Man Shares the Struggle of Shopping After 12 Years in Prison

A man shares the “overwhelming” experience of shopping at a grocery store after being released after a 12-year prison sentence in a now-viral TikTok.

In the video posted by TikToker Michael Capers (@social_wellness) on July 18, he shows a clip of him walking down the chip aisle of the grocery store. Text overlay reads, “When you come home from prison after 12 years… shopping is too much.”

At the end of the clip, he says, “It’s just too much to choose from. I can’t even shop yet.”

@social_wellness #prison #prisontiktok #prisontok #prisonlife ♬ original sound – Social wellness

The video has garnered over 840,000 views as of July 27, with other commenters sharing tips to combat the stress of an overwhelming shopping trip.

“Having a list definitely helps. I like to get what I need and then look around for anything else I might want,” one user suggested.

“Try thinking of the basics of what you need, then use the internet to find the brands. take the pictures shopping with you so you can find it,” another said.

“Maybe if it’s not essentials, just pick a random one and see if you like it. Could be a new favorite,” a third added.

Other formerly incarcerated commenters shared their experiences of coping with anxiety after release.

“After 4 years it was too much for me.. the anxiety of going out in public lasted for months,” one user shared.

“Aww honey it’s okay took me 5 years to be free after being freed. I still have to isolate sometimes but it’ll get better,” another wrote.

In a comment, Capers suggests that incarcerated people should be given “a 1-2 year decarceration phase” to help them adjust.

“It would make life so much easier when we get back home!” he said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Capers via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jul 27, 2022, 6:07 pm CDT

Rebekah Harding

Rebekah Harding is a freelance reporter for the Daily Dot. She has digital and print bylines in Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows, and more.

Rebekah Harding