Hi, Circle.

Here’s more on stress here, and ways of coping.

We have a gym here, the only downside to that is there is only space for about three people to do a workout video.  There is also exercise equipment, you know, like the elliptical, bicycles, tread climber, and of course yoga mats and exercise balls.  Once again, there is not enough room for more than three to four people to work out in there at a time unless you are over in the corner on one of the machines.  We have some very dedicated women who work out faithfully everyday here.  Which is fine, but what about people who want to try to get their body back and just try to be as healthy as they can be?  There is neither time not space for them to do that, and if they work, the net day working out at ten o’clock at night is just not really in the cards for them.

We also have a rec yard.  You have to walk to circle twenty six times to have walked a mile.  WE have a volleyball net and a basketball net.  I like to play volleyball and basketball on the outside but not on the inside.  See, I don’t like to go outside because we are fenced in and we have barbed wire on the top of the fence.  I imagine that it is like that in other prisons (!) However, when you have twenty-five years or so left it can be a little depressing.  We can also play cards and buy our own decks, but how many times can you play spades or cribbage?  I mean, it is fine for the time being, but playing it repeatedly can get a little monotonous.  Don’t get me wrong though, I like to play card games.  We even make up our own card games.

We also have a library where people can take out up to four books at a time.  I have read a good amount of books since I have been here.  I have a big reading list also, but many of the books on my list cost money, which is something that I don’t have for such frivolous items.  Women here have televisions, radios, CD players, and of course there are that few that have Play Station 2s.  Once again, I am not one of those lucky women.  I have a radio, but that’s about it.

I love to crochet; in fact, I was in the process of making thread bags with little pictures graphed into them.  I made blankets with pictures, or words graphed into them also.  However,the thing that I like the most is graphing with thread.  I really like a challenge; the more difficult the task is the more I tend to like it.  That’s a big stress reliever for me.  I am trying to do independent study so I can have a career when I am released.  I love to learn new things (I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a nerd.)  I would love to study ornithology and maybe someday get to work with birds.

Lastly, the ways that most women cope with stress here is keeping contact with the outside world.  I know that I try to keep contact with the outside world a lot.  I just wan to know that someone on the outside is still thinking about me.  It seems like to most women here that they are forgotten about most of the time.  That is why a lot of women look for pen pals to correspond with; that way they can feel like they are still loved and that people actually care about them.  I know that having a pen-pal that would like to get to know me and maybe even go further when I get out has made my stress level decrease a hell of a lot.

Write me!

Love,

Arline

arline.july.2017

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