Strength to Stand On My Own Two Feet

by Eddie Herena

I knew I’d be alone the moment I stepped on the bus headed for state prison.  I ran with a gang on the street and eventually wound up in County (jail) for a murder I committed.  The thought of spending the rest of my life in prison was overwhelming.  I was twenty-one.  Knowing myself and the loyalty that lies within my being, I was forced to make one of the toughest choices in my young life: to either immerse myself deeper into the gang lifestyle, or walk away.  It wasn’t easy, but I knew that if I chose the former I’d die in prison.

My reasoning and spirit refused to accept the fate of a gang member in prison.  I walked away, I was alone, and even though fear plagued my mind as I hit my first prison yard, choosing to walk away from people who could care less about my wellbeing was one of the greatest decisions I had ever made in my life.  Thank God for the strength to stand on my own two feet in prison.