THE LOCKDOWN is quite frustrating, but I told myself it’s for a good reason. This is not a mistake we made for which we are being judged. The lockdown is not the same thing as being locked up. That’s because I got to be with my family. You can still go out, choose where you want to go, and with whom you want to live.
When I was in prison, I remember the hardest part, initially, was finding myself cut off from my loved ones.
In your cell, you find yourself with a complete stranger with whom you have to share the 9x9. It was tough the first three months.
Being locked up for 22 out of 24 hours means you don’t get to eat or wash when you want. Five months in, I started work. In the meantime, I went to worship with other Christians, and to the library. I took part in activities, did everything there was to do to get out of my cell. In those moments, you forget the world outside, and that’s a good thing.
The mere thought of the outside world was depressing. You wonder who you could have been spending time with and where… Those things are beyond us. It’s not easy to stop thinking of these things, but sooner or later you must, because it’s the best way to not live a double sentence, moral and physical.
For a while, I thought my life had been reduced to a number in a prison register. In prison, you’re treated like you’re nothing. For me, that was the worst thing. Nobody can be okay in a cage.
I saw people end their lives, and people who tried to; people who wept, and people who went mad. Not everyone can take it. You’ve got to have a tough mind. At first, I was scared that I wouldn’t make it. Finally, I started taking visits, delved into books, watched a little TV… Reading and sports exhausted me, but helped me sleep better. I hung in there because of the routine I created. Every day I said to myself, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.”