The door slammed closed and I was alone. The room was small, with painted concrete walls and a broken window letting in the cold air. The bed was wooden, fixed to the wall with one of those thin blue mattresses you see on hospital beds. There was a washbasin and toilet on the opposite wall by the window. The date was the 5th April 2011, and I was in prison!
There are many reasons why I should not have been there, but I had to accept that I was.
Acceptance and taking responsibility for oneself are hard to do, and many of us fail at the first hurdle. That’s why we stand still.
The environment was intimidating, one that I never thought I’d see. I was in shock. It wasn’t the first night that was my worst; that was to come. All I had in my head was the feeling of anger, the feeling of being ashamed and thoughts of how I could get revenge on those who got me there. The only thing that was getting me through was the photo of my young son, the rest of the time I was numb.
My focus was in the wrong place. I was spending my time thinking about who was to blame, the reasons why I was locked up and who I could hate. I had to change; I had to accept that this was real and I was not in control. I knew I had to let go, and after reaching the lowest point in my life, the feeling of ending it all, I came to the realisation that I was the only one who could make the difference.
I immersed myself into the education department, becoming a teaching assistant and a
Mentor. I helped fellow prisoners with their Maths and English. I began to focus on my future, completing qualifications in Life Coaching, Mentoring, Supporting Adult Education,
Leadership & Management and more. Helping others helped me.
I found a purpose, and the fulfilment I got from the results of others drove me on to give
more. I was ready for release but little did I know that life back in society would be so cruel. I had an uphill struggle as all the things we take for granted were out of my reach. I could not get a bank account, insurance, a credit card, loans, a mortgage or even rent a home. But I persevered. I got help. It took me over three years to be able to tell anyone my story; I was too ashamed, too embarrassed to talk about it.
Now I do talk about it as much as I can to help inspire others. I use my experiences to help people discover their idea of success and then take them on their journey to achieve their best life. Never give up, find your passion, leave the past where it is and concentrate on your future.