October 12, 2014


As I said before, when I first spoke to my caseworker who is also a recovering addict about this positive urine screen, he told me to come back to his office which is located in my unit the very next morning and he would do whatever he could to help me. So I waited for him, then I waited some more, hours go by and I start to wonder if he’s even going to show up. While I’m waiting I try to think of anything else I can do before Monday when I’ll have to report to the cell isolation unit as a punishment of 23 hour a day lock down, this punishment will take affect before I even get the chance to state my case to the Rules Infractions Board. Punishment is a problem for me when I don’t deserve it, but it’s the very least of my worries right now. My options for taking evasive action in defending myself from this injustice are extremely limited. A man in the cell right next door to my cell also says that he hasn’t used any drugs in several more years than me and yet he was also told that he has tested positive for marijuana. Living right next door for well over a year now, I have no doubt he’s telling me the truth. When you spend every single day, 24/7 in the same proximity of others you start to know them, their habits, their associates, etc. This man lives very similar to me, like a hermit, plays piano, works out in the morning, spending the majority of his time in his cell, away from other inmates, certainly not associating with the well-known drug users and dealers. Inmates know the other inmates that are in the circle and out of the circle, they know that I stay far away from the circle, so they’re all approaching me now, asking me if it’s true that I’m getting accused of using, knowing I’m innocent, asking me just what I plan to do about it. I seem to be the talk of the town right now because no one will leave me alone. Often the guards that have regular shifts in the unit start to know exactly who is up to what because they sit back, look at what we do each day, who we talk to and whether or not we cause trouble. Our morning guard knows Kurt and I, he knows our daily routine, the fact that we keep to ourselves and spend the majority of our time in our cell or working out on the yard. This guard knows just as well as all the other inmates I haven’t smoked pot and he wants to know just what I plan to do about it. So I asked him if he had any advice and of course he sadly said what us as inmates already know, basically I’m screwed. I told him the caseworker said he was going to help me out when he came in, the guard told me that he’s in another building, so I asked him to call him and find out when he’ll see me. He told me the caseworker said he was too busy today and he would have to see me on Monday. I already know what’s in store for me on Monday, so I realize that this man is not going to help me like he said he would the day before. I tried to get down to the doctor’s office to talk about my medication possibly causing this whole mess, so I had the guard call down to the nurse. The nurse won’t see me, she says I need to fill out a kite and turn it in for an appointment which I know is going to be too late, but I fill one out and turn it in anyway. Another inmate tells me that I can request to see mental health and they can’t turn me away. This might be just what I need to get my foot in the door to see the doctor, so I do it, I demand to see mental health, and besides at this point I am starting to go a little crazy anyway. So I get the green light and head down to mental health. I stopped any kind of mental health medication when I arrived at Lebanon more than two years ago as a part of my commitment to my sobriety, health and change for the future, so this will be the first time having to see any mental health doctors here at Madison. Big mistake. I spent the next 2 1/2 hours listening to a man talk to me about his own life, nationality, religion, education, boy scouts, just about everything except for why I was there wanting to be seen by him in the first place. Frustrated, yet respectful I continued to sit there and listen to him talk. I finally tell him what’s bothering me and ask for his help, he simply tells me that I’m barking up the wrong tree and have a nice day. It felt like the rest of my day was wasted. Now it’s after 3:00 in the afternoon on a Friday, almost time to lock down for count, any and all prison officials who might have a chance to help me have gone home for the weekend. At this point I’m so emotionally drained I just feel like giving up, but I know I can’t, giving up will never be an option for me in life, ever again. In the past I would have used this time as an excuse to say “the hell with it, I’m being accused of using drugs, my family thinks I’ve been using drugs, come Monday I’ll be serving a punishment for using drugs, so I might as well use drugs.” But today I’m a stronger individual than I used to be, I no longer look for an excuse to use drugs because I don’t want the consequences that inevitably come with using drugs in my life. I want a great and prosperous future for myself, my children and the rest of my family. I want the love and trust from family and friends that I haven’t had in far too many years. I want to be known as a man of my word, someone people can look to and call on in a time of need, someone people can enjoy being around and I know that none of this is attainable with the use of drugs, there are no misconceptions about this, which is why the desire to actually smoke a joint has been removed from my everyday thought process, not to mention that three productive years of sobriety has strengthened that thought process. And here I sit, wondering just what the hell is going on and why….
Steven Dybvad

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