Request Denied

VINCE

My roommate is old. He has a TV, and we were watching FOX news. I should mention that I couldn’t hear anything and the subtitles weren’t on, so I was really just reading the ticker at the bottom. Anywho…the ticker said, “Judge allows gays to get marriage licenses immediately in Miami Dade…” The roommate says, “More queers getting married.”

I said, “Does that bother you?” And he replies, “I just think it’s gross and I don’t like to think about it.” I said, “Well don’t. I never think about it. And it doesn’t seem to bother me.” He didn’t like that.

I ran a mile today in 10:10. That’s 3:50 better than the requirement for passing the fitness test. Still nowhere near the required 4.3 miles they run every other day at boot camp, but I hear they let you work up to it. Progress.

Get back to where you once belonged….

In 2002, after a year of successful aftercare in a half-way house in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, I made the decision to return to Minnesota to take care of my court obligations, with the intent of returning to live a sober life with my network in Florida.

Healthy Vince

[Photos of VInce during his 5 sober years]

I had felony warrants in Hennepin and Ramsey counties that were about two years old. I ran from them to enter Hazelden in April 2001, because I wanted real change in my life and in my opinion, being forced into treatment doesn’t work. (I should say in my experience, not in my opinion.)

In the month before my return to Minnesota, I gathered evidence of my actions and whereabouts over the previous 15 months or so, along with some letters from my family, counselors, peers, etc. regarding my behavior and recovery program.

My hope was that the documentation would influence the judges’ opinions and sway their decision toward one that would keep me out of prison and let me get back to Florida.

Well, it went 50/50.

Because of my efforts in going to treatment, staying sober, and passing a urinalysis test when I got back to Minnesota, the Ramsey County judge basically kicked me out of jail and smiled at me right after she sent a pregnant woman to prison for four years. And I never even saw the judge in Hennepin. She let me out the day after I got there.

Now the hard part. The judges have no influence on the decision to let me move out of state. The State of Florida makes that call. And even with approval of both probation officers in Minnesota, and my Declaration of Domicile in Florida, they still didn’t want any more know felons in their state. Request Denied.

I blame nothing but poor decision making on my part for my incarceration. There is a lot I could have done differently, but I always look back on that period of my life when I wanted to get back to where I once belonged, inevitably relapsed, and snowballed.

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