Michael Irwin: Suicide Vs Re-Integration

Prison Phenomenology

This is an old post rehashed from old sight, but please tell me the difference between then and now.

There are times when you sit and wonder ‘what what was that all about’ and you realise that you think you are in control of your mind and body but alas you are not.

Suicide and thoughts of it swept over me today like never before.  I have read so much literature by Shadd Maruna, Alison Liebling and Ben Crewe that I thought it might give me a heads up when the inevitable moments arrived.

Not the case – it swept through me, in me and around me.  My heart was beating like a triphammer.  My breathing helped but the worry and the fear and anxiety was impossible to suppress.  I went for a walk and ended up at a family members house where a few others had also popped in.  We talked and laughed and joked and it went, this feeling, as fast as a …  Well, it went anyway.

This is an experience that nobody can tell you about unless you’ve felt it.  This what many have felt before me and many will feel after me.  Where on the re-integration brochure does it warn you of this?  Where in the narrative of the rehabilitation blanket does it give you guidance?  Why did i not phone someone who could tell me about this?  Is it because i’m a man, is it because i’ve got pride or am I so used to not showing weakness that i forgot what it’s like to feel humanity.

I spent forty minutes in the company of nearest and dearest and it reminded me more of what i have to give up for a little bit longer, BUT, and it’s a big but, it also reminded me of what i have to look forward to.  There are simple things in life like a child’s laughter or smart quip that makes you smile inside.  This smile, for me, shines through and i hope that my experience of temporary darkness today, might, just might mind you, help some other poor soul who feels overwhelmed by the enormity of the re-integration process.  I have documented nearly everything.  like the mad scientist who has to experience the bad side effects of his potion in order to heal the sick.

I’m happy i’ve experienced this as i now know how it feels adn can tell others if they are inclined to listen.

Ahhh, the art of Listening.

24/06/2013 A free man? 

This wave/tsunami swept over me again yesterday – on the bus on the way home from a Job Centre interview.  I jumped off the bus two stops before I was meant to and got home and under the covers as fast as I could.  I cried and screamed and shouted and slept for about two hours.  It passed.  The thing is – I know what it is – it’s a process, a frightening one yes but all the same it will pass.  I’m lucky I know it, what about those who don’t?  Think it was the questions at the Job Centre, they did nothing wrong by the way.  For me, My hypothesis is that after six years where every question asked by a prison officer can end up with one getting in the shit one becomes mentally processed to be guarded – much more than guarded, some might call it fear or the bodies way of dealing with an abnormal situation.  It’s about time somebody paid attention to this.  One minute i’m sitting with a beautiful woman signing up for ‘Tango’ classes the next i’m wanting to throw the ropes up. I never will, but I know there are those who don’t understand what’s happening to them and they end up back there or underground.

On a footnote for my next blog – left Prison a week ago with £71 discharge grant, went to Job Centre Friday £2.80 return by train. Had  two Preliminary interviews Yesterday (Monday) £2.80 return by train.  Had to sign on this morning (Tuesday) £2.80 return by train.  Money gets paid into my bank (yes I already had an account) on the 11th of July today is the 25th and I think the 11th is a Bank Holiday.  Is this why guys re-offend?  I’m lucky I’ve got a house and a family to support me.  What of those who want to change but have nowt?  The reality of leaving prison is much more than the Narnia of the real world.


About micsirwin

I'm a Postgraduate student at Queens studying Criminology, writer, poet and lover of integrity, dignity, respect and morality
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2 Responses to Michael Irwin: Suicide Vs Re-Integration

  1. micsirwin says:

    Reblogged this on micsirwin and commented:

    This is for Sefton and Natalie Atkins keep breathing. Check out Art of Living Breathing and Meditation Cours near you. Saved my life.


  2. Pingback: Prison Trauma and Coffee a Holistic Approach | micsirwin

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