Depression Pain Threat

Being in prison is so much harder than I thought it would be. Probably because I’m an optimist by nature and never think things will be as hard as they are. The other day when I was talking on the phone to Chad he said, “This is too hard, I want to give up now but I don’t know how to quit.” It’s true, there’s no way out for us we have to just keep moving forward. Little CJ said, “Dad, do you ever miss mom so much that you want to cry?” He told her, “Every day little girl.”  “Me too”, she said.  It hurts me to know how much this hurts my family, but I have learned that when I walk through my pain and let it refine me I experience growth and strength.

I can’t really describe the depression and pain that I had to climb out of when I got here.  A pain so deep that it threatened to destroy me. It is not something I could ever do alone, for truly I have felt the love of my Father in Heaven in a whole new way. I have gained a clarity and understanding that I will be forever grateful for. One of the things I shared in a 12 step meeting recently was, “When we are willing to be uncomfortable or even suffer now for a better future it will be so worth going through difficult times to get the happiness and peace that awaits us on the other side.” Every day in prison I get the chance to take the high road, there are jealousies and cruelties that I hadn’t experienced in the free world. Life just isn’t always fair, people aren’t always reasonable but we still get to choose how to respond. I have learned that there is great strength in being humble and willing to be vulnerable, ecspecially in the face of injustice. Our Savior was the ultimate example of how to act in the face of injustice, he taught us by example how to treat others. It seems that responding with kindness in the face of ugliness is a divine attribute.

I have a favor to ask of our friends and family and anyone that follows our story. My good friend Oriana has been very sick for a while now. She is in desperate need of medical treatment and prison is not a good place to get it. She has been to the medical unit numerous times for tests and has been promised medical treatment with no avail. I pray for Oriana every night because I love her and want to help her any way I can. She is tender, kind and strong and she has unwavering character. We have laughed together and cried together and when I really need someone to turn to it’s her every time. I feel a bit helpless in here because medical treatment is so poor. I recently helped her file a formal grievance to let the staff know that her medical problems have not been addressed and the prison has not responded to the grievance in a timely manner according to their own policy. I told Oriana that I felt so much comfort and strength when I had to self surrender here because so many good people in the free world were praying for me:) I’m asking you all to say a special prayer for a sweet friend and sister here in prison who really needs some medical attention soon or she may suffer irreparable damage to her health. Right now the BOP is responsible for our health and safety but there is very little we can do to hold them accountable when they don’t take that responsibility seriously. Thank you for your love and support and her name is Oriana Valle if anyone gets the chance to put her name in the temple I would appreciate it.

What a blessing it is to have a community of good people to reach out to for support, I love you and look forward to the day we will meet again