Last November I had the good fortune to stumble across a great book Running Away From Me by David Allen Reeves. David’s story is a sad one, a story that shows the destructive power of drugs. For David they led him into a life of crime and the reward he reaped was a twelve year jail sentence, he still has 18 more months left to serve. He is a changed man, and has resolved to lead a better life when he is released. He is a tenacious character, and I do believe him. His main link with the outside world is through his mother Barbara, she this update to me, and I thought I should share it – Simon

Here’s an update for everyone who has read my book: I’m still incarcerated at Marianna Federal Correctional Facility in Florida.

I’ve been here two years now and expect to be released to a halfway house in December of 2012. I’ve now been in recovery for 5 years and 4 months.

Some people would say that it’s easy to not use in prison, and I would have to somewhat agree with them. But if I wanted to use right now, I would have no problem obtaining the means to achieve that end — and I do mean end. It would be the end of all my hopes and dreams and my peace of mind. It would be the end of much that I hold precious now.

Using is not an option.

My time clean hasn’t been just a dry period.

I’ve spent that time working the twelve steps, attending AA and NA meetings, participating in every drug program the prison has to offer, reading everything I can about addiction, writing about my addiction, and helping other addicts work the twelve steps.

I feel that I’ve went beyond the call of duty as far as my recovery is concerned, but I’ve not had the chance to prove that I can function in society without drugs and alcohol.

Everything will change for me when I walk through those prison gates. I imagine it will be a lot like being born again. A lot will have changed in twelve years, and I’ll be entering a much different world than the one I left in 2000.

There’s not much excitement to write about here in Marianna. It’s not the war zone that Pollock was (and still is from what I hear from the few shell-shocked inmates who have followed me here.)

Here there are no murders, no riots, no gang wars, stabbings or politics. I work in the Unicor business office as the payroll clerk for $1.40 an hour. I’m also the photographer for the recreation department on weekends.
We have a good band program here. I play bass in a jazz band and I’m attempting to teach myself classical guitar.

I still run. I will always run, barring any unforeseen injuries. It’s my meditation, antidepressant, prayer and so much more. I do my best thinking and solve all my problems on the track.

One of my goals is to run a sub 3 hour marathon, and I’m really close to achieving that before winter is over.

I’m writing everyday and trying my hand at a little fiction.

A lot of people from my past has contacted me since my book was first published, and it has been wonderfully uplifting to communicate with them.
Regrettably, some of my old friends are still using. They seem to be slowly burning out compared with my catastrophic explosion. They may never commit any crimes and find themselves in my position, but they are in prison nonetheless.

Anyone in active addiction can be just as miserable, and even more so, than someone who is in prison. Addiction is a ball and chain. You can’t go anywhere without it, and it eventually sucks the life out of you. Some faster than others.

Drugs and alcohol may be life-enhancing at first, but a line is eventually crossed, and they become life-stifling.

I’ve managed to repair a few relationships that I had ruined. Some will have to wait until I’m released, and some are irreparably damaged.

I haven’t heard from my ex-wife since I received a letter from her in the summer of 2001, a time when I was suicidal, delusional, and debilitated with dread among many other negative emotional states.

In this state of mind, I fired off some letters that I deeply regret. At the time I was incapable of seeing what I had done to her.

I traumatized her. It was unintentional, but it happened. She was collateral damage in the war I waged against myself. She handled it the only way she could. There is no right or wrong way to deal with what she did, because no one should ever have to go through that in the first place. But none of that changes the fact that I would give anything to speak to her again.

I hate the word closure, but I’ll always have a sense of these loose ends that need to be tied. But maybe it’s better this way.

Maybe I’ll always need to feel this little stab of pain and guilt to remind me of what I did, to motivate me to be a better person.

Who knows what the future may bring? Who even knows for sure what’s going to happen tomorrow? Until then, I’ll just keep writing, running, and recovering.

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