Yesterday I posted the content below the subtitle, Effects of Prison Interview, Part II, on my Quora.com Space, Life Inside and Out. And then noticed that when it posted there was not a title for the post. So, now I am revising what I wrote and the process by posting it where it should have been first: Here on StraightfromthePen.com.
Sometime later on, on Quora.com/Life Inside and Out, I will replace the previous content that I use below with this blog. (I modified the title of this blog to be clear about its content.)
On March 20, 1995, I planned for that day to be the last day I shot dope or did other mind-altering substances. My plan didn’t work the way I anticipated. Two weeks and three days later, I got high again but stopped halfway through the process and threw away the rest of the joint I was smoking. That was the last time, thus far, and I don’t anticipate reverting to my former ways that helped to keep me returning to prison. Yes, I am a recidivist.
This interview (Effects of Prison Interview by Ms. Begum K with Wayne T. Dowdy, Part II), would not have taken place had I not continued to stay away from what I knew was killing me and helping to destroy my life. If you enjoy watching and listening to it, please click to like, follow me on YouTube, and subscribe. Thanks!
This post is complimentary to allow his voice to escape the confines of prison walls. Only the font style and size has been changed. Content is as submitted. Straight from the Pen does not express any opinion on the subject matter or content or the validity of any statement or claim made.
This post will also appear on Life Inside and Out, a Space on Quora.com, where men and women go for answers to questions. Check out the profile page for Wayne T. Dowdy.
Languid Eyes by Jason Glascock #342498
In my dream I repeat “6 am. 6 am. 6 am.”
I need to wake up at 6 A M!
My eyes snap open to a cream-colored cinder block wall and roll over to a clock reading 6:08 am. Perfect. I tighten my muscles, straining as hard as I can, working through the back, legs, shoulders arms jaw, every muscle gets engaged, released and stretched in this wake-up ritual.
6:08 am. I have a few moments before I actually need to get up, but if I stay here, now relaxed after the stretch, I’d likely fall back to sleep; so, I take three deep breaths and get up. The dayroom hasn’t opened yet, it’s quiet, my cellmate is asleep, meaning I need to be as quiet as possible. Piss in the toilet. Flush. Wash hands. Wash face. Rinse mouth. Dress for work in heavy boots and wait for the door to pop with that steel-on-steel hammer sound. Quiet, like I said.
While I’m sitting in the chair waiting for the door, I decide to do some squats to get the heart pumping. Slow, quiet ones that don’t get me breathing hard. I’m facing the dimly lit dayroom through the small window in the door, looking across at the other cells. The dayroom nightlight flashes into my eyes as I go down, disappears as I stand into the shadow. It’s then that I notice the burning of fatigue that wants to force me back into bed, the tiredness I’m trying to drive away with the squats.
Fresh blood to the brain simulates thoughts. For every hour loss of sleep the IQ can drop by 10 points. Sleep deprivation increases heart disease, exasperates diabetes, increases irritability, promotes violence, and a slew of other maleffects. With all these negatives recognized by medical science, departments of corrections around the country have become aware of how to create conditions that enhance the punishment factor of prison. They’ve doubled down on their efforts to make the environment as uncomfortable as possible. One method is to use sleep deprivation. The choice of uncomfortable mattresses, beds that squeak and rattle when a person rolls over, louder toilets, louder sinks, and more. They’ve removed sound absorbent surfaces such as carpet and wood, opting for steel and concrete. They’ve put in more and brighter nightlights that illuminate the bed as if it were daytime. For instance, I sleep with stadium lights shining in my face or reflecting off the dirty-white wall. If I cover my head the officer will pound on the door to wake me up. Light levels are shown to affect the quality of sleep. The beds are short, so in my case with a 6’4” frame, my feet hang off the bed, resting on square steel tubing much of the night. Then there is the heat. Where temperatures over 75°F are known to cause physical stress and negatively impact sleep, the prison now keeps the livings units at ~85°F year-round, all day, all night, somehow justified as part of their energy saving initiative.
All of that runs through my mind as the squats increase blood flow to the brain. Down… Up… Pump-pump. Down… Up…
The burning in the eyes never goes away; a constant irritation throughout the day. At 4:10pm I enter my cell to wait for dayroom to close. I sit down and grab the book I’ve been working my way through. I look at the page and the text goes wonky. I blink a few times and it clears, coming into focus. A few minutes later I snap awake, catching myself from falling out of the chair. I clear my throat, look to the page and find what I last remember reading. A few minutes later, I’m startled awake again by the sound of the book hitting the floor. I need a nap, but I’m dirty, need a shower, and count is within 20 minutes. There’s no way i can get to the showers. My eyes ache, my muscles ache, l know I’m missing things as I struggle to understand the book. Standing will increase my metabolism, but my feet hurt from working in the bad boots, so I sit back down.
I turn on the TV for some news. As I’m watching all the horrible stuff in the world, I hear this gasping snore and realize I’m sleeping again with my head back like a Zippo lighter.
Coffee. The 4th cup of the day will get me going. And squats. Yes, squats!
It’s count and just standing feels exhausting, but I can’t take a nap because it’s time for work. When the dayroom closes, and I clean. Rushing to change mop water, disinfect phones, tables, chairs, vacuum what carpet remains, sweep and mop. There are ramen noodles on the wall, and someone smashed half a Swiss roll into the rug. Not too bad today. 45 minutes of cleaning and then it’s chow time.
I rush into the servery for a cold hamburger on a bun that’s so dry it crumbles in my hand. I shovel the burger and canned pears into my mouth and leave, still chewing as I stand up; the dayroom needs to be finished before it opens in a half hour.
With work done I shower. The combination of work, coffee and shower leaves me feeling refreshed, the sense of fatigue washed from the brain, but I know it’s still there. Military research has shown there is no performance improvement from caffeine for cognitively demanding tasks and does nothing for the tired muscles. So, I don’t feel the need for a nap and keep going.
The night comes and the 9:15pm count approaches. I’m wearing down. I’ve been up all day, moving around, lifting, twisting, etc. I was at a computer for 4 hours doing a college paper, rereading the book and parsing its contents, formulating my argument and crafting supporting clauses. Exhaustion isn’t creeping up, it’s here and I’m pushing myself. 40 more minutes, I tell my body. I can do 40 more.
Count clears on the unit and then I’m in the dayroom cleaning up for the final time. The work increases my heart rate and blood flow. Fatigue is cleaned from my muscles as I wipe the floor with a wet mop. Thrust right. Thrust left. My back muscles countering the forces and I bounce from foot to foot, bending the knees slightly in almost a dance. I breath deeper, engaging, disengaging, and reengaging muscles, oxygenated blood floods every part my body as I run up and down stairs. The work re-energizes my body leaving only the burning grittiness in my eyes.
My 40 minutes of night cleanup ends and I lock-in for the night. Sleep. I know I need sleep but reinvigorated from the light work I choose to take off my boots and socks, kick the feet up and begin reading the book I’d dropped earlier. The grey matter has plenty of energy now and I’m going to make use of it: BBC World News and a book on data structures in the Python programming language. I make a cup of tepid coffee and look in the mirror. My eyes are red-rimmed and bloodshot, the whites are the tan of straw and itch furiously, heavy-lidded, languid, exhausted. I take a sip of coffee and continue to look at myself for a moment longer, then turn to the book.
I get a good 20 minutes of reading in before an overwhelming sleepiness washes through me. I yawn, continue reading, forcing myself to finish out the chapter. That takes me up to 11pm and I can no longer focus the eyes on the page. The conversation with my cellmate proved that I can’t think either; halfway through sentences I’m losing track of the thought. Now, it’s time for sleep.
Flipping the light off is like turning myself back on. For some reason I get a short burst of wakeup energy from somewhere. Getting into bed, I feel the fatigue of the day fade a little, and I wind up staring at the wall for the next hour, rolling from side to side looking for comfort in an uncomfortable bed with a stadium light blasting my retinas, and the last thing I remember is looking a the clock reading 12:23am before my eyes snap open at 6:03am to start all over.
My experience with sleep deprivation is not unique or unusual. I go for days as I described and then crash. I simply can’t push myself any further and I’ll sleep nearly all day. There are days where my body hurts so bad from lack of sleep I don’t want to do anything. There are nights where I’m overtired and sleep fails to find me until 3am. Next semester I’m going to take 6 credits of courses, and my brain has to perform as well as any college student, and I wonder what it would be like to have full use of what my brain could do, if I could get good sleep.
Great news! This morning I read this article and was happy to see that private prison doors for federal prisoners were closing. BOP finalizes moving inmates from private prisons. My hope is that the BOP will improve and provide each of those inmates an opportunity to prepare themselves for successful reentry into society. Most private prisons were not recognized for providing such programming to prisoners, according to what I had read and heard from others. Please read the following links posted below for more on the subject and for some of my previous content. Thanks!
When I first read the above article this morning, I posted a brief article on Quora, which went to my accidental page that I created early on in my writing career for Quora. To stray from the topic for this blog, the page on Quora that I link below was “accidental” because when I first posted content to respond to answers, I did not realize that I was doing so on a different page than the one I had intentionally created under my profile: https://www.quora.com/profile/Wayne-T-Dowdy.
I was fresh out of prison and wasn’t up on all the technology after having been inside for over thirty years and having never even used a cellphone or been online without depending on someone else to post blogs for me.
Promotion: Subscribe to Quora+ for answers to questions for any topic. Please use my referral code so that I may earn a small commission. Quora+
Here’s a free subscription code to my Space on Quora where you may read a variety of answers to questions myself and other contributors have answered. Act soon before it expires in one week from the date of this blog, I think:Life Inside and Out.
The blogs I am linking below were ones that I wrote relating to the effects of going to prison and returning citizens, based upon my personal experience. However, because of my security level and history frowned upon by prison administrators (read Essays & More Straight from the Pen for more on that statement), I was too big of a security risk to be placed in a private prison). Though I may not be considered an expert by some, I do have firsthand experience in the field. I do appreciate you reading my blogs on this website or listening to my podcasts on Spotify.
Life continues to amaze me as I move along the road to Happy Destiny, wherever that road may lead. Thus far, my life continues to be different from what I imagined before my release.
More on Amazing Life: For instance, when released on August 28, 2018, no one would have probably imagined that I would be appearing on an Atlanta television show without a Wanted Poster in the background. 🙂
Leaving my old life behind as I walked out the prison gates, I had never even used a cellphone. This blog was started by my publisher/friend, who I paid to help me self-publish my books and to start this blog to promote my books, as well as to let my voice be heard beyond prison walls.
Should anyone be wondering, Nope, I was not featured on the cover of the magazine shown above: it was a scam artist’s work who tried to convince me that I had won the Facebook Lottery. I didn’t go for it but did confiscate the photo. 🙂
August 3, 2022, Update: I appeared on a television show in Atlanta and shared part of my story in hope of helping others, not once, but twice. You may view the first filming on YouTube at A Steadfast Journey (Bridging the Gap), which was televised Monday, July 25, 2022, between 11:00-11:30 PM, Eastern Standard Time.
New Life: Well, I knew my new life did not include any planned activities that involved the risk of my mugshot landing on a Wanted Poster. That is because I changed my life in 1995 by making a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of the God of my understanding, as suggested in Step Three of Twelve Step programs, which I did not belong to during the early days of my new life.
After the first filming, someone at the television station asked Dr. Milsap, “Where did you find that guy?” and expressed an interest on me possibly appearing on the regular show:
Atlanta’s 57, WATC-TV
Ironically, the name of the city and year correlates to my birthdate: In 1957 I was born in Atlanta, Georgia. And then as I was preparing to post this blog, I noticed that it was draft #57. 🙂
I have written several blogs here about Quora and my content where I now have over One Million Views. One blog is Quora Monetarized and Cryptocurrency, where I include links to my space, Life Inside and Out. If interested in learning more by reading answers or asking questions to a variety of questions, please follow Life Inside and Out on Quora.com. Click Here. Feel free to ask any questions and to voice opinions in comments to all content.
Closing: Though I have a lot more to write about, I have a forty-hour job I must report to today so I can pay my bills. My popularity has not earned me very much, but it does stroke my ego and makes me proud to be in a position to report positive aspects about my Life After Release, which I write to show others that we can change our lives if willing to put in the work.
For me, I just continue to do the next right thing and to Let Go and Let God, then I know it will be okay if I stay focused on traveling along the road to Happy Destiny.
Update: June 29, 2022: I’m adding podcasts to many of my blogs and when I do, the system may send it out as a new post. If so, please take a moment to listen to one of the podcasts and let me know what you think. Thank you!
My life after release includes the Bowl shown in the above photo. Just as that bowl traveled with me since I purchased it at the United States Federal Penitentiary (U.S.P.) in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1989, so do the memories associated with how I served decades of my life in a cage.
LIFE AFTER RELEASE
Two days ago, I made a Ramen Noodle soup in the bowl inside the comforts of the house in which I live, unlike how I did in the small prison cells of the huge federal prisons I lived (U.S.P. Leavenworth, KS; U.S.P. Atlanta, Atlanta, GA; U.S.P. Lompoc, Lompoc, CA; U.S.P. Pollock, Pollock, LA, and at the Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, SC)
As Christmas 2021 approaches, I remain grateful for the life I live today as a free man who tries to make a difference in the lives of others. I’ve always been one to leave a lasting impression in the minds of those I came in contact with but not always in a positive way, the difference now is that I don’t leave a bad taste in the memory banks of those I meet.
An Attitude of Gratitude
When the world refuses to act according to Wayne, I must stop and remember that things work according to God’s will for my life and then be grateful for all I have instead of sad for all I don’t have but want.
PERSONALLY: Because I used to live the life of a dope fiend and a thug, I harmed many people, even those I loved. Today I do not live in the same way and do not harm others, even those I may not like. Regardless of how I feel, I treat people with love and kindness, at least, in most cases.
However, if angered my words may not be nice, but I still refrain from causing physical pain by walking away. On most occasions, I walk away before using words with the intention of causing emotional pain. I’m far from perfect.
ALONG SPIRITUAL LINES: Thus far I’ve failed to achieve spiritual perfection but have progressed along spiritual lines throughout the two and a half decades of my new life that allows me to sit in front of this computer typing this blog.
Now I am working on providing more content for Life After Release on Quora.com. Please check it out and subscribe. I will provide free access in requested.
Affiliate Marketing and Promotional Content
Disclaimer: At no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission for products and services purchased through this website. Paid commissions do not necessarily influence decisions to advertise or promote products or services. Nothing contained herein is intended to be financial advice, as I am not a financial adviser.
Another part of my life after release is trying to find a way to generate additional income. Unfortunately, my success with affiliate marketing is lacking.
One of the main reasons for my lack of success has been my failure to devote the necessary time and energy to succeed, as well as not using more advertising to get the word out about what I am promoting.
In the future I plan to get into flipping goods (buying and selling items on eBay, Poshmark, etc.), or to become an Amazon third party seller.
My main objective in anything I do is to remain focused on remaining a productive member of society instead of the cancer I was before I changed my life in 1995. If interested in learning more about the changes I made, please read The Price of Change, included in this book:
If you cannot afford to purchase a copy, send me a message through the info on the contact page and I will gladly provide so that you can download a free copy of the eBook.
I will conclude with the following temporary promotion that I hope you will decide to accept before it expires, and a link to other blogs I have written as part of my Life After Release, uncaged and coming to you live as a free American citizen and proud to say so, even though I do not agree with American politics.
Don’t miss the following Webull promotion that expires on December 23, 2021. Creating an account gets you one free stock and depositing as little as $1.00 gets four more, and then you can do as I am doing: promoting to earn free stocks. 🙂
Yep, I am trying to make a few dollars and chose to monetize my Quora.com content, not all but most. From the link to my Quora Profile visitors can elect to subscribe to Life Inside and Out, which will help me cover some of the cost of this website and other associated writing/blogging costs.
Quora+ is offering participants a 30-day free trial then $6.99 per month fee for ad free access to all Quora content (Note: Inflation increased that from $4.99 when I first posted this blog). From my understanding, since I am one of the select few paid creators of Quora content, subscribers to Quora+ will be allowed to read my content free, whereas if a person just subscribes to my Space (Life Inside and Out), they can only read my content, so it is best to subscribe to Quora+ to read mine and other popular content providers.
I thank you in advance for supporting my mission to provide quality content by subscribing to Life Inside and Out or by making a donation of your choice in the box below. A small contribution of $1 helps and will be much appreciated.
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Crypto Crew University
Nothing I write or post is meant to be taken as financial advice in any form, since I am not qualified to offer such advice. All I am doing is sharing my experience and one of the sources of which I feel provides valuable content.
I’ve written some things I do in Trading Apps I Use if interested. Though not recommended by most experts, I have more invested in the more volatile cryptocurrency market than I do in the stock market, also volatile as of late.
Playing in either market is like gambling or loaning money to people. My philosophy for both is the same:
IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO LOOSE IT DON’T DO IT!
Steve at Crypto Crew University on YouTube provides a lot of information to help men and women learn about the Cryptocurrency market. He offers some free courses and others for a fee. One thing I like about him is that he offers his courses at a discount or free to those struggling to make it.
I will conclude this blog post with links to his YouTube channel:
Watch “Ultimate Bitcoin Strategy for Beginners | Step by step guide” on YouTube