Welcome to the IOSW well-being and transition blog. I hope you find the blog easy to read, informative and most importantly relatable. I’d like to add this blog is not written from the perspective of somebody who can’t understand the thoughts and emotions of a person being released from prison. I too have left those gates after serving years inside, and experienced all those conflicting emotions that are thrown your way. One point I’d like to emphasize is……It gets easier ☺
The anxiety of being released into an ever changing society can be daunting at any time. Whether you’ve spent weeks, months or years being locked up, to be thrust into society again is a huge adjustment. If you can imagine being marooned on a desert island, away from everything and everybody you know, to then be reunited might give a better representation. Children have grown up, technology has dramatically upgraded, and the world you once left is no more. Now people face being released into a pandemic, the likes of which our generation has never seen, nor thought we would experience. Now your release will be a completely different experience to one you envisaged. Not only are you about to re-start your life (for the better), COVID-19 is unfortunately here. Your release now has the added concern of how to not only keep yourself safe, but also wider society. During this time ensure your physical health is paramount, where as in prison you’ve been restricted to 23 hour bang up, your now free as a bird in the midst of a pandemic. COVID-19 poses a particular problem for ex- offenders. Future plans you may have had for employment, education, self-employment and also family matters. Whether that be taking children to the theme park, even spending quality time with family, that you’ve probably longed for. COVID-19 has disrupted all of that. However as we slowly ease out of the pandemic, I’d like to reiterate that your plans pre-release can and still are manageable. That job you applied for, the interview was pushed back not cancelled…the family day you planned, that for 3 months has seemed like it will never happen, it’s now looking more likely to be made a reality.
The mindset you had pre-release, getting back on your feet, working, making a change, whilst COVID-19 has thrown a major spanner in the works, and maybe somewhat have derailed that mindset, it’s important you focus on the end goal, the prize. The new life you envisaged whist you were inside your cell, dreaming of a better life. That life is most definitely still within reach. Just a stop-start, a momentary blip, try and picture the next 6 months, using the positive mindset you left the jail gates in. During that 6 months, you will have that job you wanted or equivalent, your accommodation needs will be on route to being met, and that quality time you longed for while being inside, is now within grasp.
#positive #mindset #release #change