Magazine

From the September 2017 magazine.

Leveled

In prison with 38 years sober, he hit a whole new bottom. Service was the way out

Having lived a long life of pretending and trying to look good at all costs, I finally came to the end of my game. At the age of 72, I was financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. A judge sentenced me to five years for theft and I entered Four Mile Correctional Center in Canyon City, Colorado.

On that first day of prison, during the intake process, I cried genuine tears. Even though I had 38 years of sobriety, I now found myself locked up. I had reached the final stage of self-will running riot in my head. For the first time in my life, I honestly made an attempt to surrender my life to God. I informed my intake correctional officer that I might kill myself the first chance I got. A mental health counselor then informed me that I had a choice to make. I would someday leave prison and I could leave it bitter, better or in a box. That was my choice.

-- Richard M.

Dillon, Montana, USA

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