2021 is my year for getting released from prison. And I’m scared, nervous and concerned. 

I try to keep this positive mindset that everything will be okay, but will it? Will I stay sober enough to see through the darkness? Will I stay away from harmful situations knowing I should just walk away? Will I? 

Sometimes it is so easy to slip into old habits without even realizing it and you can end up back in prison or in most cases just stupid drunk and lying on a concrete slab just hoping you get a slap on the wrist and sent on your merry way. 

That’s my fear of being released. How can you break that cycle? How can I stop constant cycles that have not even helped me get closer to a higher power or feeling of relief? I want to do good when I get out, but I feel so many worries holding me back from getting to that point. 

I wonder if I will deal with stress by smoking a cigarette or getting high off weed just to “calm the nerves” or “RELAX.” Even when I have been given the proper tools to get that satisfaction in the better sense, will I still slide down that slippery slope? That’s my biggest fear! 

I know all things can be achieved through hope and perseverance, but will that happen? All the years of therapy and then coming to prison, meeting people who have lived this same struggle — yet here they are on their fourth or fifth bit, still struggling. Will that be me…..it can’t….I won’t let that happen.

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I have a plan for “high risk situations,” as the DOC calls them. They ingrain this concept into our brains while we are stuck behind these four walls. But so many times—I’m sure you can relate—we take those two steps forward, things are looking up and then…..BOOM!  You get stuck at the bottom of the pit wondering what happened and why when you thought everything was going well, but in reality you are stuck….AGAIN. 

So that’s my concern. Will I be back here like those around me or can I achieve anything? The music artist Pitbull says in his song, “I Believe That We Will Win (World Anthem)” this: “You know what spreads faster than any virus? Is fear. When it comes to fear you can either forget everything and run, I said I, I (Or you can face everything and rise).” 

Now that is so powerful and so true. If I speak fear into existence, then I’ll be just like everyone around me and be back here in this shithole and laying on a concrete slab in county jail waiting for someone of a higher stance to make my second or third or fourth verdict. That is not something I want, so I have to put everything behind me and keep washing the troubles and pain away. Just keep taking those steps and following the footprints in the sand. Like I have been known to say,  “The answer or answers may just lie within patience.”


Jonathan Simmons 

Doc #548259