From Lockdowns to Prison: The Only Freedom Is Between Your Ears
Living with restrictions can be common to various types of people and its how they deal with it that makes all the difference in the short and long term
That’s what someone described their feelings to me about their opinions on lockdowns. And like all people in the democratic part of the world they weren’t the only ones who felt as if this type of lifestyle made them feel depressed.
But let’s face it a lockdown is not like being stuck in prison.
And why should it be?
After all, a person who hasn’t broken any laws should not have to be punished as if they were in a jail cell. But for many, be they living through a lockdown or doing their hard time in a small cell, some similarities limit the physical body and also challenge the mind.
Here’s nine of them:
1. You can’t go too far from your inside location.
Because if you do that in a pandemic you are affecting others’ chances of becoming infected with a virus that you may have. And you`re also increasing your chances of getting a virus too.
In March 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, no one was allowed to go beyond 2 kilometers. But if you think that’s tough what about the prisoners who spend years in the same couple hundred meters surround?
Most of the time, they can’t leave their cells when they are locked up at night time and various parts of the day because all their other movements are recorded and they`ll be followed if they do.
2. You can’t go to the shop as normally as before.
And for many throughout a pandemic, it is a killjoy because shopping is their social outlet. Yet for those that are functional shoppers and want to go into the store, pick out their required items, and then pay for them at the counter this whole process can feel like a punishment.
Still, it’s better than not being able to go out and see others at all which is exactly what prisoners have to contend with. For them, the option is not there to go out and visit a shop in a normal social way. Instead, they are forced to purchase within the internal haggling system inside the prison walls.
3. You never know when it’s going to end.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, a two-week lockdown was initially imposed upon many societies. But then, this period grew and grew.
But for prisoners, it is different again.
Because if they have been sentenced to jail for a few years then they know how much time they have been given. And if you`ve ever been through a long lockdown then you liked to know how long it would be before it would finish.
Yet it must beg the question as to how a newly convicted prisoner feels about their lack of freedom and having to live with other hardened criminals for the first time while also having to get their head around several years of a sentence?
4. The first of everything is normal and after that, it becomes the norm.
And this is exactly how many people approach both their time throughout an ongoing pandemic and whilst being in prison for the first year.
But after that things change.
Reality hits those that have kept their heads in the sand about it all and a different strain of thinking creeps in.
5. Many people have nightmares when their physical freedom is taken away.
As many were forced out of their well-worn routines and their subconscious minds take over as an ugly reminder of what can go wrong.
And this happened to many when they first went into a lockdown. So you can bet your bottom dollar that the lonely cell beds of many prisons have received their share of nocturnal twists and turns from those who were getting used to being relegated to years of limitations of movement.
6. It’s the same for everyone around you so know you`re not missing out.
But not everyone sees it this way from the off. Instead, they get neurotic about their insecurities and human nature dictates that:
‘I`m the only one!”
7. The longer it goes on you realize your world will never be the same again.
And for both those in an ongoing pandemic and those in prison, it’s the same feeling. So you either complain about it or re-direct your thinking to another way of doing things.
8. For those under house arrest or behind bars, you must get a long-term distraction.
Because otherwise, your newfound restricted lifestyle will become your obsession. And if you don’t have full control of your movements you`ll end up frustrating yourself as a result.
So you must think of other ways to spend your time.
9. You must consider others who are in the same location as you as they are going through everything that you feel too.
So you must be aware that your behavior can either lift or pull back those around you.
And the funny thing is about any types of restrictions on those in a pandemic or in prison is they all have one thing in common still. And that’s the ability to think yourself into momentary bliss and a satisfied attitude that will harness your resilience to get through.