A Glimpse Into My Life

See it through my eyes & understand me a little more

Category Archives: Health

The Journey to Self-Healing

When you embark upon a path of self-healing, you can become transfixed on it having to look a certain way based on the teachers you initially meet. What makes self-healing a difficult experience is that we often find ourselves at a fork in the road. 

The decision before us becomes: “Do I continue to follow this teacher? Or do I strike out in search of another teacher?”

Having been in some form of counseling since I was 9 years old, I’ve come to this place many times. To put it more bluntly, at 30 years old, I realize I’m at the point in my journey where more is required of me. 

The thought came to me in the quiet stillness of the morning – “Teachers can only teach you what they know. They can only teach you what they’ve experienced. They can only teach you what they are ready to be honest about.”

It felt jarring. It felt harsh. The statement felt like an indication of where I fell short. Often? The most important lessons come wrapped in a demeanor of frustration and a tone of exasperation. 

To that, I hear you God.

As a Black Woman, that’s what makes self-healing scary. I don’t have the luxury of no longer acknowledging vague needs and must now explicitly state what it is that opens these personal wounds. And it’s a lot to burden yourself with when you seek answers from those who offered their help, yet remain committed to not touching the same kind of hurt within themselves. 

All heartbreak is not the same. All betrayal is not the same. All disappointment is not the same. ‬It’s why I’ve realized  you can’t look for specific wisdom in a person that’s never experienced the same type of wound. ‬

Knowing this, it’s important to remind ourselves our task remains the same – heal yourself fully and help others do the same. ‬So get to it. 

With love,

Ms. C. Jayné

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This!

Hey Ladies!

Featured image

Let’s have a chat, shall we? The other day, I started to think about what I want my life to look like in 2016. This year, I’m taking a whole new approach to resolutions (or something, I haven’t decided). As I looked at the calendar and compared it to the list of my goals, I wondered, “How in the hell am I supposed to get all of this shit done?”

I also wondered if I even wanted to get it done but that’s what December is for. November is for getting all of my dreams out on paper; December is the reality check (lol). After I got over the initial “ugh” feeling, I started to think about the best way TO do these things. That’s right! I got practical. I asked:

When is the best time to get this shit done?

And then I realized something – I should use my natural inclination to “wanting to do shit” to, you know, do stuff. Now, by this time, you’re probably wondering, “What is she talking about?” I’m talking about our cycles – the ENTIRE cycle (and not just Hell/Shark/JESUS IS IT ARMAGEDDON AGAIN?! Week). This is basically what I’ve come to learn about being a woman that wasn’t in those little books they give you in your middle school health class.

The point?

WE, women*, ARE NATURALLY INCLINED TO DO SHIT BASED ON OUR ENTIRE CYCLE. The whole thing. All 21-30 days. So here are some things to remember about them.

Week 1: I LOVE EVERYONE!

Principle: Do NOT Make Important Decisions. The rule here is that you do not, under any circumstances, make any major decision. Do not agree to shit.

Do NOT agree to a damn thing.

Why? You are ovulating (I know the cycle doesn’t start here BUT I refused to start my post detailing the horrors of Shark Week). You love everyone so much that your helpful ass won’t actually do any work because you’ll overwhelm yourself with “Of course!” and “Yes!” These are the couple of days that you’re happy you’ve once again survived the Rogue Midget in Cleats running through you womb like it was the 6 (shouts to Drake and/or Q. Miller).

Remember that everything only looks appealing. That event with those people you can’t stand because their energy is wrong? You’ll say yes to that because everyone deserves a second, third, twenty-seventh chance. The really bad ideas you hear that the Sharks on Shark Tank wouldn’t even entertain? You’ll say yes to that because everything looks appealing.

So do not make any important decisions. Have the conversations, take notes, but don’t commit. Besides, you’ll be so pleasant that people won’t be offended by your “No.”

Week 2: I’M JUST BEING HONEST!

Principle: Find A Different Way To Say/Do/Think That. Sure! They need to hear whatever it is you want to tell them, just not from you. The thing to remember here is that you’re suddenly more shrewd. Ovulation happened and everything became stupid. Your egg dropped, went unfertilized, and everyone, except you, became the dumbest person alive.

But you won’t say that.

You’ll just give off the vibe that you are too cool for school. YOU ARE TOO COOL FOR ANYTHING! Because you’re (pre)PMSing. Now while this isn’t a great time to start anything, it is a wonderful time to THINK about what you want/need to see happen in your life. This is the perfect time to write it ALL down (don’t delete anything) and get it ALL out. This is also a great time to start sorting through your things and purging them, especially within the first three days of this particular hormonal phase. This is basically when you prepare for the bullshit that is to come in the next week.

Week 3: JESUS FIX IT!

Principle: Love Yourself Because You’ll Think No One Else Does. This is the week that everyone in life holds their breathe about, whether or not they have a period. This is also the week that you have everything, and I mean, everything about yourself. And it is not your fault. And your boy/girlfriend are not insensitive bastards who wish to crush your feelings because they were raised by unloving people who left them alone in dark rooms. I hate to say this because it violates all of the Girl Code but…

It is NOT them; it is You.

And blame whoever you need to. Do whatever you need to do to get through this week since Self-Care is the name of the game (it’s the only game). Love yourself a lot because the mirror won’t. This is the time of the month (see what I did there?) you don’t want to be alive. These are the days that you’ll wonder why everyone hates you, why they dump all of their shit on you, and why you, yes You, can’t get it together. Your hair is dry. Your skin is splotchy. Your clothes don’t fit. And you want to eat everything in life that ensures they will never fit again. It’s okay, Dear.

As I said, your only goal here is to love yourself. Because this love makes the next week of eating crow and getting shit done a lot easier.

Week 4: LIVE YOUR LIFE!

Principle: Do Everything You Really Want To Accomplish. Depending on how bad Hormonal Armageddon was will dictate how apologetic you need to be on the first day of this week. It’s okay. We’ve all been there and your hair actually looks okay enough to make people want to stick around to go through it again. In three weeks. Because hormones. So start with the apologies and then get started on that list of things to do!

This is when you implement the new ideas and commit to the contracts. You are the most levelheaded you’ll be and as this week goes on, you’ll only become more pleasant. You see clearly here because you have 20/20 vision. You feel great here because your energy is back. This is where your personal “I Am the Shit” playlist comes in handy. You are unstoppable so go out and conquer the world.

You’ll only have five days to do so.

.

*Men are hormonal too but that required several drinks and a bulletproof vest to write about (I’ll put it on the list for next year).

The More Things Change

I had my surgery to remove my renegade fibroids and a demonic ovarian cyst due to endometriosis a little over 6 months ago. I even shared 12 Things I Wish I’d Known before the major operation. Now I’m back to give an update and share some REAL challenges because it’s been…interesting.

Let’s start with the positives (that’s always a good place to start)!

  1. I don’t look pregnant anymore! Whooooooooooo hoo! You know because I’m not. I can’t tell you how embarrassing/insulting it would be for people to ask me if I happened to be expecting because my abdomen was swollen. It was that swollen. I can recall a time where I was on an aisle of baby products buying my friend a gift for her shower and a woman arguing me down about whether or not I was with child. Tuh! So glad it’s no longer swollen.
  2. My Crohn’s doesn’t act up as often! As one of my favorite reality personalities Tamar Braxton-Herbert would say, “Hallelu!” That’s a a throw your hands up and praise shout moment because there were consecutive weekends that I would be in the Emergency Room for yet another scan. The culprit most of the time (now we know this)? Those damn fibroids. Now that they are gone, I’m only having a crisis like 30% of the time.

Now for the “They didn’t tell me this shit would still happen” part (and excuse my language).

  1. Ovulation – still painful. Matter fact, it’s so painful now that I’m just like, “Is there another cyst? Was there a hidden cyst? Let’s go find it because I’m not about this life!”
  2. My cycles – still painful. I remember my doctor saying that there was a small chance that my cycles would still be 9/10 on the pain scale painful. I should have had her clarify as to what she meant by small because guess what? It’s still a 9/10 on the pain scale painful.
  3. The birth control I was on made my boobs grow. That was an unexpected expense I didn’t want to incur and a part of me who is sorta vain wants to say, “This is a good thing.” BUT nope. My chest hurts all of the time.
  4. Exercising is interesting. Even now, I still have abdomen pain near my incision and I still have to take things easy because I have no feeling in the area of my incision. Great! Not great!
  5. My anemia is still weird. There’s really nothing else to describe that. It just is.

I mean, that’s all I have. Just wanted to update you all. Maybe in a year, I’ll be able to say, “Hey Y’all! I’m cured!”

Daily Reflection – 292

Today I meditated and I felt pain in my entire body.

I wasn’t surprised that the pain was there. I was just surprised that it felt as bad as it did. For a while, I feel like I’ve been floating or being pushed through life, almost like a pinball in an arcade game. Currently, it feels like things are just…I don’t even know really how to describe them. They are and I am. And it’s not good. So many thoughts ran through my mind and I physically felt sick.

I felt used up. I felt unloved. I felt forgotten. I felt like people only recognize me when they need something (whether it’s a laugh or money or whatever).

I guess now is the time that I get real about these things. But how do you move forward?

Today I meditated and I felt pain in my entire body.

Living Fully

WHOOOOOO!!!! Before I get into this post, let’s talk about the fact that I have 100 posts on my blog! After three years (I think), I finally buckled down, got disciplined with my writing and hit a goal. This is actually post 101 and I think it’s appropriate since it marks the start of something “new.”

For the past few weeks, I’ve been intentional about being present and fully aware with how I’m feeling and with what’s going on. In the past, I’ve usually bottled up everything. While it’s freeing, it’s sometimes a bit weird to see the reactions of others because I know they think I’m losing it. One moment, I can be sorta great or at the very least good. The next moment, I’ll see or read something that frustrates me or makes me sad and instead of packing it away and pretending I’m fine, I acknowledge what I feel.

This has been new not just for me but for those around me. I don’t have outbursts but I’m no longer pretending to be okay. I’m also becoming more mindful of how ignoring something has an impact on people around me because I’ve learned that I’m one of those personalities that can’t hide anything. I CAN NOT TELL A LIE!!! in real life lol.

The one thing that I’m proud of is that this “living fully” is trickling into other areas of my life. Some exciting things are coming up (and I’ll be sure to blog about some of them) and I’m looking forward to all of it.

It’s amazing what being completely honest does for you and your mindset.

Gratitude as an Act of Kindness

On Wednesday during Day 2 of the 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey, I had an epiphany! As the organizers of the mantra meditation journey prepared listeners for Day 2, which focused on Inner Peace, they asked the question, “What does peace mean to you?” My first thought was that peace meant being able to focus on a given task with no distraction and if you are distracted, then you don’t punish yourself for being distract. Then I thought that peace meant I would have loving relationships and that those who loved me, like family and friends, would support me.

But then something sorta weird happened and I thought, “Peace is helping my Mom with tasks now because she helped me when I was younger. It’s my way of saying ‘Thank You’ for what you’ve done and recognized in me.”

Peace is gratitude. Gratitude is an act of kindness towards oneself that you express because some other Energy has recognized something amazing in you.

You tell the Creator (be it God or the Source or however you choose to acknowledge it) thank you through acts of gratitude toward yourself and others because the Creator has blessed you with certain gifts. These gifts allow you to give back. When you compliment someone, it’s an act of gratitude because you recognize something in them that another source of energy recognized in you. When you give chance to a homeless person with a good spirit and good hard, it is an act of gratitude. Why? They recognize that you have a source of energy that allows you to manifest wealth in a way that makes you comfortable. You “pay” your gratitude by giving away your excess (sidenote: this thought on wealth is something that I learned about while listening to a 45 minute talk given by Bob Proctor who shared that we only need wealth for two reasons: (1) to become comfortable and (2) to give in charity to others).

I will share that I was astounded at how simple this realization on peace and gratitude was and as I went into my meditation, I actually FELT different. My energy was stronger and less anxious. My breathing was slower. My heart wasn’t beating out of my chest and for possibly the first time ever, thoughts weren’t running through my mind at the beginning of a meditation period. The feeling in this particular session was almost blissful and even when I was done, I still felt the same.

It was great.

“The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”

-Eckhart Tolle


Click here if you would like to learn more about this particular journey or if you’d like to join the 21 Day Mantra Meditation Journey.

Honesty Is the ONLY Policy

The past nine days have been intensely emotional. That’s the sentence that captures exactly what I’ve been going through. For the past three years, I’ve been on a personal journey to clear myself of negative energy and release toxic emotions from my being. It’s not easy and at times, this process of clearing energy moves way slower than I want it to.

On Sunday night, I had a particular experience that led me to watch a recorded episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass (this one had Bishop T.D. Jakes as a guest and took place at MegaFest). After about 17 minutes, I found myself asking, “WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?” While the focus was on “fatherless children,” there was something that struck me about the pain of having an absent parent. For a while (and this is a story I won’t get into — gotta save something for my tell-all autobiography), I’ve buried the pain of being the child that was overlooked and abused and forgotten about. The thought that came to mind about why I’ve remained wounded in life was that, “Even if people do the best that they could have done, it doesn’t lessen the hurt.”

That statement is true. It doesn’t lessen the sting of being at a Family Reunion (on my Dad’s side) and having to be introduced to family members only to overhear one of them say, “I thought he only had one daughter.” To be an outsider was hard.

And I have spent the majority of my adult life trying to feel the opposite of that. I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve essentially done things because I knew that for a fleeting moment, I’d be the one that they (my parents) would have to pay attention to. Then I read something on Monday morning that talked about letting go of hurts and the biggest impediment to doing so. Before I got to the end of the paragraph and had a major “AHA!” moment, I was sure that the impediment was going to be something like, “We can’t get over our hurts because people won’t acknowledge that we can feel the same way.” That thought process is something like, “You want me to extend my empathy to you but you can’t do that for me.” That’s blaming. That doesn’t work.

That was also NOT the answer.

The biggest impediment to getting through our hurts is that we ask the question, “Why?” The answer is very simple, “Because they could.” It doesn’t mean that they meant it intentionally. It doesn’t mean that they thought less of you. It doesn’t mean that they set out to contribute to the misery in your existence. It just happened. And it happened because they behaved in a way that they could.

With that being said, I’ll share that this realization brought about the biggest sigh of relief and then the largest cloud of panic I’ve been engulfed in since I watched an apartment burn to the ground. For me, I felt good because it suddenly clicked that I’m amazing and that I’ve always been amazing. On the other hand, it was absolutely terrifying because I realized that (1) I haven’t been living in my fullest potential AND (2) if I live in my potential and embrace the amazing and succeed, it would mean that I was the reason life has been so difficult in the past few years.

I decided to call this post “Honesty is the ONLY policy” because it means that I can do things that I’ve always wanted to do because I approach life with a zeal and understanding that I deserve the good things. And that’s okay. But I also realized four things:

  1. I am at an exciting time in my life.
  2. I choose to stand in my authenticity.
  3. I am all of that and MORE!
  4. My past gave me the foundation to be great. Not mediocre. GREAT!

With this new policy, taking on my baggage doesn’t seem as scary. I can only come out better anyway.

Have you had a moment that changed the way you thought about yourself? If so, share in the comments.

Reflections On the 21-Day Meditation Challenge (#31WriteNow)

I did it! I’m so proud of myself for completing the 21-Day Meditation Challenge on “Miraculous Relationships” hosted by Deepak Chopra with the assistance of one of my FAVORITE personalities, Oprah Winfrey. While this wasn’t my first meditation challenge I’ve signed up for, it was the FIRST one I’ve completed and did the days in order (read: I didn’t skip or miss days). This challenge was three weeks of internal work to build Miraculous Relationships and I believe that it was well worth it.

Relationships, in general, are something I struggle with. Even with my closest ties to people, I feel inauthentic in many of my interactions. There is always a mask to be worn because I fear that I won’t be accepted if I truly share with people who I am, how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. The older I get and the more I choose to do some internal work, the better I understand that I’ve developed this style of interacting with others as a coping mechanism. This stems not only from the abuse I endured when I was younger but also as a result of witnessing how people treat others who are vulnerable.

Ultimately, I want to get to a place where I KNOW I can be myself and this challenge was the first step. It’s exhausting (for me) to pretend to be someone I’m not. It’s hard for me to play the “I’m alright” card when I know I’m not.  At this point in my life, I’m starting to grasp that I have no more expendable energy to keep up a façade so that others feel absolutely comfortable with me. But that’s not what this post is about (I’ve actually scheduled a post for later this week on expectations and acceptance). This particular post is about finishing a challenge and the BIG thing I learned.

I just have to say this again – I FINISHED a 21-Day Meditation Challenge and this makes me proud!

What doesn’t make me proud is that after turning a mirror onto myself, I realized that I have a problem seeing things to the end. I can set an awesome goal and even outline a very doable plan but for some reason, the follow-through isn’t quit there. This realization is scary because I have major dreams and goals that require a precise attention to detail and most importantly, following through.

The good news though is that I’ve decided to kill two birdies with one stone (sidenote: I do not like this saying but it fits). From now through the end of September, I’ve chosen to focus meticulously on (1) understanding myself and the way I function and (2) developing new techniques and habits so that my goals are reached. I’ve asked three people to be my “accountability buddy” and I’ll be sharing with them my goals on a weekly basis and the progress I’ve made on each one. In addition to that, I’ve decided to seriously study just about every aspect of myself using various tools like spiritual reading plans, astrological information (at some point, I’ll share my reactions to my Natal Chart) and good old trial-and-error.

Moving forward, I want to build a foundation that best protects me from extra stress in my life while I reach for my goals (I mention protection here because setbacks and failures are inevitable). I’m absolutely glad that I made the decision to stick with this challenge because I can already feel a difference in how I relate to myself. I’ll use the excitement and confidence I got from completing a challenge to begin this process of self-actualization and I’m eager to share what I learn along the way.

What challenges have you completed that you are proud of?

Battle Scars (#31WriteNow)

Every Tuesday, I watch Catfish: The TV Show with the rest of Twitter. Usually, people share some very witty reactions to the show but there was something about last night that made me uncomfortable. There is this internal dialogue or belief system that people seem to hold where a person who struggles with mental health issues (1) deserves to be lonely and (2) should not speak up about it in public. What came across as a heartfelt concern for the young woman was built upon this idea that the young man in question was so messed up that there was no way he could ever be “not crazy.”

That’s…scary.

Selfishly, I thought of myself when I read the tweets/comments from folks who talked about that young man. While I’ve always been open about my challenges with mental health as an adult, I am always hesitant to share what it was like being the child of two service persons who were diagnosed with service-connected mental health disability. I’ve seen firsthand what “crazy looks like on an ordinary day” and I continue to live that existence.

Daily.

But I called this piece “battle scars” because what I dealt with daily (child abuse, mental and emotional abuse, paranoia, etc.) was brushed off as “oh that’s just how they (my parents) are.” Even recently, I traveled with my Mom to a family member’s funeral and a relative made the comment, “Girl! Your Mom has always been crazy. But you take care of her.” That comment made me pause. It made me want to scream, “No! She’s not crazy! She’s experienced trauma and you’re being dismissive of it by calling her crazy.”

But I didn’t.

I went on. And I thought of the quiet scars my parents carried. Long before they joined the military, they both went through traumatic experiences that others expected them to shrug off and move on from because “that’s what Black people do.” I thought of how those wounds festered and every now and again, we could feel those hurtful experiences in how they interacted with us. I thought how the military and its lack of support in the mental health arena (possibly) made it worse.

Because I think it did.

I thought about the time I saw my Dad hold a gun to my Mom’s head because “everyone was out to get him and he just wanted to see his kids” after returning home from Operation Desert Storm. He didn’t pull the trigger but what if he had? And I thought about how I’ve lived with that memory…and it haunts me today. So I understood the comments about the concerns of the safety of the young woman but there was no concern for the young man.

I sometimes wonder if my parents would have been a little less damaged had they not joined the military but I don’t have a time machine or any way to know that. But what I do know is this — people could help with the healing of others if we just examined our bias and damaging beliefs that we hold about the Unacceptables who struggle from mental health issues.

Trauma.Invisible scars.And there is no help.

My Depression Is… (#31WriteNow)

Yesterday, news that Lee Thompson Young had died spread across the internet. Cause of death: suicide. People say, “I wonder what he was going through” and “You never know what someone is going through…” And this affected me. In a way I didn’t think possible but it was a simple statement that brought me out of my element and hit me at my core:

“Suicide is a selfish act. People should think of their loved ones and the pain they would cause.”

And those words, that idea, that feeling and sentiment got to me in a way that made me feel I was personally on trial. And I just wanted to share something…anything at all…that would get other people to understand what it’s like. And no matter what I said, it fell on steely resolves and unreceptive hosts. By the end of the day, I felt worse than I thought I’d feel so early in the week.

So I wanted to write something (writing is starting to be my go-to for a lot of things and if you can imagine, I don’t even share the personal-personal on here).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with a persistent heaviness. As I’ve gotten older, it’s become more encompassing. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I realized I had depression and it was more than “the blues.” It wasn’t until I was 23 that I really began to understand it in a way that made it easier to explain to others.

This post is rough. It’s ragged. It’s scary to share but I want for people who don’t deal with this disease that snatches rationality to get a sense of what it is to be cloaked in this.

Daily.

This explanation or description of emotional purging is not clinical because that makes it cold. It’s not warm because this feels anything other than that. These words aren’t eloquent because nothing is beautiful about this struggle.

It just is…like I just am.

“Until you’ve had depression, I don’t think you’re qualified to talk about it.” -Geoffrey Boycott

My depression is…

Waking up in the morning and seeing a message my Momma wrote on my mirror for me. “Courtney, You ARE important!” and knowing that is still not enough to feel I’m important. Or loved.

Celebrating my small victories throughout the day. “I brushed my teeth.” or “I didn’t excuse myself to go to the bathroom to cry.” or “I didn’t have to remind myself to breathe.” or “For a moment, it didn’t hurt to keep going.” What’s habit for you is a challenge for me.

Exhaustion.

A weariness that’s so pervasive it’s palpable and other people feel it. And because they feel it, they don’t want me around or they don’t want to be around me. You see, those things feel the same? And it is hard to distinguish between the two. But if I did something to hurt myself, these are the people who would call me selfish. Or say they didn’t know how I felt.

40 hours a week. Stability. Direct deposit twice a month. And leaving this job because it contributed to my misery.

Hearing the whispers of loved ones say “I didn’t know she was a troubled soul.” and “She was so bright.”

Being able to understand the struggles of another but being met with confusion about my own. I can’t explain this feeling; you’d have to feel it to really know. Or why? Or what could make it better?

Sitting in church and feeling like God forgot about me. Seeing beautiful things around me and feeling like God forgot about me.

Praying for peace. A real peace and a soul that’s finally quiet.

A constant struggle. In the midnight hour, I remind myself that tomorrow can be a little better. That the Baby Steps are all that’s required.

Feeling like something’s wrong with me but having everyone around me shrug it off.

“She just wants attention because Black people don’t get depressed. Our God is too big for that!”

Tear-stained notes of goodbye. Rough drafts of suicide letters. And exercises where I write all of the things I wish people would say to me.

“I don’t know what it feels like Courtney, but I really do care. I’ll listen. I’m here to listen.”

Cleaning my entire apartment and writing out instructions on where my things should go because I took a bottle of pills. Wondering if I truly have a greater purpose or if it’s a cruel joke because I only slept for a long time.

Wondering who can I call?

Crisis lines. And inpatient stays in a behavioral health unit.

Being the joke or the one that’s talked down to.

Being told, “If you’re going to worry, then your faith really isn’t that strong.”

This isn’t worry…this isn’t worry.

The expectation to think rationally and hearing other folks speak dismissively of something that twists my soul and breaks my spirit without ever knowing how it got there in the first place.

Telling your counselor at 11, “One morning, I just woke up really sad and I don’t know why.”

Is this my cross to bear?

Being on the Honor Roll and being lauded for your academic ability by the same administrators who treat me unkindly for being homeless. Or rather, my depression is remembering this.

Being reminded I’m less than by the society I live in.

And having to name the people to myself, out loud, who want you here.

Scratching some of those people off of my list when they express their opinions about someone like me.

“It wasn’t something I did. I’ll wonder that. But they should know they are loved anyway.”

Sometimes we don’t.

I just wanted to feel loved on my birthday. You showed up late. Or you didn’t call. Or you didn’t text. And you laughed it off later with a, “Well girl you know!?”

Sometimes I don’t know.

Warning signs. All of the warnings signs. Other people see them but ignore them. Because there’s no way I could have that “issue.”

Being the one that my family leans on…and adding their burdens to my pile. Only to sink.

Sinking.

Sinking lower.

Sinking lower still.

Playlists of “Feel Better Music” and sing-alongs through tears. It’s never enough but somehow I make it.

Keeping everything inside. No one wants to hear this. Except the people you pay and even still, they only medicate you or tell you how you made this mess.

I didn’t ask to be here.

A tattoo on my wrist. “Dream. Hope. Live. Be.”

Remembering my potential as a way to fight off the heaviness and then the heaviness returning as I wonder if I’m meeting my potential.

Setting alarms to eat and asking friends if they could remind me to eat. Expressing gratitude for the ones who remembered to tell me to eat.

Because sometimes, most times, I forget to eat.

Being alone with destructive thoughts.

Being alone.

An additional 6 pills a day and no insurance to cover this treatment. It’s expensive. An expensive reminder that I’m miserable. So I take them only when things are really bad…if I have any to take. Which means it doesn’t work like it should.

Everything being too much.

Feeling like I’ll break at any point.

The lowest of the lows…

Being in a place so dark, I wonder which beast swallowed me whole.

This time.

And I pray a prayer to be spit upon a shore, any shore no matter how cold and lonely and destitute, like Jonah from the belly of a great whale…

So I can see a sunrise.

Just one more sunrise.

And feel its heat as it sends a visible glimmer of hope…

That never fully reaches me.