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Ways to Cope while Your Loved One is in Prison

Snehal Motkar
Is your loved one in prison? Are you looking for ways to cope with emotional stress as your loved one is incarcerated? Just read ahead and help yourself come out of this frustrating and stressful situation.
We come across various difficult situations in life and do not understand how to handle the emotional disturbance emerging out of it. One such situation is when your loved one is in prison or he/she is going to jail. It is an extremely devastating emotional experience to see your spouse, child or parent behind bars.
You tend to breakdown completely and it is quite obvious considering the normal human nature. All emotions gather in you at a time; you feel sad, guilty, worried and it becomes difficult to control them or cope with them. The loved one in jail cannot help you get out of this as he/she is actually facing the problem and needs more support than you.
It is possible that the person in jail is innocent and could be falsely imprisoned, which takes a toll on both you and your loved one. On the other hand, if your family member has committed a crime and is punished for that, you should consider it as a mistake and forgive him/her.

How to Cope while Your Loved One is in Prison?

You should give primary importance to the incarcerated person who is suffering the most, by supporting him/her throughout while there are other people like family members, relatives and close friends to care for you and support you. Do not make him/her feel guilty about whatever he/she has done because the guilt is already there within the person.
Why should you increase it? Instead, try to keep in touch with him/her to reduce the feeling of loneliness and fear. You can stay connected with your loved one through phone conversations, letters, visits in-person and sending mails if there is such a facility available. You have to figure out the schedule of visits and take prior permission to make calls.
A difficulty about letters is, the prisoner might be shifted unexpectedly and may not receive your letter. Even though you need to support the person in jail and stand behind him/her firmly, you need the courage to do so for which your mental stability is very important. Here are some points to consider while dealing with your emotional disturbances.

Do not Treat it as the Loss of a Person

For many people, this grief is similar to the grief of death of a person. In fact, after the death of a family member, others mourn for a few days, follow the rituals and move on in life. In such a situation, people support the family by offering condolences. But when a person is in jail, you cannot expect any support from outsiders.
The worst thing about the situation of being in jail is that the world out there (in the jail) seems to be different from the normal world, though you can contact your loved one. The person also doesn't remain the same for you as he/she was before the crime. You should control all these feelings and try to be calm, composed and decide on your further steps.

Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Consult a mental health counselor for understanding specific mental disturbances and possible future problems; monitor your physical health by visiting a physician regularly. Think of good memories with your loved one and pass the time by calming yourself or by meditating. Give yourself and the person in prison some time to get adjusted to the situation.

Reorganize Your Daily Life

Reorganizing the daily routine while your loved one is in prison, will help you cope faster. You can do the mentioned things to bring a change during such a tough situation.
➤ Start with rearranging the entire house. You can put some photographs of the incarcerated person around the house and a few family photographs too. Spend some time on arranging all photo albums. This will make you think about all happy moments of your life spent with your loved one, giving you strength to cope with the bad time and bring in a ray of hope.
➤ Once you are done with photos start changing the arrangement of all rooms one after the other. This will keep you engaged and relieve stress to a greater extent.
➤ Socializing will also help you move away a little from depression. You can join a social group and participate in all their events.

Share Your Feelings with People Whom You Trust

This can be a good way to get relieved from mental stress. It is a human tendency to feel relieved when we share our problems with others. Reach out to your close friends whom you trust and feel free to tell everything. They may help you beat stress and may come up with ideas (which did not cross your mind earlier) to help free your loved one from prison.
It is really a difficult situation and you are not in a position to sit and plan about what to do and what not to. But if you can make it possible to maintain your mental and physical balance, you can cope with all disturbances easily and come out with a solution.
Keeping a calm mind will help you think clearly and do the needful in helping your loved one come out of prison and start a new and normal life. Good luck!