I couldn't believe it when I arrived at JDC Wednesday-- one of my original flowers returned. She was with me originally for about 200 days, and Wednesday she told me that she is returning for another 267-- 60 she will serve in JDC, and 200 she will serve in the big jail because she will turn 18. When she left, she was eager to start her new life, it seemed she made some progress- she was off drugs for 200 days. A good start, but as many addicts of anything know, if you're not ready to accept responsibility-- you're not ready for recovery. She hugged me for the last time about 2 months ago, and she hugged me again Wednesday-- for about 5 minutes. She weighs about 80 pounds and the track marks on her arms tell the story of her long road back to JDC-- she is a meth addict, she shoots meth, and her 35 year old girlfriend is in the mix as well. Her mother would prefer that she be with her girlfriend, because I'm sure that it's easier to be alone with no responsibility for your daughter than actually being with her and pretending you cannot see what is happneing.
She told me she longed for yoga on the outside, that she wanted to come see me but her bodies craving for her drug was more powerful-- she is a lost girl, searching and hiding from herself.
We began yoga, just simple breath, there were only 5 girls on this night-- 5 girls who have been together for a while in and out of JDC, girls don't have the opporutnity to hide in JDC, they dress the same, they cannot do their hair and there is obviously no make up-- vaseline on the lips that is it. There is no hiding when you are here, you are definatly your raw self. Everyone can see when you have been, and because no one wants to acknowledge their dificiencies, they walk around paying no attention to each other-- they talk, but they exist, that's it. They look young and so old at the same time, withdrawn, as if they have given up. Their hair from drugs is stiff and course, their skin from drugs, especially meth is weeping. Meth is made from very unhealthy things like Drano, hydrogen peroxide, sulfer, and obviously amphetamines--- there is even a process where you extract it from pee, but that's a story for another time. So meth is not metabolised, it is forced out of the body -- so sores appear, you actually begin leaking meth.
As we began breathing we began moving and with arms overhead, the sleeves fell down and the track marks were evident, maybe for the first time, the girls are faced with what they have done to their bodies in the sweetness of yoga. This is the hardest part for me, because I want to shake them and tell them that there is a better way-- but I can't and won't because we join together in yoga, I have become no threat to them, and therefore as they do yoga they open more than their bodies, their hearts begin to remove the protective layer and we talk-- about boys, parents, drugs, how hard it is when you have to grown up at 7 and take care of yourself-- how hard it is to not know from one day to the next who you can rely on, and how hard it is to know that without the tools to live, you do have to rely on yourself-- so it is easier to turn to drugs that make you forget or boys/girls who make you feel like your worthy even if it is only for one night. These kids search for what we all search for the ability to be happy.
Each of these girls is in need of so many things, and yet they are staunch survivors, victims yes, and many of them for life, but maybe through yoga they will survive a little-- and remember their inner beauty.
Yoga is what they look forward to in jail, they tell me this, but i really believe it is that they look forward to time and attention from someone who wants to do nothing more than breathe with them--
We continue our class, and we do Virabhadrasana II, and i talk about how strong they are, and how as you look down your third finger of your front hand, hold strong to the strength in yourself-- and my flower says, "Yeah give your problems the finger-- and then stand strong in yourself!"