In Prison, But Not Alone

My name is Jared and I’m a grateful, recovering sexaholic. I was arrested on the night of Dec 7, 2018. I plead guilty to inappropriate conduct with a minor and was sentenced to 32 1/2 years, 7 1/2 of which are fixed.

It was in a county jail that I found SA’s Step into Action and began to work the 12 Steps, quickly admitting my powerlessness and realizing my desperate need for change. I arrived in prison in late July 2019.

After spending about three months getting assessed, I was placed in a more permanent housing assignment in a different institution. It was there I first wrote to the SACFC looking for an SA sponsor. My first request was never answered, so I wrote again a few months later.

I’ve come to learn that, if nothing else, prison is an excellent place to develop patience, tolerance, and acceptance! Being a sponsee in prison, in fact most things in prison, requires not only patience, but also perseverance, determination, and a firm resolve. It is far too easy to get lost in my head, to give in to thoughts of hopelessness, depression, and futility. The urge to seek solace in the old familiarity and fake oblivion of lust can be overwhelming at times. I’ve fallen into the trap of mental warfare more than once.

There is also the ever-present reality of my personal motives:
• Why am I seeking recovery and working the Steps?
• Am I simply seeking so desperately the approval of others?
• Am I merely trying to look good for the Parole Board so I can get out on my fixed time?
• Am I just trying to feel good in a healthier way?
• Is the deceitful nature of my addiction seeping into my Step work?
• Do I want to have my cake and eat it too?
These are questions I simply cannot afford to blatantly ignore if long-term sobriety is my true desire.

The guidance and perspective of my sponsor has been invaluable. Though he is an understandably busy man, and there have been lapses in our contact, I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my recovery without him. Knowing he is out there and supportive of me has given me hope and courage when I faced dark moments and a sense of accountability that is indispensable. It’s like having a hand gently squeezing my shoulder, a subtle but empowering feeling that I’m not alone.

Ultimately my personal recovery is dependent on God as He chooses to reveal Himself to me. That being said, I also firmly believe that my Higher Power is responsible for bringing my sponsor into my life and uses him as a vessel of light and love. A beacon in the darkness that, although far away, is there to keep me away from the shores of permanent relapse and despair.

Prison can be overwhelming. It can be devastatingly depressing. One member of the fellowship used to say that we are living in a mental health crisis. There are numerous reasons to let go and few to carry on. At times it seems good behavior is ignored and bad behavior gets you what you want. SA and its tools have been a real miracle for me. Having a sponsor is literally a Godsend. If you are incarcerated and don’t have a sponsor, may you find one now!

Jared S., State Correctional Center Idaho, USA

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