Robert A> Russell V35292
CSP SQ 3-N-17 Low
San Quentin, CA 94974
November 30, 2019
In the Storm, KNOW What You're About!
I exist in a storm. There is always violence to sidestep, drugs to avoid, authority with attitude, overdoses and suicides, assaults and murder. There is not a whole lot of calm in this environment. If you want calm, here or anywhere, we need to carry it with us. How?
I have developed a few strategies. All of them stem from the idea of awareness.
To be aware, one must know what one is about. It is not always easy to live a good life. Circumstances can work against you. Take it from me, I know. :) But circumstances, especially really, really bad ones, can significantly increase our return for maintaining effort and focus.
What I mean is: the worse things are, the better our return for the work towards wellness we manage to do! ;)
I recently did another ten-step inventory. Whenever I do one of those, I always examine my priorities. I've attached a typed our version of exactly what I have taped to the wall above my bed—what I call my office area. :) These priorities help me to thrive, to honor myself and others, and to readily remind myself to practice awareness and stay well.
That's also my hope and prayer for you, that you practice awareness and stay well. God bless us and guide us always into His highest will. Amen.
Love and prayers,
P.S. Your comments are welcome!
1) Work — impeccable attitude and effort, upbeat, tolerant, neat and clean, entirely pleasant at all times
2) Family and extended family - answer all incoming mail in a timely manner, one hour typing session per week (blog and two letters)
3) Church Membership - always attend, avoid leadership when possible to do so, stay friendly and quiet
4) AA Membership - Attend Saturday Night Big Book Study Group, make that group my home group, stay engaged with sponsor, although listed fourth, always know recovery trumps all!
5) Rehabilitation Achievement Groups - Always attend my Veterans Issues group and Attitunal Healing, and be prepared
6) Milestones (in education) Completion Credits - Enroll two courses in either Coastline or Pattan College per semester, one course summer session
7) Fitness and Wellness - Run seven 5ks per week alone with 50 sets
*Eat well! Always try for better!
-all fruits and veg
*Clothes cleaned and ironed always!
*Maintain all personal property and space impeccably neat and clean at all times
*Maintain impeccable hygiene even if I have to heat my own water and use bucket!
These are my priorities. This environment is not conducize to nurture. When—not if!—the BS comes, if it doesn't fit with my priorities, then keep stepping. Allow for distraction only if it is to seriously help another. If it's not, don't get caught up.
If it gets hectic, I am allowed to "pull the pin," retire to the cell, and isolate myself until I gain ability to cope. Sobriety ALWAYS comes first. Period.
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