You Are Not Your Worst Mistake: Poems From Prison



Poetry saved my life. I found myself through my prison journals where I wrote about every emotion I was feeling. All the words I couldn’t say…

I found the power of poetry is in the words not written, the things that can be read between the lines.

You are not your worst mistake, and neither am I.

You are about to go inside:

…inside my prison cell where journals captured my raw and broken journey. These poems will unveil my path of self-destruction, rediscovery, and healing.

Inside this story of ruin, somewhere in the darkness, I discovered the truth about the real Toby. I learned how far a person could fall and still get up. I discovered redemption and freedom in the strangest of places—behind bars. The smallest, simplest things are the ones I missed the most: ice, the stars at night, human touch.

Oddly enough, prison is where I discovered myself. Stripped bare without the bindings of family and the weight of my own expectations to perform and satisfy, I finally had the safety and freedom to discover myself. Apathy, fear, and hopelessness cleared the slate for new lyrics to be written.

There is always hope. It is possible to heal from anything, no matter how utterly devastating it may seem. That doesn’t mean your life will be as it was. In fact, I can guarantee it won’t. But it can be better. It can be okay.

I believe that it is when we are at our lowest, our deepest darkest point of despair, that we are able to hear God. That’s when we are truly blessed.

About the author

Having never had so much as a traffic ticketToby Dorr shocked the nation and shattered her appearance of perfection by helping a convicted murderer, a trainer in her prison dog program, escape in a dog crate. Her story is a lesson in perspective. Instead of focusing on everything she lost, Dorr made a conscious choice to use her twenty-seven months in prison as a period to reflect on her life, heal emotional wounds, plot a course for the future, and embrace the sisterhood of women she encountered behind bars. Far from easy, her prison sentence was gut-wrenching and devastating. But a revelation during a stay in suicide watch gave her renewed purpose and direction. Moving through drama, action, adventure, heartache, and redemption, Dorr bares her soul and tells a story of heartbreak, courage, grace, and transformation. While the escape made national headlines and captured the imaginations of an entire country, Dorr’s memoir is an inspirational invitation to look at life with self-acceptance and love. She pushes readers to move beyond the confines of their circumstances and live each moment with conviction, allowing its fullest, most beautiful potential to unfold. Download Toby Dorr's One Sheet Here Check out a quick FAQ section about Toby here.  

Toby Dorr sitting and posing for a headshotSee more about this author...

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