Archive for the ‘Prison Life’ Tag

HOW ADDICTION TOOK OVER MY LIFE

It’s Sunday…yet again.  It was bright and sunny today.  To tell you the truth, it ain’t so emotional ’round here in Wyatt…lol.  It’s actually pretty chill here.  I guess everyone was right when they told me that the hardest part of my bid was over.  I’m talking about my time spent pretrial, being held without bond in county jail.  Granted, I’ve only been here for a few weeks.  I’m sure there are guys who’ve spent months…or even years here pretrial…who might have a different opinion on the matter.  But…this isn’t their blog…lol…it’s mine.  So, as far as I’m concerned, Wyatt is pretty decent (for a jail anyway).

I’m NOT recommending that anyone should commit a crime and join me for an extended stay.  I’m just saying that compared to my last accommodations, this place is like night and day.  Shit…I should probably put some disclaimer on this page…considering the traffic it’s been getting.  With my luck, some braniac will try to slap me with a lawsuit, blaming yours truly, saying that I said prison wasn’t too bad.  Remember, we live in the country that allowed someone to sue McDonald’s for the coffee being too hot…without a warning label.  We allowed them to sue and they won.  So on that note:  I am NOT prompting prison, crimes, doing or selling any drugs or illegal substances.  Anything I say is for educational purposes…DON’T do drugs…and to the kids…stay in school!

Anyway, now that that’s settled, I had a pretty good day today.  My mind state is currently on “the glass is half full” mode.  Optimism is the only way to do time right without stressin’…as I’ve mentioned before.  I just keep telling myself that every day is but one day closer…

I worked out in the early AM and again later in the afternoon…doing mostly cardio and calisthenics.  I used to never workout on Sundays back in Middleton…trying something new!  I have temporarily stopped my AM yoga.  I’ll start again when I get to the camp.

I watched the Women’s World Cup Championship game.  I’m pretty bummed that USA lost, but hey, Japan definitely needed a morale boost after the year they’ve had over there, so it wasn’t too bad (see…”half full”).

I finished reading my latest book, Bridget Jones’s Diary.  I really enjoyed it.  It was rather funny to get inside the mind of a single woman in a comic manner.  Now if only every woman I date would just let me inside their mind, we’d be in business…lol.

I wrote a few letters to a few friends.  With my luck, I’ll get shipped outta here on Friday and I won’t get any of their responses…lol.  By the way, every Friday, there’s a bus from RI to MDC Brooklyn NY…which is my next stop…so I can move once again at a moment’s notice.  I don’t get to choose when I go, they just randomly wake you up at 4AM and say “pack it up”.  Maybe this Friday…who knows?

Oh yeah, I got a visit from my parents today.  That was a pleasant surprise since they didn’t tell me they were coming.  They even remarked that I seemed happier.  I guess I am…well…considering I’m locked up.  It’s crazy how one’s surroundings can totally change your outlook on things.  So…needless to say…I feel pretty good.  I’ve certainly come a long way, that’s for sure.

My friend Stephanie recently asked me via letter to go more in depth with these blog entries.  She asked me to really dig into my addictions.  I wrote her back today, and to that I responded, “which one?”…lol.  So, I sat for a while, trying to analyze my addictive behavior and why I felt that I needed those pills…among my many other vices…to function socially.  That’s what got me to thinking…how addiction took over my life.

I can’t really pinpoint the exact day I realized that I was addicted to the “blueberries”.  It kind of just happened.  At first, I absolutely loved the way they made me feel, and when something can alter my mood or enhance how I feel, I go balls to the wall.  I don’t stop.  I’ve never been able to have just ONE drink, sniff just ONE line, or bet on just ONE game.  I always go for broke.  I don’t want the feeling to end…that rush.  See, I was NO angel before I got hooked on the 30’s.  I’ve done my share of partying.  Shit…I’ve probably done your share too…but I always had limitations.  I never really let drugs or alcohol dictate my life…well…not too much.  If I was in school or working, I wouldn’t touch shit during the week.  I’d only party on the weekends or on vacations.  That’s pretty normal, I guess.  I mean, don’t most young people work all week just to get wasted and loose on the weekends?  Well I did…for a long time.  I’ve done it all…well…all your party drugs anyways.  You got your E, GHB, K, cocaine…you get the idea.  By the way, I am in NO way bragging about my drug use.  In fact, as I look back on it, I’m quite disgusted with myself.  I was an absolute mess.  I was an addict LONG before the pills…I just didn’t realize it…or I just didn’t care either way.  Maybe I was in some sort of denial.  Like, I didn’t fit the stereotypical drug addict description.  I had a full-time job, I was in great shape, had no criminal record, I had a great social life, and I had a really close relationship with my family.  I was what they call a “functioning addict”.  I used to always say, “I hate cocaine…I just love how it smells.”  See, I still don’t know specifically why I thought I needed drugs.  I mean, it wasn’t to “fit in” or anything.  It’s not like I was socially awkward.  I just loved how they made me feel…I guess.  In fact, I’ve been told in the past that I was a fucking weirdo when I did coke…really anti-social.  Wait…isn’t that the opposite of why I did it in the first place?  Then why did I do it so much?  Addiction.  That’s why.  I guess I have been addicted to more than merely drugs over the years.  Money, fame, women, steroids, gambling…all the things that alter my mind and enhance my mood in one way or another.  But…it was those pills…those magical blue pills (no…not Viagra…lol…although these are quite magical)…those 30’s…that actually got me more than mentally addicted.  I became physically dependent on them.  It became more than just a poor choice, it became a necessity.

I remember waking up one morning in my Boston apartment.  The girl I was with woke me up, semi-grossed out, because apparently I was soaked in a small pool of cold sweat.  I laughed it off to the steroids I was on at the time, or that I might be coming down with the flu.  Blueberries never even crossed my mind.  At that time, I was only taking a few pills a day…for recreational purposes.  Yeah, I said “only”.  That day, for some reason, I didn’t take them as I normally would’ve.  So then, all of a sudden, after being awake for an hour, I started to burn up.  I was sweating profusely, as if I were in a sauna.  It lasted about 15 hot minutes, so I hopped in the shower and then…boom!  I was freezing my balls off…even under hot water.  I had the worst chills I’ve ever had in my life.  That lasted about 15 minutes.  Then…you guessed it…back to sauna mode…sweating bullets.  OK, that lasted ALL day like that, going back and forth from hot to cold intervals.  Talk about mild insanity…so I figured I was sick.  I must have come down with something.  Then, out of nowhere, I felt completely weak.  I was too weak to even walk.  It was as if all my strength had been drained out of my body.  So, I tried to eat something…soup…I think.  Bad idea.  Well…good idea…but it wasn’t happening.  I was nauseous.  I couldn’t eat or drink.  I was so sick to my stomach that I began dry heaving uncontrollably.  I was sprawled out on my bathroom floor, hugging the toilet bowl.  Marvelous, I had the flu.  I hate the flu, it sucks, but this seemed worse, maybe it was H1N1.  Shit.  Didn’t I get my flu shot?  So, I figured I’d try to crawl to my room to lay down.  Now mind you, I still have the “hot/cold” thing going on and I’m sick to my stomach, so lying down wasn’t exactly easy.  It was really uncomfortable, I was blasting my A/C when hot, then cranking the heat and hiding under the covers when the chills came on.  I couldn’t sleep.  My legs ached as if I had just ran a marathon, and they wouldn’t stop moving, like they had a mind of their own.  It’s called Restless Leg Syndrome…or so I’m told.  In fact, ALL of my muscles ached…badly.  I felt like I just took a beatin’  from Randy Couture.  I tried to sleep…I couldn’t.  Now all this is occurring over the course of the day, so the symptoms I’m describing are just getting worse and worse.  This was it.  I was dying.  A slow painful death…all alone (the girl I was seeing at the time was now at work).  I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy.

Then I had a bright idea.  I decided to take a few 30’s.  I figured I was in real pain and I had pain pills…made sense.  Since I was getting rid of them in an abundance, I always had a squirrel stash of them around my apartment (for recreational use obviously).  I took two…actually had to force ’em down.  It wasn’t easy since I was on the verge of death.  It wasn’t instant gratification, but about 15-20 minutes later, I felt considerably better.  Wow, these pills are the best.  I sniffed another.  No way was I gonna try and force another down my throat…with the dry heaves and all.  I felt…wonderful…all symptoms gone.  I felt as if I could actually run a marathon.  I was a genius.  I cured the flu!  Wait…shit…then it all hit me.  I was sick because I didn’t take the percs that morning, not because I had the flu.  I’m such an idiot.  How did this happen?  When?  Nah…can’t be.  I’m no drug addict.  Purely coincidence.  Denial…it’s a funny thing…huh?  But I knew what was up…I just didn’t know what was to come.  I didn’t only want the pills now…I needed them.  I loved them…

(To be continued…)

Posted 07/27/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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THE INDICTMENT

The United States of America v. Matthew McDonald…

Even today as I write this, those very words still give me the chills.  I mean…try it for yourself…put your name in place of mine…anything?  Thought so.

It’s not like I’m not used to it.  I’ve heard it said aloud over half a dozen times at the beginning of each and every one of my Federal Court appearances…but this shit still fucks me up to think about.  Like, the United States of America…all 50 states…versus l’il old me?  That’s a lot of people against me considering I’m only one man.  The odds were obviously against me…cause in the end they won…they got their conviction.  I’m told the Feds have something like a 97% conviction rate…pfff!

I can still remember the very first time I heard that phrase said aloud…my life would never be the same…

Before I tell this little story…I need go back to the day before.  It’s not like I just woke up one morning in a Federal Courtroom to some clerk telling me my life was about to be over.  I had to be arrested first.

It was a Tuesday…my last true day of freedom.  I remember that day like it was only yesterday.  That’s relatively easy considering all the days after my arrest spent in jail were pretty much the same day over and over….until I was moved recently.  I did my regular Tuesday things…as I always have.  I woke up around 11AM, went to the gym, ate, came home, had a quick visit with my Grandpa (he lives on the first floor of my apartment building), showered and got ready for work.  By getting ready, I mean I threw on sweats and a tee (I always change at work).  Normally, I wouldn’t have to be in work until 6PM, but on this particular Tuesday, I had to be in a little early.  The entire staff at the W Hotel in Boston did.  There was a mandatory talent rally (aka staff meeting) that even I had to attend.  Now usually I would have opted out since I had worked the night before, but there was no way around it.  All 300 members of the hotel staff had to be there…so I went.  I punched in…never punched out.  Come to think of it, I’m probably STILL on the clock as you read this…lol.

I won’t bore you with the talent rally…and all that took place during it…because I can’t really.  I lasted a full 10 minutes there before all pandemonium broke loose.  All I know is that just as it was starting, it was ending for me.  Everyone was there…friends, co-workers, managers, DEA agents…WAIT…DEA agents?  I guess they liked the hotel’s benefits package…maybe they were applying?  lol

When the two agents came in and walked towards me, wearing their blue jackets with DEA written in yellow and their badges around their necks, I knew what was up.  They were there for me…unless maybe there was some other drug dealer working there…couldn’t hurt to hope.  Nope, this meeting was mine…and mine alone.  I remember the first thing I thought was, “Am I in some sort of fucking nightmare right now…you gotta be shittin’ me…like…really!?!…fuck my life .  This can’t be happening.  I quit selling pills months ago.  I went to rehab.  I cleaned up my act.  I got a good job.  I was turning my life around.  I got rid of all the negative influences in my life.”  But as I said before…the past ALWAYS catches up with you.

If you remember that a mere few days prior, I was arrested for that other nonsense…worst week of my life!  I was ALREADY the subject of a hundred rumors around the hotel…thanks to our good friends at TMZ and various other media outlets…now this?  I’ll admit I was scared at first…better yet…in shock.  For the first time in my life I felt helpless.  I couldn’t sweet-talk my way out of this one.  Nope…this was serious!

I still had positive thoughts while all this was all happening…being cuffed and read my rights…“I’ll get bail/bond.  I’ll be home in an hour.  I’ll get a good attorney…he’ll get me out.  I’ll be right back to work.  Shit…did I leave my iron on?  Fuck…my car’s parked in the garage…that’s gonna really cost me overnight!  This better not make the news…one bad mugshot was enough.  Hey, at least I have a fresh haircut (thanks to Brian).  I wonder who snitched on me?  I wonder what the Feds know?  Fuck…these cuffs hurt!  I hate being cuffed.”  My mind was racing faster than my heart as I got led out of my work.

I used to think I was untouchable.  No pills…no case.  Now I was whistling a different tune.  I was served a Federal indictment.  Add it to the pile of shit I was already in.  This shit was turning into a Lifetime movie…and fast.  Where were the low budget B-list actors?  Nope…it was real…and I was about to find out how real.  “Goodbye W”, I thought as I was hauled off in some government-issued DEA SUV…

I spent the night in some holding cell in a city outside of Boston.  I guess it was too late in the day to arraign me.  It was nothing special.  They were actually pretty nice to me…the cops there…not the DEA.  They gave me the Boston Herald to read, some extra blankets, a cheeseburger, fries and a soda.  Not bad…a ray of hope…perhaps?  My emotions were on a rollercoaster in there…and I was completely sober.  I went from sad to angry, fear to aggravation, doubt to certainty, embarrassment back to anger again.  At that time, I was STILL blaming others for my circumstances.  I remember calling my mom then my aunt, while in the cell, saying first, “that lawyer better get me out”, then again 20 minutes later, “do you think I even have a chance of getting out?”, then 20 minutes later, “get me out of this shit.”  I was all over the place.  I barely slept.

The next day I was arraigned.  I was still in the clothes I was arrested in:  white v-neck t-shirt, black sweats, black & white Nike Air Max 95’s (wonder if I’ll ever get them back…lol).  Not exactly my Sunday’s best…but I’m sure the judge would understand…I hope.  I remember looking around the courtroom…looking over at my parents.  They had fear and sorrow in their eyes.  They smiled.  What else could they do…right?

The courtroom was immense, like you see in the movies.  “So this is the Federal Courtroom…huh?”  There was a ginormous United States seal over by where the judge sits, touch-screen computers, all sorts of clerks and other workers.  Oh yeah…and two heavily armed US Marshalls…only a mere few feet behind me.  I can still remember thinking while looking around, “You really did it this time Matty.  You got yourself in some serious shit.”  I greeted my attorney, James Cipoletta.  I told him to get me out of this.  He said he’d fight for me…and he certainly did…but there was no guarantee.  Feds are different with bond than State.  They do not like to give it…especially to drug dealers of the level they thought I was.  Then, out of nowhere, I heard it…“The United States of America versus Matthew McDonald.  Please rise for the Honorable…”  Everything went silent in my head.  My heart was in my throat.  My stomach was in knots.  Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.  I was shaking.  The United States of America versus me?  Like…what the fuck?  I’m one man.  The United States has me outnumbered by like…well…a lot…lol.  I might be “lol” now, but I surely wasn’t then…I was shaken.

The hearing lasted an hour or so.  The District Attorney went over the charges.  They had a few witnesses (yes…even at a bail hearing), a cop and a narcotics agent…or something like that.  They went over what they thought they knew to be true.  How many pills I had then allegedly sold and transported from Florida via airplane, and how much money I had then allegedly made.  They went over briefly what their “cooperating witnesses” had told them via Grand Jury testimony.  Shit…by the end…they even had ME convinced I was fucking guilty.  They made me out to be a monster and I needed to be kept off the streets.  They said I was an extreme flight risk and a danger to the community.  I was like, “Huh…me?”  I don’t even have a record, and besides I stopped selling eight (8) months prior to that.  What did they want with me?  All I had to say for myself was, “Not guilty, Your Honor.”

In the end, I was denied bond.  My lawyer fought for me…I’ll give him that…but the charge I got a few days prior conveniently played a part in my being denied bond.  Guess it wasn’t “nonsense” in their eyes.  Just a reason to hold me…

So that was it.  Sure…I’d appeal bond.  But that took time…time I’d have to spend in jail or wherever I’d be held.  Round One:  Feds 1 – Matty 0.  “So, this is it…huh?  I’m going to jail?”  I remember saying that to my attorney.  I was cuffed by the U.S. Marshalls and I nodded at my parents.  They had the same look of sadness in their eyes.  Their son was going to a place they knew nothing about, only from what they heard and what they saw in movies and on TV.  I heard, “Love you Matt…stay strong.”  That was it…

Funny thing is…I wasn’t scared to go to jail…well not of jail itself.  I was more afraid of losing my entire life while stuck in there.  Like…my apartment, my car…shit…my job!  I later realized that all those things can be replaced.  All material possessions can…time can’t though…that’s for sure.  I was on my way to prison, and at the time all I could think about was this frivolous shit.  I wasn’t thinking of how my family must feel…especially my mom.  She must have been a wreck.  I wondered what my friends were thinking…or if they even knew yet.  Oh they knew…apparently everyone did.

I saw some of the shit the media had to say about yours truly.  They were worse on me than the DA…in making me out to be a monster.  “The Bad Boy of Big Brother”…fuck them.  I wanted to lash out…to defend myself.  Actually, it was for my family’s sake.  I can take it, but it was probably tough on them to read and hear all that negative shit about me…and there was a lot!!  Hey, at least they called me a D-list hunk (LMAO) in some NY paper.  I couldn’t defend myself to the press.  My lawyer told me to keep my mouth shut.  I’d later find out why…

I was locked up and haven’t felt freedom since.  It sucks.  It was difficult at first.  They say the first few months are the hardest.  But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…it’s close…

As I sit here and write this, a lot of those old feelings flash across my mind…those painful memories.  It’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown since then…even in terms of coping with being on the sidelines for a few years…while everyone I know and love goes on and lives their lives.  I had to really cope.  It’s the only way to survive in here without stress.  I have two choices, basically.  “One”, I can use this time being away to reflect on all my mistakes (not only criminal) and how I can become a better man…to work on myself physically and mentally…so that when I am released (soon…by the way) I can live life the way I should have the first time around.  Or “two”, I can sit around feeling sorry for myself…stressing out over the so many “what ifs” that plague my mind…the regrets (I have a few)…and worry about what everyone has going on in the outside world.  I choose “one”.  It is what it is.  That’s all in here…you either man the fuck up and do the time…or you stress and let the time do you.  Let’s just say I’m not losing any hair in here.  Sure, I have my days, but who doesn’t?  I’d be lying if I said I NEVER stress, but I surely don’t dwell on it.  I now use it to my advantage.  When I’m sad…I write.  When I’m pissed off…I write.  When I’m gassed up…I write.

When I was free, three years seemed like a lifetime, especially if it meant being locked up.  Like…three years?  That’s (3) birthdays and (3) Christmases.  Shit.  Nah…fuck that.  When you have no choice (like me) you just gotta do it.  Well…I had a choice.  Mine was to hustle (sell drugs)…obviously the WRONG choice…one of plenty.  So here I am.  I allowed pills to put me in a cell.

So that’s a little taste of how I got indicted by the U.S. Government.  It wasn’t pleasant.  What if I never went to that meeting at my work?  How would my arrest have played out differently?  See…so many “what ifs”.  Fuck it.  I went.  I’m here.  I’m on my way…

To Becky from North Carolina, I got your letter.  Thanks for the words of encouragement…means a lot…even though you said you’d never let me date your daughter…lol!  Best wishes…Matty

MY JOURNEY HAS BEGUN…

Sunday – July 10, 2011

Well…I finally left Middleton.  Good riddance!  No more shitty food, no more orange jumpsuit, and no more county jail bullshit.  Sure, I’ll miss a few of the guys, but they’ll write…or I’ll write…or better yet…I’ll see them on the other side.  I’m moving on to the Feds…or almost anyways…

I’m currently sitting in my cell (much better accommodations by the way) in Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island.  I’m on the “new man block” for the next few days, so I figured I’d give you a quick update while I’m on 22-hour lockdown.  They keep all the new detainees locked up most of the day until we get classified and put in population.

I came here with nothing…except the clothes on my back…or better yet…the orange jumpsuit.  The US Marshalls don’t let you bring any commissary items from the previous jail, so I basically have to start all over.  When I leave here, same story.  Unlike Middleton, which gives you nothing but an itchy blanket, a sheet, a towel, and the middle finger, Wyatt gives you everything…well just about…basketball shorts, (3) tees, (3) socks), (3) pairs of underwear, standard toiletries, a towel, shower shoes, a few nice blankets (nice for jail), a pillow, and a 2-piece khaki uniform.  No more orange…which made coming here a little more pleasant…lol.  Also, as soon as I stepped on the pad, guys ask where you’re from…Boston obviously…and the Boston guys hooked me up with all sorts of stuff to make the next few days of mostly lockup more comfortable.  Items such as a radio, magazines, various food, bag of coffee, and good toiletries…which really make a difference…especially when you just get somewhere and have nothing.  Now if they’d set up my phone already…we’d be in business…lol.  I’ve been here since Thursday and I still haven’t been able to call my mom.  They keep telling me Monday.  Let’s hope so…or else I’ll just have to wait longer.  This place (so far) seems alright…decent for a jail anyways.  I wish I got to do my first 15 months here…but hey…it is what it is.  I’m told I’ll only be here for a few more weeks…then it’s on to Brooklyn, NY.  “Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in…”

I missed the premiere of Big Brother 13…since I got moved on Thursday.  I still have no clue who the new house guests are…mainly because I haven’t been able to talk to anyone on the phone yet.  Hopefully I can watch it tonight…if it’s on when my hour of freedom comes.  If not, when I call people tomorrow, I’ll get updated, and hopefully by next episode I’ll be watching and reminiscing.  Before I got here, I heard rumors that they’re bringing back some house guests from past seasons.  That’s pretty cool…as long as it’s not people I can’t stand…lol.

So…as you can see…my journey has begun…my little tour of our fine United States…lol.  Kinda wish it wasn’t a tour while shackled…but hey…like I tell myself everyday…this too shall pass, every day I wake up is a day closer to being free.  I’ll keep this blog relatively short for now.  Honestly, I only have two sheets of paper…lol.  I’d give you a typical day here, but I can’t really do that since I’ve pretty much been locked in since my arrival.  Must be nice…huh?  When I get some more paper I’ll write again…but for now I’ll leave you with a little quote from our “good friend” Whitey Bulger… “It takes a strong person to reach inside himself and say I’m here because of me.”

Posted 07/13/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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FIRST TRANSFER

I’m being transferred.  I’m not sure where yet…I’m writing this at 1AM on 7/6/11.  I will post a new blog as soon as I get to my next stop.  I’ve been bitching that this day would never come…and now it’s here.  My stomach is in knots…more like butterflies…not fear.  I’ve spent the last 15 months in the same cell, on the same unit, kinda get used to it…you know.  All I know is that this is my first step towards walking out of prison-yup!  I will blog as soon as I’m settled in and when I get a pen & pad. 143

Posted 07/08/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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EMOTIONAL SUNDAYS…

It’s Sunday night.  It’s cloudy outside of my cell window.  Seems it has been like this for the past few days.  Hope it rains ’till I’m out.  I’m currently locked in my cell…have been since around 10pm last night.  A fight broke out on my unit…a few people got lugged to the hole.  Another day in the life.  I was supposed to call my boy Alessandro earlier at 5PM…that obviously didn’t happen.  He’ll understand.  Not the first time I’ve been on “lockdown”…surely not the last.  Besides, I was never on time for anything when I was free…might as well keep up the trend…lol.

Yes, I’m still in Middleton.  Hopefully, I get picked up and transferred to a Federal Prison this week.  I’ve been saying that now since May 11th.  Story of my life…hurry up and wait.  I’m on the Feds’ time now…

Sundays usually suck in here (except during football season).  “Emotional Sundays”…that’s what we call them here in Middleton.  Not everyone does, obviously, only the few guys I actually hang out with.  It’s a joke…like you know how club promoters put a name on their nights…like “Wild Wednesdays”, “Thirsty Thursdays” or “Fantastic Fridays”?  Well…where I’m at…it’s “Emotional Sundays”.

Sundays start out all emotional …even in the early AM.  A few of my favorite radio stations such as 101.7, 92.9 and 104.1 play all acoustic versions of songs from 9-1.  I love acoustic by the way.  That pretty much sets the tone for the day.  Sundays are my day of reflection…the day I do most of my thinking.  Sundays were always great when I was free.  Sometimes I would get breakfast or brunch with the fellas in the morning or early afternoon and talk about the madness of the night before (or whatever we could remember from it…lol)…or I’d have Sunday dinner at my mom’s house…or at Mimi’s house (when she was still alive)…or I would spend the day with whomever I was dating at the time.  Ahhhh…I miss the good ol’ days when I was free.  This is my punishment.  I flooded the city with pills.  I get VIP access to “Emotional Sundays” at Middleton.

There’s no mail on Sundays.  I don’t work out on Sundays.  Even TV sucks on Sundays.  There’s no cable TV…just the basic channels.  Nighttime TV is flooded with shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Undercover Boss…more reasons we call it “Emotional Sundays”.  Not gonna lie, a few episodes of Undercover Boss almost made me choke up.  There’s no room for tears in jail…at least not in population anyway.  Although, I have seen guys bawling on the phone, or when they watch their families or loved ones walk away after a visit.  That’s gotta be tough, especially if you have kids.  Thank God I don’t have any children…I’d probably be a stress box.  Someday I hope to have a little Matty running around.  Just what the world needs…another me…lol.

If I wasn’t stuck inside this 8×10 cell today with my cellie (roommate), I’d probably be halfway through my daily routine.  I basically eat and do the exact same things every fucking day here.  Think Groundhog Day…that’s my life right now.

Before I describe a typical day in the life here, let me describe my current living situation.  Picture an 8×10 room…white walls (beige where the paint is chipped), beige tiled floor (some tiles don’t match), and bunk beds on the left side.  I have the bottom bunk.  The mattresses here suck…although mine is on steroids (lol) because I have two stacked with a whole bunch of blankets, enclosed in crisp white sheets.  On the back wall is my lonely window with bars over it.  It overlooks a field which lies past the twenty foot barbed wire fence that surrounds this jail.  Past the field is a building or factory of some sort.  Along the right side of my cell is a white desk…well…it probably used to be white…it’s more eggshell now…with a pullout metal chair…all comfort.  About a foot away from that is a stainless steel sink/toilet combo…which I might add is the loudest toilet I’ve ever heard when flushed.  Above the sink is an 8″ vanity mirror…even though there is no vanity in here…lol.  My walls are pretty much bare, except for the Red Sox schedule we have hung up.  I used to have an obscenely large collage with pictures of friends and family that took up the whole right side wall over my desk…but I recently took them down and sent them home…along with all my letters and legal paperwork…because I’m awaiting my transfer.  I’ve amassed a large collection of letters and pictures…which I will keep forever.  I still have a few pics that are fastened to the underneath of the top bunk, so when I wake up, they’re the first thing I see.  Under my bed are Rubbermaid containers filled with all items I’ve purchased in commissary (food, toiletries…all that good stuff).  As I look over on my desk, I see a hotpot, a few plastic cups and a half-full cup of coffee (still optimistic).  On the two shelves is a whole bunch of stuff:  jar of peanut butter, toothpaste, bag of coffee, box of Sweet n’ Low, creamer and hair gel (no clue who owns it).  Believe it or not, some inmates actually still do their hair…lol.  Not me, I stay with a fade.  There’s also a plethora of other items I don’t feel like listing at the moment…but you get the picture.

My cell door is blue…also seems as if it’s been many colors over the years.  There’s a glass window on the door and a little trap door big enough to slide a food tray through on days/nights like this when we’re locked in.   I still don’t know why they insist on giving me my tray.  I don’t touch the food here…it’s that bad.   I give my trays to people here with no money so they don’t go hungry.  My cellie is currently snoring as I write this (I sleep with ear plugs).  He’s a good dude…a solid guy…one of the few.  When we’re locked in, he sleeps a lot.  I like to read or write.

Ahhhh yes…back to a typical day here.  Sorry, I got off topic…I tend to do that sometimes.  My day usually starts around 10ish…or whenever I feel like getting out of bed.  Lately it’s been 10AM.  The very first thing I see when I open my eyes are the small assortment of pictures I mentioned earlier…of various friends…right above my head.  There’s also a post-it note that reads:  “Just think of how much you’ve lived Mattie. Some people never do anything. ♥-S”.  Pretty dope to read that every morning, considering that the first thing I say every day is, “Really…?!  So…I’m still here?”

When I get out of bed, I fill my hotpot with water, plug it in and proceed to make coffee.  If my cellie gets up before me, he’ll do it.  I take mine extra, extra by the way…lol.  I then eat my daily oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter.  I drink (2) 8 oz. of fat-free milk.  It’s the same breakfast every day.  They serve a variety of “wannabe” breakfasts here…but I don’t even attempt to eat fake-ass pancakes or imitation eggs.  I still wonder…how do you even imitate eggs?  Along with my nutritious breakfast, I put on my headphones and listen to 98.5…The Sports Hub…to catch up on all the sports I may have missed from the day before.  It’s all I have…no ESPN…no cable remember?  I’ll take what I can get.  After breakfast, I kick my cellie out of the cell so I can wash up and handle my business.  Don’t get me wrong…he doesn’t always leave…lol.  When you live in such tight quarters with someone, it’s not unlikely that he or I will just drop trou mid-conversation…like it’s nothing.  That’s jail life for ya.  You can’t be bashful in the Big House.  For your reading pleasure, and considering it’s what I normally do, I usually kick him out…or vice versa. TMI? Probably, but I have to give you the feel…the ambiance of this shit hole…no pun intended!

By the time I’m done eating, it’s usually 11ish.  I do one of two things…I either do yoga for an hour…or I run/walk laps around the unit for an hour…both while listening to my headphones.   Yes…I do yoga in jail.  I wish I got into it before.  A lot of women I’ve dated used to be into it and a few of my boys as well…but I was always hesitant.  It’s really great for the mind and it keeps me lean.  After my daily cardio, I hit the showers.  No…it’s not group showers…and no I haven’t dropped the soap…lol.  OK…I lied…I’ve dropped it…but who hasn’t…shit’s slippery as hell!  By the way, gotta wear flip flops in the shower…god only knows what’s on those floors.  I cannot wait to take a real shower…or even a bath for that matter.  The little things I took for granted.

Once I’m done with that, the rest of the afternoon is usually spent reading, while listening to music.  Other inmates usually play cards, dominoes, or watch TV at this time–I read.  I do a lot of reading here…lots of writing too.  I used to play cards (Hold ‘Em)…but that got old quick.  I’ve read some pretty amazing books here.  A few of my recent favs include:  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Fools Die, The Queen of the South and most recently (yesterday), Water for Elephants.  Not gonna lie, that book is pretty sad.  It made me think of my Grandpa and how much I fear getting old.  Read it!

I eat every 3 hours here.  I usually make tuna and brown rice, chicken and brown rice, brown rice and re-fried beans, and my oatmeal.  Same things every day…slow torture…picture that.  I’m lucky enough…or should I say fortunate enough…not to have to eat the food they serve here…but after 15 months…it gets old quick!  On Saturdays, I cook with a few of the guys here.  I’ll explain a good jail meal in another blog.

I work out everyday, except Sunday of course.  Well…twice a day if you include my AM yoga/cardio.  Lately, I do mostly calisthenics…push-ups, pull-ups, dips, etc.  I used to workout in the gym here, but it’s all machines, and since I’ve been here so long, I had to switch it up.

The rest of my day consists of listening to music.  I actually have my headphones in while I’m writing this.  Yes…I’m still locked in…in case you were wondering.  Music is my medicine.  I make phone calls after 6:30PM…right after I get my mail.  I enjoy talking on the phone…a lot!!  I like getting updates from family and friends.  It’s bittersweet…you know?  Like, “Oh yeah…you’re going where?  Oh…you saw who?  Oh…must be nice.”  I say that a lot…”must be nice.”

The remainder of my night usually consists of me writing letters or this blog, reading or watching TV.  I always listen to the Sox games.  In fact, they won today, 4-2, against the Pirates.  I don’t get how they can sweep the Yankees…then lose to shit bum teams like the Pirates or San Diego?  It doesn’t make sense…then again not much does in my life at the moment.  Like, “why the fuck am I still locked in?”  There was a fight.  It happens all the time.  Nothing much to see here.

As I’m writing this, my cellie leans over the bed, looks down at me and says, “Matty, I hate my life.”  LOL…we say that a lot.  Kinda like FML.  Who am I to complain though?  I sold drugs.  I deserve this.  I’ll tell you one thing on this emotional Sunday, it’s definitely made me realize how great I really had it in the real world.

I realize my days seem boring and monotonous.  That’s because they are.  There’s nothing glamorous about jail.  Sure, I’ve met some cool guys here…but this is NOT a cool place to be.  My days are all the same…over and over…it would drive most people nuts.  Sure, there’s visit days, court trips and lawyer visits.  There’s gang wars, stabbings and fights…but even those start to seem regular when you’ve been locked up for so long.  What excites me now is knowing that any day now I’ll be moved to the next spot…out of this county bullshit…and on to the Feds.  Just doing my time…and keeping it moving.  Now if only those Feds would only come and get me…or better yet…how about they start by letting me out of this cell…must be nice…

Posted 07/05/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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MY APPRECIATION

They say “you learn who your true friends are when you’re in the hospital, in prison, or in the ground.”  Considering I’m in the best physical shape of my life…and I’m definitely not dead yet…that quote only applies to one aspect of my life.  Nonetheless, this experience thus far has opened my eyes to so much and has made me realize what’s truly important in my life–my family and of course, my friends.  What I wouldn’t give to even be free for just one day…so I could spend some time with the ones I hold most dear to me.  I’ve only gotten to interact with my fam and friends through glass for the past 14 months.  It sucks…let me tell you.  Can’t the kid get a hug? lol  (FYI–the next stop on my journey will have contact visits…just another reason I am anxious to get transferred).  Anyways, the reason for this is to express how I took so much of my life for granted, and now when I can’t even do something simple like having lunch with my Mom, Auntie and Grandpa on a Saturday, enjoy Sunday dinners, or take in a ball game with my boys…it really puts things in perspective.  Life is fucking short, and at a moment’s notice, you can be taken away from anything and everything you know and love, thrown in an orange jumpsuit, and lose all the simple pleasures in life that you probably take for granted.  It’s crazy to think about…but it can happen.  On that note fellas, if you’re reading this, have one for me!

On another note, while I’m here, I’d like to sincerely apologize once again to my friends, and most importantly, my family…for ALL of my actions…not just the drug dealing over the years that led me to this foreign land of embarrassment and shame.  I realize that my current situation has been nothing but a burden on all of your lives.  A lot of you tried to warn me early on of this possible outcome to no avail, but I didn’t listen early enough.  I’d say, “just a little more money and I’ll quit.”  I said that one too many times.  I was a know-it-all who knew nothing.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret getting into that business.  I just want you all, especially my Mom, Mike, Auntie and Grandpa, to know how truly sorry I am.  I’ve said it before…but for now…words are merely words.  It’s my actions, after all of this is over, that will define the true remorse I feel for letting you all down.

I’ve already reached out to the others who deserved an apology from me.  I don’t need to share that with the world…it’s something private that I’d like to keep between me and them…but they know who they are.

When I started selling drugs, all I could see was the fast abundance of money and the free highs I could put myself on.  I never thought prison would be the end of that chapter…but alas…here I am.  You know, I’ve been here roughly14 months now.  If someone would have told me 15 months ago that I’d be spending the next 36 months in Federal Prison, I would have probably laughed in their face.  Like I said before, I had already quit all of that nonsense.  I thought I was untouchable.  I was an asshole.  I’m working on that…I promise.  While I was speeding through life, I didn’t take the time to think about all the people I may have run over.  Quite frankly, I don’t expect everyone to forgive my past mistakes…and I guess that’s my punishment…but I felt like it was time to grow up and start taking responsibility for my actions.

I’m actually very lucky compared to most inmates.  Considering what an asshole I used to be, I still have a lot of great people in my life.  I recently had a chance to sit down and read a copy of each and every character letter that friends and family had written on my behalf to the judge, asking him for leniency.  I gotta admit, that on more than one occasion, I got pretty choked up by all of the kind words that people had to say about me.  Words cannot express the gratitude and thanks that I feel inside.  I am very blessed to have such a great core group of people in my corner.  Whether it be your letters, pictures, phone calls (the cost is robbery…I might add), visits, or whatever you have done to reach out to me when I was at my absolute lowest, just know that I truly appreciate all of it.  You’d never think something so small like a letter from a loved one or a friend could mean so much and really brighten my day, but it does.  It’s probably nothing to all of you, but it means the absolute world to me.  I get my mail delivered at 6PM daily here, along with my Boston Herald and the various magazines I subscribe to, and it’s probably my favorite time of day.  Crazy…I know…but it’s true.  I just want to say I appreciate everything people have done for me thus far.

It’s crazy how one second, you’re going through life, in one relationship and out of another, at one party and looking forward to the next, working every day, basically just living life…then it all comes to a complete halt.  It really put things into perspective for me, so I had to let the ones that are riding this through with me know how blessed and appreciated I really feel.  Appreciation…that’s a funny word.  Before all of this, I didn’t appreciate shit.  I didn’t grow up rich by any means, but I never wanted for anything.  I was an only child…enough said.  Even later in life, things always sorta came easy to me.  I never had to really work for love.  Friends, women, pretty much anything I set my sights on…all came easily.  I guess it’s a gift and a curse at the same time.  But…I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your love and friendship.  I will NEVER forget any of this…and I hope to someday repay you all in some way…just not with money…cause I owe the Feds $50,000…lol.

People don’t change overnight…but they do grow over time.  I can say that I am growing.  Hey…it’s a start.  I’ve done a lot of crazy shit in my day…but looking back…I was just a kid.  Believe me, I know that’s no excuse.  I now try and take others’ feelings into consideration before I act.

Sometimes when I write these blog entries, I feel a lot of pressure to make it better than my last.  It’s like I have so much to say, but I don’t want to say it all in one day.   Then I think, fuck it…I’m saying what’s on my mind at the given point when I write it.  If it’s insightful or witty…then so be it…if it lacks something…whatever…there’s always the next blog.  I have tons of stories to tell about my 14 months here…both good and bad.  I also have a lot to share regarding how I ended up here…so please…stay tuned…this might take a while…

To all my true friends and my family…143!

Posted 06/22/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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I THOUGHT I WAS THE MAN…

Memorial Day just came to an end.  While most people I know were partying, on vacation or at family barbecues, I spent my holiday weekend in jail…still waiting to be transferred to my next stop.  This is my second Memorial Day spent here…and quite frankly…it doesn’t get any easier.  To be perfectly honest…it pretty much sucks.  The central A/C is broken on my cell block, and considering the heat and humidity we’ve been having, it’s about 100 degrees in here.  Imagine, there’s 120 guys on this cell block…it’s not pleasant.  It’s not like we can go take a dip in the prison pool to cool off…lol.

My boy Sean came to see me over the holiday weekend.  It was a pleasant visit.  We had some laughs and a pretty good conversation.  We spoke of life, future plans and Memorial Days of the past.  I’m not gonna lie…thinking of the past Memorial Day weekends got me kinda down.  Other than this year and last year spent in jail, I’d usually be away on vacation.

That’s what has me thinking back…to where all this shit started.  If memory serves me correctly (considering I have done a lot of drugs over the past few years) I believe it was a Memorial Day weekend that I got my first taste of what it was like becoming an overnight D-list celebrity.  Basically, it led to a series of poor choices that ultimately landed me in Federal Prison.

Without going into too much detail, I was out in Vegas with a few of my friends from Boston, right after BB9 ended.  I had been to Vegas a few times prior to that, always having a fun time, but that time in particular was different.  It was the first time I was there as a reality TV personality.  It was crazy.  I mean, here I was, prior to all of this TV nonsense, a regular guy, working construction, going to college, then suddenly…overnight…I was recognized everywhere I went, signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, being paid to show up at places, women throwing themselves at me…it was pretty surreal.  Along with all of this new found fame, came all of the perks:  comped hotel rooms, free booze, parties and clubs….and being exposed to lots and lots of drugs.  A lot of doors opened up for me, and on that particular Memorial Day weekend, a lot of ropes opened up in Vegas.  It was the fast life…the life of a celebrity…the life I always wanted…or so I thought.

Nobody could have prepared me for any of that madness.  I was 24-years old…tossed in the deep end…way over my head…with no floaties…and sadly…I couldn’t swim.  But that didn’t stop me…I wanted it all…I wanted more.  In a world filled with so many people, I wanted to matter.  I got a taste of that life in Vegas…and that hunger came back to Boston with me.

I started going out all the time…partying like a maniac…like 6 or 7 days a week…doing all sorts of drugs.  I thought, “Hey, I’m a celebrity…I’m entitled…right?”  I was really soaking up my 15 minutes.  It had me up on a high in itself.  That fame was like a drug that I almost overdosed on.  When the show ends, you’re on this high…on top of the world…at least I was anyway.  I will admit it all went to my head.  I didn’t want to hear shit from anyone.  My head was so big…I probably could’ve floated away.  I thought I was the man…boy was I wrong.

Like all highs, eventually you come down.  I was becoming yesterday’s news…and I hated it.  To most, it probably wouldn’t be so bad. Like, “Hey…back to regular life…that was fun!”  But for me, it was awful.  It might sound crazy to you, but I yearned for that feeling again.  I couldn’t accept that the ride was coming to an end…or at least a pause….until I could make a move out west.  That’s when I got introduced to this little blue pill, a percocet 30mg, an oxycodone, a blueberry, whatever name familiarizes you with what I’m talking about, by my former friend in Florida…and my life would never be the same.

One pill…that’s all it took…and I was right back up there…I was the man again.  I started taking a pill on a Saturday night with a few cocktails, then on a Friday & Saturday, then on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, then on a Monday…to watch the game…then on a Wednesday…just because it was Wednesday.  Eventually, I started taking them every day…not realizing I was addicted.  Besides, I was back on Big Brother 10…as a guest this time around…so I was in the spotlight again…and these pills only enhanced it.  I was still trying to keep up with this pseudo-Hollywood lifestyle.  I was taking and sniffing a few pills per day.  I thought, “I’m in control.  Me…an addict?  Nah…I’m Matty from BB9.”

I racked up around $80,000 in debt.  My back was against the wall.  I had to keep up this facade.  I had to keep up appearances, this lifestyle, this image, and with my new found drug addiction…so I started selling these pills in bulk.  I took more trips, bought another car, another watch, sniffed more pills.  I was in control…wasn’t I?  I womanized, I lied, I was living a double life…and my habit only got worse.  I kept telling myself I was in control.  I sold more, lied more, sniffed and took more pills.  I won’t go into much detail of the drug dealing because in NO WAY am I trying to glamorize it.  However, I do have to mention it a little, to show how I kept getting deeper and deeper over my head.  I’m embarrassed and ashamed to even admit that at one point of my life, that was my profession–drug dealer.

My habit continued to get worse, as did my spending.  While I was selling drugs and making money, I became more of an asshole.  My own friends didn’t like the person I had become.  Addiction took over my life.  I was taking roughly 15 pills per day…and that was merely to feel normal…to not be sick.  No one knew how bad my addiction was.  I hid it well.  I went tanning, I abused steroids, I had money.  I didn’t think I was a drug addict.  I was in total denial.  People would ask me what I was doing with my life.  I didn’t care.  All I cared about was that I drove a Lexus and had a nice apartment.  I thought I was fine.  I needed help.  My life was spiraling out of control.  I was a mess.

I went back to working construction.  I needed some structure in my life…a paycheck.  I was fooling no one.

Thinking back, those pills that once made me a social butterfly turned me into a social recluse.  I worked all week, then flew down to Florida on the weekends to pick up more pills…just to allow me to function at work all week.  I was stuck in a pretty vicious cycle.  I used to ask myself, “When is this gonna end?”

I was lying to my family…lying to my friends.  I needed help.  I was probably a few weeks away from death…who knows?  I was no longer the man…not sure I ever really was.  It was time to take the first step…admitting I had a problem.

I reached out to the same family and friends I had been lying to.  I can still remember that one particular day, when I was getting out of the shower in mid-August 2009.  I looked in the mirror, and for the first time in my life, I hated the person staring back at me.  Who had I become?  What happened to my ambition…my drive?  My life had turned to drugs.  I wanted the Hollywood life…and all I got was the drug addiction.  I got the help I needed.  It wasn’t easy…but I did it.  I cleaned up my act and cut ties with all the negative influences in my life.  I was on my way.  That was in August 2009.  I got indicted in April 2010.  The past always catches up with you.

I have never felt better.  I have to admit this has probably been the most eye opening, humbling experience of my life.  I never truly realized how great my life was until I lost it all.  I may have been on the right path long before I got indicted, but in a way, I feel as though I needed to go through this in order to learn a life-long lesson…to fully understand the consequences of my actions.  It’s pretty ironic…a few years ago I was on the TV screen, being watched by the very same inmates, who I now sit next to while watching Big Brother.  Talk about a mind fuck, but just goes to show you it can happen to anyone.

I’ll write again soon to give you all a more detailed explanation of a typical day here.  For now, I’ll leave you with a piece of my story.  I’m not making excuses for my actions, nor am I saying that my drug addiction was caused from being on a reality show.  I made bad choices.  I chose to go down the wrong path.  I am not telling my story in the hopes of getting back in the limelight.  This is my way of giving back…and hoping that I may be able to reach out and help someone.  I am merely trying to give you an insight into how I went from Big Brother to the Big House.

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