; your actions have already occurred and it’s time to move forward. Being locked up inside your own head, free to move about however you like, is as cruel and unusual of a punishment as anyone should have to face.

My first trip to rehab, after a few days of trying to figure out which way was up, I was surprised at the emotional response that came with the sound of the locking doors behind me. I didn’t have any place to go or anywhere I needed to be, but knowing that I didn’t have the freedom to exercise my own free will was more than I could handle.

I was a prisoner before I was a patient; I was a patient before I was a participant. After deciding to participate in life I become a member of it. I am now a functioning member of society, free to come and go as I please. I am free to make good decisions, bad decision, live a life of action or inaction. There is freedom here.

It takes two people to have a hostage situation and my degree of freedom is based on the attitude I have towards the world I live in. I can act as an inmate in the world’s institution or I can be a participating and contributing member of a functioning society.

I was never the victim and my world has always been free, I simply did not turn the handle to see that the door was never locked.

Enjoy freedom.


Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,