I guess I was somewhat fortunate. I was sentenced just a little bit before COVID hit so it was almost perfect timing. A good reason not to leave the house, less chance of seeing people etc.
My offence became public in December last year and touch wood, everyone that I know that is/was interested has already said their piece, asked their questions and either vanished or stood by my side.
It's been a great chance for me to self-reflect and make changes in my life that were desperately needed.
One thing I really struggled with was alcohol addiction. A good suppressant for that is not going to the pub for fear of getting your head kicked in. I stopped drinking in December when it all came out and I'm glad to announce I haven't touched a drop since and haven't really had much feelings towards drinking again, even getting beer from the shop or whatnot.
Likely tied into the lack of alcohol, I've also lost a lot of weight too. It shouldn't be overly surprising how much weight you can put on when your diet consists of beer and drunken kebabs every day followed by gallons of energy juice the next morning to get me through to the end of my shift so I can hit the pub again.
I'm still without a job as I lost mine when my offence came out and although money is a little tight I've managed to work some things out and I have enough to cover my essentials.
I've been focusing a lot on the positives of this.
- Weight loss
- Stopped drinking
- Meeting amazing, interesting people through my community order I'd otherwise never associate with
- Having the ability to just exist - This is an underrated feeling from offenders, I feel. At present I don't have to worry about getting up for a job I don't like, doing work for clients I can't tolerate doing projects I have no interest in surrounded by people I'm not fond of. I don't have to worry about meeting up with people when I don't really want to as I'm not invited anymore. I feel pretty free, my day is exactly that. My day. I can do as much or as little as I like in it. Life can actually be pretty good when all you have to worry about is yourself.
- I'm a big music fan and do a lot of music writing too. I have a small home studio and was musically bereft of ideas for a while but the floodgates have really opened up.
Forgiving myself was a huge task but I have pushed through this. Remember: the reason people fall is so they can learn to pick themselves back up.