Rocky had been to several rehabilitation centers but they never worked; the day he got out of them he would turn back to drugs. In 2009 he was sentenced to drug court for his first felony and thought that was going to be the turning point for him- he was terrified of going to prison. But as soon as he graduated from drug court, he went straight to the liquor store, stopped by the pharmacy to buy a ten pack of syringes, stopped by his supplier and fell back into his spiral.
“While I was [in jail],” he says, “I felt this presence and, not understanding what this presence was completely, I knew it was God and I knew He was trying to reach me.” It was while in jail that Rocky came to know God and, after being released on February 17, 2013, he was baptized.
A month later, his best friend died.
That August, his older brother died.
The month after that, his younger brother hung himself.
In December, his 14 year old daughter killed herself—eight days after her birthday.
He tells us about this almost devoid of emotion; not like someone who does not care, but like someone who has and still does care so much but has been exhausted of emotion surrounding the death of his friend and his family, like someone who has told the story so many times he has become numb to it.
After the deaths of those close to him, Rocky began to lose hope and pulled away from God and turned back to drugs, the things he thought he could count on.
“I disconnected completely at that point. I was in the darkest place I’ve ever reached in my life. I had already lost my brothers, this guy Matt who was a huge person in my life,” Rocky says. “When Daisy (his daughter) committed suicide, I had no reason to live anymore. I tried to commit suicide myself.”
Rocky goes on to describe his depression and how he had hit the darkest point in his life and he had no one there for him. It was then when he was incarcerated again for drug possession.