The worst part of this PICS is feeling alone all the time. No matter how I try to explain what it’s like to have your mind and body out of sync with one another no explanation is good enough. It feels as if I am spinning inside myself all the time. The drug addiction is like being pulled into hell every second of the day. It does not help having to deal with the pain I’m causing Penda and our life. What I am realizing now is that those positive things developed during my 17 years of sensory deprived isolation which helped me to maintain my sanity must be put to use out here in the world.

One of the main tools I used was my spirituality. By that I mean I developed a daily routine for my spiritual wellbeing and health. As part of that program I made it a habit to practice the Seven Crowning Virtues. Which are:

1) Truth

2) Propriety

3) Reciprocity

4) Balance

5) Justice

6) order

7) Harmony

As you can see these are totally antagonistic to substance use. However, on an even deeper level they are medicine for PICS and its symptoms. For example one of the main symptoms I have experienced with my PICS is SOCIAL SENSORY DEPRIVATION SYNDRONE (SSDS). This malady which is caused by long periods of solitary confinement due to deprivation of social contact and infliction of sensory deprivation, has lead me to isolate myself from my support network and family. Resulting in an intensification of the other PICS symptoms such as my Substance Use Disorder (SUD). However, practicing the Seven Crowning Virtues in my daily life and relationships leaves no room for PICS to fester.

My point being there are jewels and tools in our experiences. All we have to do is find those positive things to focus our time, thoughts and energy on and Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) or any negative issues you may face in life will become less burdensome and more manageable each day you do so. Eventually, you will have silenced the chatter.