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Overcoming the Shock of Incarceration

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If you or a loved one is serving a prison sentence, this pain is all too real. For the over 2 million families facing this in the U.S. today, the crippling pain of incarceration will affect every area of your life. The shock of prison will act as a ripple effect throughout every part of your life. Whether it is 5 days or 50 years, this profound moment in your life can be the most traumatic event your family may have to tackle. Despite the many challenges you are facing, you and your family can overcome the obstacles of incarceration. 

Many times, as you go through life’s challenges, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by your circumstances. From the shock of the sentencing to the pain that is felt in the absence of your loved one’s presence. It is a pain that that is both profound and altogether numbing. 

So, how can you overcome this shock? Here are five ways to help you and your family.

Allow yourself to grieve –  There are many emotions that come with a traumatic event. For various reasons, we may choose to suppress these emotions. You need to allow yourself to feel these emotions. The grief may come in waves, as moments of the new reality hits. It is important to recognize what you are feeling. Find a trusted friend or counselor to process this moment in your life together. 

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Stick together – It’s important to realize that the family of a loved one in prison is profoundly impacted as well. Whether you are inside or outside, you will feel the impact of incarceration. Now more than ever, you will need each other. You need the support of your family and friends as you take on this challenge. 

Keep in touch – Despite the barriers in communication, there are many ways to stay connected. From writing letters, to visits or phone and video calls, there are many ways to stick together. Building the bridge of communication is one of best ways to overcome the shock. Take some time as a family and plan to keep in touch. Read this article on more tips to stay connected. 

Create routines – As you navigate this journey, it can be hard to see how to carry on. This pain can feel overwhelming, drowning out one’s capacity to reason or make sense of anything. It is important to create some simple habits to help you keep going. From scheduling weekly or daily phone calls, to asking friends or family to help with chores, getting back on your feet may require effort. Make a list of things you need to do for the day and cross it off. This will help you take the journey to healing.

Dream again – This moment may be all that you can see. Know that there is a tomorrow and there will be a day when you do not have to face this. Many of us go coursing through life without planning our future. Take time to dream about your future together. As you begin to dream about your tomorrow, you will find purpose in the pain of your today. This moment in your life does not have to define who you will become. 

We are so glad you found his blog. We hope to be a resource and tool on your re-entry journey. To learn more about this watch the full video on YouTube channel, TYRO TV or visit our website,