When It’s Difficult To Be Optimistic     by    Ruth Utnage

I have developed this ideology that the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the ability to deal with challenges optimistically, or at least professionally. But there are times when life in prison seems to be terribly lonely.

I can handle most anything, I’ve been around the block and dealt with a few things but the one that never gets easier is loneliness. It sort of permeates the air. It gets even more difficult when so many people around me are in frequent contact with someone from the outside when I am not.

I am told so often that I have my life together and that people seek to emulate me, which is flattering, but what they don’t see is that I am so broken with loneliness. It is such a battle everyday to wake up and be happy and professional and keep going in a direction that is fruitful because believe me, there are so many days where I wake up and I am struggling to find the silver lining that enables me to continue living at all. But I always do.

The holidays really took a toll on me this year. I dealt well enough and only those who know me really well even noticed a difference and what they noticed was a slightly more rigidity to me than normal. But I’m hurting and what’s more, I don’t feel that I can tell anyone. So I am writing this because people…I have this need to be heard.

To be completely forthcoming, I have a need to be loved too. I need human connection. The outside world doesn’t even seem real anymore, it seems so…distant and abstract. I send letters to places and it just disappears into some ether. Funny, I have sent over 900 emails since June of 2019 and gotten maybe 40 replies.

So here is my silver lining that I keep hanging on to, in 22 months I will get to release to a world that is very real and I will be face to face with free people. I have mastered self-discipline in this place and I will carry that out with me to the world. I have what’s known as follow-through and reliability. This seems to be a lost concept in the world today, the ability to do what one says.

Well, this is what I say, I have a plan, I am going to follow it and when challenges arise, I’ll adjust and keep going. When I make a promise, I’ll keep it. When I declare an action on my end, I’ll do it. So I’ll keep going, and I am going to be optimistic because I will attract other people willing to do whatever it takes to be joyous, who love themselves and are capable to love others, like me. That’s my silver lining.

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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