Journal Entry: Marty Brian Robbins-02/02/2024

Journal Entry

More men went to the SHU today The count is 40 plus men this past week. Contraband found of all sorts, phones, alcohol, dirty drug tests and probably more than I’m aware of. If no one steps up to lay claim to Contraband found in common areas then everyone pays the price.

I think of a man I was having a conversation with about each of our addictions in the past. The man, 20 years younger than myself, felt that moderation was his key to beating his addictions. I wasn’t agreeing with him, but if he felt it has worked for him then great. For me, my addictions brought me to prison, and if I remember correctly, him also. Moderation in dealing with my addictions will not work, I’m not even going to try it. I thought about his words last night as I saw a group of men sitting down to play a game of poker. A harmless game, probably for a few items of food from the store. A harmless game, moderation I thought. What would it hurt? That’s the question that I know is a trick question. For me, gambling became an addiction. I recall going to a casino for the first time in 1999, I lost $20, I couldn’t believe it. Next time I went I was on a mission to get my $20 back. I did, and won $20. I was on a role, I got this figured out. What will it hurt?

Fast forward 18 years, I’m laying $10 grand on one hand of Black Jack, sometimes two to three hands at a time. I’m on a role, I got this figured out. Fast forward to today, I’m in prison watching men play a harmless game of poker and I’m asking myself “What will it hurt?” I smile to myself and walk away in knowing the answer to the trick question. Don’t play and I’ll win for sure.

So I feel as if I have a bit of experience in using moderation with an addiction. I can only pray for the man that tried to give me his advice as he sits in the SHU probably for using his own advice.

I pray for this man and men like him and me. I’m not for sure why he went to the SHU, but the way of life so many of us have lived, including me, was and is an addiction. Change does not come easy and for this reason, I pray for strength and courage to overcome our struggles that hold us back in life. Everyday is a challenge for change, but it can be done one day at a time.