Negativity is hard to deal with anywhere because of the environment it creates. But in prison, it’s amplified.
This is because everybody is in the same situation, being held in a place they don’t want to be, and we are confined to an area. So how do you limit your exposure when options are limited?
Negativity, in my mind, comes from two things: what you say and how you say it or in body language. Each individual makes a choice to be negative when they are thinking negatively. I get it everybody has bad days, maybe even bad weeks, where they can’t get out of the funk they are in, and I have been there multiple times.
Some people, however, choose to be this way regularly and I choose to stay away from these people or at least limit my exposure to them. If I am working with them in a small area, I will find a different job if it reaches levels to where it is affecting my well being. If it is someone you are working out with or hanging out with, then just simply stop, change your routine to get away from them.
This is something I learned early on in my prison time. If there is something you don’t like, change it, because you are already locked up, you don’t need to put yourself through additional hardship by choice, so limit your exposure.
Next, I make sure I am part of the solution instead of the problem. This part comes fairly easy to me since I am generally a pretty happy guy, but don’t get me wrong I have my moments.
One of those moments came up last night around 10 pm count when I was getting ready for bed. Throughout the evening yesterday, my mood was just growing worse and I don’t know what was bringing it on. Maybe it was the stuff I was writing about last night was moving me there, or it was just simply one of those days.
Well, anyway, one of my roommates who I play around with all day every day wanted to start messing with me after count had cleared, and I was getting ready for bed. He saw I was irritated, so his natural reaction was to push me further, but I told him I was having a bad night and just asked him politely to leave me alone, and I put on my music.
Music is an escape for me in prison and it’s one of the few forms of entertainment we get in here. Sometimes you just have to get away from the outside world and be alone. This is tough anywhere, and in prison, the mental escape is even tougher to achieve. Especially living in a room with sixteen other people like I do.
So, you have to find time to get to yourself in here, whether that is music, staying up late to read, waking up early, walking the track, or going to the library. There are places on every compound where you can find some peace and quiet.
Another way I don’t bring more negativity into my environment is working on my physical and mental health, through treatment, writing, reading, weightlifting, cardio, yoga, leatherworking, phone calls home, all these activities play a part in keeping my health balanced.
Part of life is you have ups and downs and you are not always going to be happy with every part of your life, but I am finding out first hand that as long as I’m alive, it’s never to late to make a change.
What are some ways you overcome negativity in your life? I would love to learn more.
Thanks for listening!