Updated: May 26, 2020
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.