22 Jan

Can you image being imprisoned for 18 years?

I can’t. I wouldn’t even want to be imprisoned for one hour.

But most of us are imprisoned and we don’t even know it or call it something else.

Say what? Yes, we are imprisoned by addictions, relationships, lack of education, lack of proper job skills, the past…I think you get the idea.

Let’s start with addictions. In my professional and personal opinion, addictions are under reported. For instance, “they” say that 3% of the Oklahoma population has a gambling addiction. Casinos are popping up everywhere in Oklahoma because casinos are legal on tribal lands. Why are casinos multiplying? It is not for the casual gambler, it is to feed the need of the gambling addict. And there are lots of them.

So how does an addict become imprisoned by gambling? The addict will spend most of their “time” gambling. Time, if he wasn’t imprisoned would be used on productive and meaningful activities. Money that is supposed to be saved or spent on family is gambled away. The average, everyday delights of this world are not enjoyed because the addict’s focus is on gambling and what it can provide. How does the addict free himself from this prison? By asking for help!

What about relationship imprisonment? I used to marvel at long-term marriages, you know the ones that lasted over 20 yrs. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am sure that there are some very healthy long-term marriages out there but highly doubt that many. In the last few decades, as you know, the divorce rate for first time marriages have held at about 50% and for remarriages that number jumps up to 80% that end in divorce. As gender roles have changed, individuals escaping their relationship prisons have increased and of course, cohabitation without marriage has skyrocketed. Individuals want to keep their get out of prison card handy.

So how do you know you are in a relationship prison? The first sign it that your individual rights are threatened. Who you can see, where you can go, what you can do? If you are in a healthy relationship, your partner should be able to trust you and support you in your chosen activities. The second sign is that life becomes very routine and boring. In a healthy relationship, each person should continue to pursue individual interests, look for couple activities and just not settle for the ordinary routine. The third sign that you may be in relationship prison, is that you lose hope. You lose hope in yourself and hope in the relationship. You think or say “this is just the way he or she is and nothing will change”. I am here to inform you, we all can change and keep changing, that is one of the beauties of life. If you find yourself identifying with his type of prison, please don’t just escape, talk to your partner about your concerns so you can get back to living free.

In sum, life is too precious and wonderful to spend in prison of our own making. Take that step today to make your life and those in your life better.



One Response to “Imprisoned”

  1. Norma January 26, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    So beautifully and accurately written—if only some of us had realized long ago what a prison a bad relationship is!!!!

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