300th White Collar Support Group Meeting Reflection

Long before I reported to FCI El Reno in 2019 to serve my 24 month sentence I found myself in a prison of my own making. A prison fueled by years of misguided loyalties, shewed priorities, and horrendous decision making. I was trapped, miserable and paralyzed by fear. I was struggling to find anything I could control.

In 2014, everything came crashing down. I was of a mindset that told me life was over.

Now, in 2022, thanks to Jeff Grant, Lynn, Springer, Progressive Prison Ministries, and my fellow travelers, I know life isn’t over. In so many ways, it’s better than it has ever been.

The ministry has empowered me to ask better questions. What parts of my old life weren’t serving me anymore? What habits did I need to change? Which relationships were important to me and which did I need to let go of?

I’ve learned to be accountable for my own decisions and to not blame anyone for the choices I have made.

I’ve learned that to have truly authentic and meaningful relationships you cannot avoid difficult discussions.

I’ve learned that vulnerability, honesty and transparency are virtues, not weaknesses, and these are essential qualities for truly making amends.

I’m learning to trust my own decision making again.

As a friend and fellow traveler said to me recently: “with anything difficult in life, if we want to change, we have to start with ourselves. We have to ask ourselves if we want to repeat the same patterns over and over, or do we want to change and move forward”.

And in this regard, I am very grateful for my fellow travelers for being a positive support network and for holding me (and each other) accountable.

My conviction may be with me forever but through this group I’ve learned I am not condemned to a life sentence of misery.

300 meetings & 6 years strong. Looking forward to the next 300.

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