“How we walk with the broken, speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” -Bill Bennot

Purgatory by J. Howle

Being a Meth addict is a lot more than you would think. Mentally at least. Well for me it was. After I’d burn every bridge, run away from every problem, buried every dream, I was left with just myself.

What myself loved to do more than anything besides the ritual of meth, was reminding me minute by lost minute of every bit of pain I was causing my kids. I was choosing something made out of farm chemicals in a bathtub in Waco, Texas over the two humans I once sworn to never hurt.

I was living in a tent on the edge of a state park in Miserable Wells. I was living in a stolen tent on stolen blankets just a five-minute walk away from my welding job. All this should’ve made me regret my choices. It should’ve have made me reconsider my life.

I saw it all as penance for the pain I caused my kids.

I wasn’t there.

I deserve punishment.

I wasn’t there.

I needed to suffer for hurting them.

Because of an autism spectrum disorder, I have trouble connecting with people. The only time in my life that was not a hard and first rule was the first time each of my kids looked at me. The second they looked at me, I knew I’d do anything in the world to anybody to keep them from turning into me one day. Speed made me break that promise. Speed made me hurt them. Speed made me leave them. No. I made me do all of that. I made my kids a victims of speed.

I deserved every scrape, bug bite, animal scare, pipe burn, dealer beating, un-showered week and hungry night. I earned it by letting speed in. But they didn’t.

This story is just one of the many stories you’ll find in Hope Outside The Walls. This project is result of our partnership with Texas ReEntry Services. Together, we offer Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities.  Here is a recent interview the we filmed with Kay Smith, Founder of Texas ReEntry Services a month into program launch:

About Hope Outside The Walls

Available March 31, 2017

Have you or someone you love, ever been incarcerated?  As a result of America’s decades long war on drugs, the US presently incarcerates over 330,000 prisoners on drug-related charges at an estimated annual cost of $40 billion. This doesn’t include the ongoing costs to society as those that have been touched by the cycle of probation, incarceration and parole work to reintegrate into society, find employment and stay on track with meeting the mandates of probation and parole.

Hope Outside the Walls is a collection of short stories, and memoirs by writers impacted by addiction who are working to reenter society. This project is made possible through our Community Partnership with Texas ReEntry Services. Together, we offer Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Peer Support as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities. A portion of every book sold benefits Texas ReEntry Services.

BONUS! Includes a short story by Paul Kurko, author of the TGIM Best Seller: ‘Issues’!

Hope Outside the Walls


Soft Cover: $12.99
eBook: $9.99
Color: Black & White on White paper
Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Page Count: 132 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1543193428
ISBN-10: 1543193420
BISAC: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / General

Pre-Order a copy of the book, or download the eBook to read it from your favorite device today! Click here to stay connected with updates from our workshops in the United States on Facebook.

Note from the Publisher

Sometimes it takes a trip to jail or even prison for a person to realize that their life has become unmanageable. By then, so much damage has been done.  As a felon, it’s hard to get a job or even a place to live.  Most commit more crimes to survive because their inability to  read and comprehend along with their criminal record makes it impossible to get and hold down a job.  The vicious cycle of doing life in prison on an installment plan (in and out of prison) begins.

These men and women need to know that their past does not define their future.  Writing for the Soul Workshop™ will offer them the same support and resources that our youth access.  Along with the Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention, and the Job Readiness Training that Texas ReEntry offers, they have added our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a viable component as well. Adding our program to their budget means we desperately need your support.

Want to donate to Texas ReEntry to help with expenses? Click here to make your donation directly to Texas ReEntry. Texas ReEntry Services INC, is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. Use the Contact Form below to submit your story for our next release.

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