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Self portrait of man with open mouth and clenched fists
Illustration by Kallisto Pro

This illustration shows two metaphorical demons: anxiety and anger.

I was arrested at 18, completely blindsided by the fact I was facing real prison time before I had the chance to really experience life and the responsibilities that come with being an adult.

Each day, I look into a mirror with a straight face because emotions are a form of weakness in prison. Through my mind’s eye, I can only see myself as what’s depicted in this drawing.

Anger and anxiety can cause the heart to beat harder, faster. Breathing quickens. The jaw clenches. Storing your emotions becomes harder and harder the more anxious you get. 

This drawing is an example of compressed energy that has nowhere to go. Eventually, it will all explode.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Kallisto Pro is an artist incarcerated in Arizona. He uses a pseudonym.