Ex Convicts Reveal The First Thing They Did When They Were Released From Prison.
Ex-cons on Reddit were asked: "What did you do on the day you were released from prison?" These are some of the best answers.
2/25 Got high, found a girl to hang out with, took an hour long shower followed by an hour-long bath, ate as much food as possible.
I'm 21 and have spent more than 2 years of my life locked up. To give someone who's never been away from the free world an idea even getting dropped off at Walmart and walking around with other free citizens all day... it's heaven compared to the last night in jail.
3/25 I got a job. I was 16 when I went in, and 19 when I got out. Inside was nothing like the movies portrayed it to be. I was positively influenced by older inmates to make better life choices. Getting a job was first thing on my list and I nailed it with in a few hours.
4/25 After a three year stint, I caught a random kick out. Due to the high volume of people coming in, they have an early parole act. After winning the prison lottery, my possible ten years turned to three! The strange thing is, you're just sitting around one day when your name gets called for mail. The excitement that arose with every word I read can never be explained. It informed me to call and schedule a ride to be there for me the next day. This may be a strange statement, and may be hard to understand, but, after three years of routine 'non-freedom', one night isn't time enough to adjust.
My Mother showed up to pick me up. She brought a pair of my old clothes. Oh the feeling of sliding your foot in to a good pair of shoes! Jeans with pockets. Strange happiness for the small things. All too much to handle.
When we made it home my mom went back to work. I just sat there and thought long and hard. I took off walking. My intention was to loose myself somewhere. I didn't care where. I found a good spot to lay in the grass and did just that. Laid there and got lost. No thoughts, no feelings, no memories. Just the blank way I had learned to fill my mind. Almost like I could, and would rather, just die there. And I believe that is exactly what happened. I left everything right there in that spot. I died there.
I do my best to visit that spot once or twice a year. Whenever I need to remember where I am today. And to remind myself where I was then.
5/25 Try to smoke again. It's smoke free where I am but my lungs had actually cleared up by now and it was awful. So one positive thing from the whole ordeal was that I managed (was forced?) to quit smoking. I'll probably make up the years I lost!
6/25 While I was in I would look out the window from the 15th floor and watch this homeless man dig through the trash everyday for food and comb the street for cigarette butts. He would sleep on this couch with a dog every night. When I got out I had $3 and a few cigarettes on me from when I was arrested. Walked to the Chevron gas station got 3 hot dogs (the lady behind me spotted me 21 cents to cover tax) (I love people sometimes) went to the homeless man, me him his dog 3 hot dogs and a cigarette each while watching the traffic fly by on the freeways. Good to be free.
7/25 After serving 5 years in Florida State Prison on a drug charge, I went home drank a bottle of Merlot ate a steak, got on the Internet, caught up on music that I've missed, and have remained exceedingly grateful for all the little things that make life worth living.
8/25 Went straight to Popeyes fried chicken. Had a whole 8 piece by myself.
9/25 Did a little over three years in the California Youth Authority (I realize that's not a long bid). The day I got out, I went to Longs Drugs (now CVS) for some hygiene items as I had left all mine behind for friends. I remember having a near panic attack being in a crowded store for the first time. It was almost suffocating. When I got to my father's house, I called my best friend (now my wife) and told her that while my parole had been denied a CO had given me one direct call to break the news, and that I had sent a package home with my father for her and that she could pick it up at his house. When she rang the doorbell some 15 minutes later I answered. Outside of my children being born that was the most emotional moment of my life. She didn't say a word, just held me for a ridiculous amount of time. Even though I had been "out" for half a day already, it was the first time I felt "home". We began a romantic relationship shortly thereafter and have been together going on eleven years, married for 6. Since that day "home" is wherever she is.
10/25 I was in a low security prison upon my release and took a bus back home to Iowa city. When I arrived at the bus stop there was a woman and her daughter who [had] locked their keys inside the car. I broke into it and retrieved the keys. Sweet irony at it's finest.
11/25 Didn't have anyone to pick me up but I had myself and $168 so when they turned me loose I grabbed my little duffle bag and hitchhiked to Denver to see an old friend of many years. Lost touch with him while I was locked up. Turns out he committed suicide a few months before. Family turned against me so I found a job and stayed at the mission for awhile. Got me a little apartment and a part time job to go along with the day job. Was doing pretty good. Got by on little and saved money. Met a good woman who loves me and me her. First baby is coming in July. Looking forward- never backward.
12/25 I went straight to an NA meeting.
13/25 I was locked up in a juvenile detention when I was 14-15 (don't think that would technically be a convict) however it was a prison, and when I was let out my father picked me up and took me to the lake we used to do a lot of boating and skiing at. There was a camp already set-up with the boat and everything, and all my buddies were there waiting and having a good time. It felt strange to be in such a beautiful and fun place with all your friends in the beautiful California sun after being locked up and depressed for such a long time. At first I wanted to hide and drown in my own self-pity, then after a time I said "Today's the day I learn how to barefoot" and that was exactly how I spent that entire day.
By the end of that day I had figured it out (the hard way) being dragged out of the water behind a boat that really wasn't powerful enough and rolling around on your back and spinning to get up on my feet. I think my dad spent $100 on gas that day but he didn't care, he just wanted me to be happy. I was very sore and battered but I was able to leave all the [stuff] behind me and start off again on towards the rest of my life.
14/25 I went to McDonald's and ate till I could eat no more, picked up a pack of Marlboro reds and smoked those with a large convenience store coffee. About a half hour later I took the biggest most complete [poop] of my life. It's not poetry but it's the truth.
15/25 Wasn't in prison but I spent 3 months in county. Got out and immediately downloaded the last season of Breaking Bad. Marathoned BB and ate wings.
16/25 After I got back to the house and was sitting on the back porch talking with friends....I decided to run. In one direction. And run FAST. There was nothing but a huge field behind our house, and I hopped the fence and just booked it. My friends were whooping and hollering and cheering for me as I ran. It was amazing.
17/25 Grandfather picked me up and took me to the mall to get clothes. He waited outside while I went in and got stuff myself. I was extremely agoraphobic. I had a very strong sense of unease at all the people flowing so freely in movement around me. I went to Best Buy and bought a sony discman that could play mp3's off of cd's (they'd come out since I'd went in - no iPods or iPod money yet) and picked up my collection of mp3 discs from a friend.
Had him drop me off at the bus station that evening. Got on a bus for 30 hours and left that part of the country forever. Too easy to get back into dope if I went back home. Started college about 7 days later, graduated 3 years later. Been married since 07, started my own business in 08, became a dad to a beautiful little boy in 2010 and I finished 8 years of parole recently with no violations. I'm a free man now (for reals - you see a lot of these folks talking about just getting out, but they're still being supervised) and I just applied for my passport. I think I'd like to travel somewhere outside the US.
18/25 So the first thing I did when I got out, was go to Denny's! I got an All American Grand Slam with pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, ham, hash browns, butter, and and orange juice. I eat every bite and loved it. I was accompanied by my very supportive family and my loving GF who seemed to want to cry seeing my eat after how famished I was.
I stayed the next few nights in a very expensive 5 Star hotel (omitted name for privacy), with my GF, and mostly stayed low key as possible for the next few days. The first thing I bought the next day was new clothes, as I had been wearing an orange jump suit for a year before.
And if anyone cares what I did to wind up in that situation, my crime was an accident, I didn't willingly know I committed any crime when I did. It was a mistake, and involuntary, but didn't matter one bit when I was sentenced.
19/25 Spent the night sleeping out under the stars, as far away as i could from other humans...
20/25 I went and walked to the convenience store, bought a 2litre bottle of Mountain Dew, 2XL slim jim's and a pack of Turkish Royal cigarettes and sat on the curb watching a hummingbird.. What a beautiful day it was.
21/25 I was arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault w. a deadly weapon. I was sentenced to less than 2 years prison time, because, the judge saw extenuating circumstances. Since the man I had stabbed was a date rapist, and there were multiple witnesses to say so.
I got out in 2010. I was twenty one and had seen my birthday pass on the inside. I got out, and my family picked me up and we all went out to celebrate. I had about 6 pints of REAL beer, and at least 45 wings, maybe more. About an hour later at the house, I blew massive chunks, I mean a straight deluge of vomit. My pops said he had something that would help. We went out to the yard and for the first time in my life, me and my father smoked pot together. He told me that he was proud of me, and that I did the right thing. Then I passed out.
22/25 I went straight to McDonald's and had a Quarter Pounder with cheese. 5 years.
23/25 Smoked weed and laid on a big, soft couch!
24/25 My brother and his wife came to pick me up at the gate. I got to see my 2 year old nephew for the first time, and we all went to Burger King and I promptly puked that out. Later that day we went to our grandmothers (who has a swimming pool). I remember the uncontrollable happiness I felt inside after jumping into the pool. I was laughing hysterically just to be in water, it was an amazing feeling. Then we ate at Red Lobster for dinner. Good day it was.
25/25 Discharge takes forever. You put your street clothes back on and then the waiting game starts. They took me down to the holding cells to be discharged at around 9am and I wasn't actually let out of jail until around 2 in the afternoon.
My dad picked me up and we went straight to IHOP. I had an omelette and 2 stacks of pancakes. Irrelevant but I clearly remember sending my coffee cup back for another one because there were lipstick stains on it from the last person.
Anyway, then on the entire ride home we blasted John Mayer trio's live CD. It was glorious. I couldn't afford the crazy expensive personal radio from commissary while I was in there so it was my first music I heard in months. I just took in the scenery and fresh air the entire time.
Then when we finally got home. I remember just a weird feeling when I walked into my house. I kept just thinking to myself "I can't believe how weird it feels to not be told what to do or watched".
Another thing I clearly remember was how weird it felt the first time I walked into my bedroom. The ENTIRE room seemed bigger than I remembered it. Everything just seemed oddly different.
Then my girlfriend at the time took me out to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner, then took me to her house to "see her parents." Nope. she had 12 of my friends hiding in her living room to surprise me.
We all just hung out, drank beers and played pool in her basement til midnight. Her mom made me this awesome cake shaped like an xbox 360 controller that said "the future is in your hands" on it. Obviously my girlfriend then came back to my house with me and welcomed me home properly.
Re-adjusting to freedom was a huge shock to the system, it took a few days. This was 5 yrs ago and I've had no legal troubles since.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.