Every morning I open my eyes I have to pinch myself. Am I really here? Am I really in Alderson Women’s Federal Prison Camp?
It was Friday October 13th, and I was walking to work at 5:00am. I arrived at the huge cafeteria better known as ‘CDR’ and went to sign in. The lieutenant looked at me and then looked at his watch and said, “Sugarmann you are one minute late, you go back to working PM shift”. “Shit”, I thought, “I’ll never get on the correct sleep schedule”. For those of you who don’t know, I fall asleep standing up. I was diagnosed with narcolepsy and it is agitated by stress. And this place is STRESSFUL. Basically, I have been trying to be released from CDR for the past month. Everyone who knows anything about me knows I shouldn’t be working in CDR! But that doesn’t seem to matter. Friday the 13th would be my last day to get off work at 1:00pm! I had a skype session with my family at 3:00pm which ended at 3:30pm. I had another skype session scheduled for 5:30pm with Anthony and Talia. After my 3:00 skype I went over and sat at the computer and checked my emails. Unfortunately, I was horribly stressed out and I fell ASLEEP at the computer!!
When I woke up the room was pitch dark and everyone was gone. I looked at my watch and holy shit it was almost 5:00pm. Count was at 4:00pm. Count is EVERYDAY at 10:00am, 4:00pm, and 9:00pm. YOU DO NOT MISS COUNT!! When I looked outside there was not a soul around. So I stepped out of the email room and stood outside. Within seconds two white cars pulled up in front of me. The guard jumped out of the car… “Where have you been Sugarmann????” I thought to myself, “oh shit ya did it this time Roz”. I replied, “I was asleep in email”. He made me get in the back seat and within 2 minutes, the Warden pulled up, jumped out of his car and into the backseat of our car… RIGHT NEXT TO ME! It was a smaller car so our elbows were touching. He turned his head and looked directly at the side of my face. I could ‘feel’ him staring at me while I looked straight ahead.
He said sternly, “Sugarmann, you fucked up the national count”. Well I didn’t really know what that meant, but I knew it wasn’t good! He then said very loudly, “Show me Janis Joplin… I immediately pulled up my sleeve and showed him my tattoo. “NICE”, he said.
We drove back to my unit up top where all of the units and the main pavilion are. I got out of the car and went into my unit. The guards walked me in and as I started to walk down the center aisle to my cube in the far back, everyone cheered and clapped and whistled ! I felt like I just received my diploma for graduating from kindergarten.
So much for staying under the radar. The entire compound, and I mean ENTIRE…. 1,000 inmates and all Alderson staff, know me as… “The triple OG who fell asleep in email and was missing during count.” I got a 300 series “Shot”, and the consequences were 2 weeks back in the Bus Stop and 30 days of NO skype. So here I am trying to sleep in the bus stop where the fluorescent lights are always on and people are always moving around.
It is Tuesday night, my day off. I attend the Narcotics Anonymous meeting tonight. I go every Tuesday without fail. It’s my home group. I feel safe there. It is where I feel “home”. I sit in the circle and shut my eyes. I have a vision of old timers from home sitting around the table. I see Shannon L. , Joe B. (RIP), Kenny B., MaryAnn B. (RIP), Terry B.(RIP), K.J, Gloria, Barb M., Rox R., Mickey H., Rosemary R., Marla, Walt S., and Sean S. I see a huge cloud of cigarette smoke in the air. It is the Beachwood meeting at the Mary S. Brown church on Tuesday nights in Squirrel Hill. My home-group. Those days were ‘Golden’. I feel so blessed to have experienced Narcotics Anonymous the way we did back then. It was a “Gift” for us. A blessing and a totally new way of life!!
I counted 29 people at the NA meeting tonight! How awesome! I brought Jessica (my Bunkie), Garlic, and Kelly with me tonight. So many new faces. My Bunkie Jess came two weeks in a row. She touches my heart. God has intervened and is running the show. I wrote a letter to her judge requesting that she get to go to treatment for the last 18 months of her sentence. I ask God every night let this be granted to her. She needs recovery badly. She needs a chance to get her kids back. She loves them very much and she lost them to this treacherous disease. Her husband just got out of prison and he is an addict also… struggling to stay clean.
There are hundreds of addicts on this compound. Many have been given 5, 10, 15 years for their first offense. Non-violent first offenders. Most have never been to treatment or to an NA meeting. I cannot believe how much they do not know about the disease of addiction. THEY NEED TREATMENT!
THERE IS A HEROIN EPIDEMIC OUT THERE!!! What is going on with our country? What is happening to addicts? Why so many deaths? Something is wrong. Very wrong. People are losing their family members and loved ones everyday.
Teach others about addiction. Share your experience, strength, and hope. Educate your children. Do everything you can to gain knowledge, understanding and information to share with your kids. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Sadly enough, I truly believe that this is ALL that is needed to stop the epidemic. Not one addiction course is offered to children in elementary school, middle school or high school. The most they get is the D.A.R.E program. It covers NOTHING. I believe the solution is simple. Do not LIE to your children. They already know what you are doing.
Alderson Women’s Prison Camp is full of female addicts who have children. These children are the future addicts of America if we do not do something quickly. We need to educate them about the disease of addiction BEFORE they end up following their parent’s footsteps…. NOT AFTER. Be pro-active. Help others. Teach and Share. We need addiction to be taught in schools. Maybe we need a stand a lone school that educates the WORLD on addiction… hmmmmm.
Can you imagine how many government employees, police officers, prison staff, and politicians would unemployed? And what would Big Pharm do??? Uh Oh! That’s a whole new blog!
Pray and ask God to help the addict who still suffers and their families who continue to suffer…. the pain brought on by the disease of addiction is unbearable.
I love you all. Thank you for reading, and your continued support!!!