About Me, Ex-Con, Ex-Addict

By Texas Magnum

Original Post from November, 2010 – “About me – Convicted felon and addict”

I am a 22 (update from the Editor – now 23) year old man who has a history and the personality of addiction, not only to pleasure but to punishment as well. I don’t deny I broke the law and that is why I am imprisoned today.

My crime is I am an addict. I have abused most substances. I have spent a total of about 1 year of my life in various rehabilitation treatment centers over the past 4 years. At first drinking was my major problem. Then I was arrested when I was 19 for “personal possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram”.  It was meth. By the time I was arrested for meth I already wanted to change my ways, stop drinking and stop using drugs, so I took action.

Thus started my series of trips to rehabs. Always going with the right desires, but as soon as things seemed OK I would pick up once again. Not long ago I had become so involved in my drug use I was shooting meth with heroin into my body. For me that was part of the thrill, knowing I could die from such use. I had become so discouraged with myself that I had attempted suicide. At first I told myself it was an accident but the scar on my wrist reminds me every day that it wasn’t. (Sorry Mom, I am sure you don’t like to read that.) I came very close to death that day, and I now have very limited use of my left hand and wrist. And, shortly after it happened I landed in jail so I haven’t had the physical therapy I probably need.

After leaving the hospital from that incident, I knew I had been given a chance to continue living . But I was already used to that feeling. See, it wasn’t my first near-death experience. So once again I was off and running. This last July, 30 months through my 3 years probation, I got arrested for possession of heroin. I have been in jail ever since.

And now, 3 months later, I have been convicted to 4 years in TDC for the heroin conviction to run concurrent with 1 year in Texas State Jail for the probation violation.

I’m writing this blog not because I want pity but to express the emotions, feelings and thoughts that now come to me, as I sit in jail and face intake into prison. The truth is I feel amazingly free in here. My spirits are high and my will to be happy is stronger than ever. See, in here I have no needle in my arm. I’m beginning to love myself for who I am.

I have never really believed that achievements make you, but rather that you make your achievements. I truly believe this is where I belong and I look forward to learning about myself. I am learning to love my neighbors since arriving here, even when it appears we are polar opposites. Because really, we are all part of the whole and not one of us is better than the other.

And, my attitude has changed. I am not sure why these changes are taking place but I welcome them. So to all of those who may be coming to jail or to prison, it isn’t always so bad and if you’re like me, it might be what you need.

Update 2013: I started this blog while incarcerated in the Texas Department of Corrections and Justice – TDCJ. I have been out on parole since March of 2012. I am keeping my original entry for this page here below, so you know my story. Now I am working on starting over. I will always have the label “ex-con” to carry with me, and I will always be an addict in recovery. It’s one day at a time, and I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Update 2014: As we come to the end of 2014, I am happy to report I am married for over a year, have a one year old son, and have been with the same job for over two years. I am still putting one foot in front of the other, and consider myself luckier than most. I still have bad days, and I still make bad choices on occasion – don’t we all? – but overall I think I am doing just fine.

Peace to all you out there, and if you are connected to someone locked up, my advise would be to try to send them letters when you can and visit if you can. It means a lot to them, believe me. And don’t give up hope – Everybody has change within them.

Update 2015: Still free! Still working! still married, and got a baby girl on the way! It’s not all been rosy days for me though. Read my story below. I was in prison for a couple years and I wish now I could have those years back. Maybe my story can help someone else, and I try to provide info on prison here. If you find yourself or maybe your child or parent facing prison, read my story and learn what you can. Knowledge is power. Peace out y’all.

  1. Brian says:

    As someone who has a young (19) year old son that is just being processed for a felony conviction that is going to land him in TDCJ, one of the things I worry about most is his ability in the future to support himself. Can you give me a brief description of what you do now and what you did when you got out to try to find employment? Thanks!

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Brian, the job situation is tough for felons. A lot of jobs plain aren’t going to happen. Things like a carpet cleaner for instance, they don’t want to allow felons because this job entails going into folks homes. So most of the time those sorts of jobs which seem like a simple job for someone to get, a felon won’t be eligible. But the good news is, there are places that will give someone a chance. And some businesses are actually aware they can get a tax break for hiring felons, so they go out of their way to consider felons. There is a flooring place in Austin with that policy. Now I live in a small town and I work at a small construction company, it’s just a couple of employees. I was upfront about my situation. I was on parole and that means having to meet with a parole officer regularly and being late to work or leaving early on those days so there wasn’t much sense in hoping I could hide it for long. I also worked at a restaurant when I first got out. I told them straight up and asked them to give me a chance, and they did. Of course, you cannot join the military with a record, and you can’t have a job like a delivery person most times because they can’t get insurance on you. Or it would cost too much and it’s like the carpet cleaning, the company usually has a policy about no felons for that kind of job. When I got out I approached job hunting that no job was beneath me, and any job MIGHT be possible. I just applied everywhere. I got turned down a lot. I just made my job be job hunting until I found work. I don’t know what kind of work your son has done prior to his incarceration, but at least to start, he should be considering it will be some sort of manual labor job. Not likely he will be working at a bank or anything. Good news is, most folks work out a lot in prison so he will come out strong. Does he have tattoos? If he doesn’t yet, he might not listen, but you should urge him to at least be discreet with placement. I regret a couple I got while in prison, they show a lot and they are stupid and don’t help me. (Yeah, tattoos are against the rules and yeah, he will probably be tempted to get them while there anyway.) Anyway, your son’s job situation will work itself out when the time comes. Meanwhile, just focus on the current situation and write to him while he does his time, and visit if you can. Those visits and letters mean a lot. Peace to you man, and peace to your son too. ~ Magnum

  2. Lance Gudmundsen says:

    I have a friend incarcerated in Texas for the past 22 years. He’s written an essay, indicting the T.D.C.J. system and saying it doesn’t live up to its mission statement. Would you consider publishing it as a guest blog? He doesn’t wish to be identified for fear of retaliation.

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hey Lance, I would be open to taking a look at it for a guest blog. I don’t mind him telling things like it is, but I would want to read it over and make sure it’s appropriate before committing to publishing it. This forum is meant to be mostly a place to get information and help and also I like to have information about prisons in general so it might be good. Send it on, I will let you know. Peace ~ Magnum

    • Lance Gudmundsen says:

      Thanks for your response. How do I submit David’s essay on the T.D.C.J.? Can you provide your email address so I can send you the PDF file? Thanks again for any consideration.

  3. august says:

    I have three beautiful kids with an addict, who is now serving 3 years in Huntsville (which I would not be suprised to hear was the God awful place you referred to in one of your posts). It has been soothing for me to read your blog; makes me somehow feel more connected to the entire process, since this is all so new and terrible… thank you for sharing all your thoughts.

    “That is part of the beauty of literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hi August, I am sorry it has taken so long for a reply. Unfortunately the site has become infiltrated by 1000’s of spam comments which take so much time to weed out and delete, and get to the REAL comments. Thank you for the kind words. I would like to suggest you visit http://www.prisontalk.com as well, they are a wonderful forum with much information and support. Try the section for those married to incarcerated folks, and the Texas forum. You will find a lot of support there! Best of luck to you and your man, and your children. Time will pass and he will be home.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a question. My wife was sent to plane state jail on dec. 22 she was arrested and sent to county on Oct 15 2015 but the inmate search says parole eligibility was on 10 09 2015 is that possible to have a date before she even arrested

      • Texas Magnum says:

        Hey there – that sure doesn’t seem right. Are you sure you are looking at the right offender record – correct DOB and all that? Are you reading the date right? Could it be 2016? Because no, I haven’t heard of an eligibility date from before the arrest date. Sorry dude, not sure what to tell you on this one. Hope you get some answers pretty quick. Peace ~ Magnum

  4. Hays says:

    I was locating a friend in tdc and ran across your site and couldn’t stop reading.Being an alcoholic/drug user for the better part of my being 40,, recently ive been Trying to stay clean due to being a dad to a 5 year old boy.Alcohol and hard drugs have destroyed relationships and many opportunities for me and I just wanna give props to you or anyone locked up that you can live life w/out the fucking dope.peace

    • Texas Magnum says:

      I got out just 2 weeks ago, freedom feels great, and when I say that, I mean freedom from addiction too. Good luck with your search for sobriety, you can do it and it really beats being locked up to find it on your own. Keep up the fight, man.

  5. Paul says:

    This is the way our system works. You have to commit a serious crime of hurting somebody else or a felony of some kind to be put in a cage that keeps you away from your demon. It is a forced action that protects you and us in society. You are even beginning to get inspired about a brotherhood of man. Addiction is like a cancer that must be cut out, voluntarily or by force, if it is to preserve the whole body, which is your case, the body is society. The cutting out of cancer is not pretty, it is messy and ugly, but society cannot stop in it’s duty to keep cutting out this cancer or the whole of society will crumble and die. If parents don’t do their jobs in instilling in their children the difference between right and wrong, when a person is young and impressionable, then it is left to the cold, heartless arm of the law to correct these individuals when they are grown up and incarcerate them or execute them. You cannot baby cancer that does not want to stop being cancer. A snake will be a snake when you let it out of it’s cage.

  6. Robin Pesek says:

    Hi, I’m Robin and mother of an addict serving time in a Texas prison. I was on the M.I.S.S. website and your site was spoken of highly. Thank you for your writtings and the reading list. There is a foundation that will mail inmates “We’re all doing time” & “Lineage and other stories” at no cost. If the inmate likes those kind of books they can write and request more. I believe 3 more are available. My other son also recommends “1Q84”. I think that book runs @$30.00. God bless and keep you safe. Thanks again, Robin

    • Editor says:

      Hi Robin, That is great information about the foundation offering Bo Lozoff’s books. It is named The Human Kindness Foundation, and is in North Carolina. Here is a link to their site: http://www.humankindness.org/. They also have a newsletter and they have a program of corresponding with inmates. It seems they have really dedicated themselves to helping those incarcerated.

  7. Jessica says:

    Hi, my name is jessica and im doing a report on Prison systems. I was wondering if you could tell me how you the conditions are. If so they would be a great help. Congrats on your to making it into recover. Jessica

  8. hailey says:

    Hi. my name is hailey im 16 years old my mom is an addict off meth. shes been in and out of jail for quite some time. i might be young but i sure do have a broad mind of how life is todayy and whatss going on around uss. i read your letter and it insipred me. i just wanted to sayy hope things go well and everything is ok. maybe i could get a reply. thank you hailey.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Hailey, I am sending all your comments to Magnum today. I am the person that helps Magnum post here. I am very interested in your unique position as the child of a meth addict who is incarcerated, that must be very challenging for you at times but I am glad to read that you and your mother are communicating by letters and staying in touch. I agree with you that everyone should get a second change in life. Everyone can change, too. It can be very hard and sometimes near impossible, when life gets a hold on a person and gets them down, but it can be done. I will keep you and your mother in my thoughts for a bright future.

  9. shannon says:

    I am in indiana,its 3 am and i found your blog. I was in prison for a probation violation also. I am a pain pill addict and forged prescriptions. I feel like i was put in a cage for having symptoms of a disease. I truly get where u r coming from,and hope to read more from you…

    • Editor says:

      Hey Shannon. I hope you are doing well, thank you for your comment, I have forwarded it on to Magnum. I wanted to mention that another great site I found was soberrecovery.com, it has a great forum with sections for all kinds of recovery and approaches to recovery. The people on the site are very nice, there is a huge section for pain pill addiction that you might find useful to you. It will be hard to conquer your addiction — and you have to just set your mind that you are going to feel like crap for awhile, because it’s the truth — but you can do it! I wish you the very best in your journey!

  10. Cindy says:

    I just wanted to let you know that someone does read your blog.I just happened to come across it and couldnt stop reading it.My fiance just recently got arrested on a parole violation.(Hes been locked up for three weeks in the county )He would have been home for a year in May.I stood by him for four years and believe me it wasnt easy being without him.Looks like I will be without him for at least two years unless by some miracle they reinstate his parole.Anyway,I just wanted to tell you what a GREAT job you are doing on your blog and I look forward to seeing more.

    I too am a recovering meth addict and I know the hell it will put you through.You are still so young and I know that GOD has a plan for you.I think you could help other addicts.GOD BLESS YOU!!

  11. Lisa says:

    I admire that you relize what God has planned for you. Always put him first and you will be fine. I also am glad you have someone helping you out with this!!
    Congrats on your road to recovery!!
    God Bless,

  12. Diane says:

    My daughter is an addict as well. Her drug of choice is heroin but really anything will do. She has spent off and on the last 6 years behind bars and was last released in May of this year and once again sits in jail. Three weeks ago she got her 2nd DWI. She was not drinking, she was mixing heroin and Xanax. A deadly combination. I am proud of your growth and wish you well on your recovery.


    • Texas Magnum says:

      Diane, I’m sorry to hear the unfortunate circumstances that have played out in your daughter’s life. Heroin is a tough drug. Me and your daughter share some of the same traits in drug use. I too used to mix heroin, xanax, alcohol, and meth all together at once. The life of an addict is a tough one, but I personally do not regret any of it. Without my past behaviors I wouldn’t be who I am now. I hope for your sake and your daughter’s that this will be her last trip to jail, and it’s her time to stop. I hope it is, I am sure she will take her experiences and use it to grow. Just remember, as a mother, you did nothing wrong. I tell my mom this all the time but I know she sometimes thinks it.