The specter of depression accompanied me in my prison experience from the very beginning. It was always there, just over my shoulder, at the edge of my consciousness, a black hole of despair and darkness. There were times in the county jail, awaiting trial and then sentencing, when I just wanted to lie down and die. The moment I received a 30-year no-parole sentence, my knees buckled. My lawyer had to hold me up. It was surreal. I could hear the prosecution celebrating, just as they’d done when the jury returned a guilty verdict on all counts. I experienced my life ending right there on the spot. The reality of losing my son, my family, and my entire life as I knew it hit me with a pain and devastation I’d never known. My mind was spinning. I could barely focus on my surroundings. The only thought I could hold on to was Don’t let the bastards see you cry.