C/W suicidal ideations
Welcome back, loves. Glad to be here, even if only 5 days ago I would not have said that. Went through a small spout of depression this week. The bad kind. The kind where I could barely get out of bed, brushing my teeth was considered a victory, and the idea of disappearing sounded more ideal than anything else. Haven’t felt that down in a long time. Luckily, the feeling didn’t stick around too long and I am out on the other side.
While it was hard to be in that state, I did get to reflect on some pretty cool self improvements. First, I recognized what was happening. I didn’t try to pretend it wasn’t there or act like I couldn’t explain it. It was a feeling I knew well and I jumped in. I thrust my body off of the diving board, gracefully crashing to the bottom of the pool. Second, when I hit the water and was gasping for air, I listened to that. My body told me to breathe and I took long, deep breaths. It said rest, so I laid on the couch all day on Sunday. It said eat, so I ate. It said don’t eat, so I didn’t eat. It said take a walk, and I took a walk. That is a huge improvement. In the past, I felt as though I couldn’t trust my body; my body was the enemy. If my body said eat, I would say “why are you trying to make me fat?” A gross statement in and of itself. Now, when my body says eat, I say “what are we craving? What type of fuel do we need?” What a relief to find trust in my body. Finally, I didn’t let it hang around too long. I had previously wrote a post about needing to fight. That we need to fight when things don’t feel worth fighting for anymore. This is where listening to your body can get a little complicated, because if I let it my body could stay under water for a very long time. It’s easier to not kick and just stare up at the surface through the water seeing a blur of what life used to look like. It’s safe down there. But see, I had to kick because my body also screamed for air. That line is understanding desire vs need. I spent a few days below the surface before breaking through- pushing my legs and arms as hard as I could to in order to reach the surface. What did that look like in reality as opposed to this diving metaphor?
It was crying and telling myself that all things change. It was saying that this feeling, as hard as it is to feel, will indeed change. It was saying that this is not how I want to live. It was hiding under that covers and then coming out from under the covers. It was going to work, after 1100 ‘snoozes’ of the alarm. It was doing things one step at a time. It was everything I could muster. It was reaching out for help; it was me telling my friends I’m drowning. (Can’t seem to escape the swim metaphors *shoulder shrug emoji*.)
At one point, I started to feel like a burden. That is a sign for me that I am reaching the lowest place, the place that is hard to come back from. The place with suicidal ideations. I had to repeat to myself that I am not a burden and that people love me. I was sitting in the dark, my arms wrapped around myself, fighting that feeling when all of the sudden there was a bright light in my face. My best friend was calling me. I picked up sobbing into the phone. She said her “best friend spidey senses were tingling”. She knew I need her more than I realized I needed her. We talked on the phone for a couple of hours. When I first answered I was crying, barely able to breathe, feeling like I couldn’t go on. By the end of the conversation I couldn’t remember why I was upset to begin with. It was like my soul had been restored. A simple conversation from a friend who sat there with me and said “I wish I could do or say something, but all I can say is I love you.” The thing is… that was all I needed. I needed to be reminded that I am loved, I am loving, and I am lovable.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I know, it was a really lengthy way of getting here, but I am dramatic and had to build it up. But seriously, it’s that time of the year. If you’re sitting there confused, I’ll fill you in. LOVE TIME aka Valentines Day aka hallmarks holiday. This Friday is that day that romance gets shoved into our faces and us single folx are reminded that we are not in a relationship. Okay, that may have sounded a little bitter, but honestly I am not bitter about it. I love Valentines Day. When people ask me why (which is just rude, tbh) I always respond with “why would anyone hate a holiday that celebrates love!” I mean I know why, but I LOVE love. Yeah, I’m annoying like that. Every year I make a point to celebrate the love I have for myself. This year I am treating myself to some takeout and a bikini wax! I also believe I owe myself extra because last year I spent the day crying into my pillow because I ran into my ex with another girl. Gotta make up for that disaster. I think I see a massage in my near future.
This year though, I want to make it a point to celebrate even more love. This year, I want to remind the people that I love that I love them, because Valentines day isn’t just about your romantic partners- it’s about having a day dedicated to reminding the important people in your life that you care. My friends, as is evident from the story above, are life saving humans. My family lifts me up and gives me so much support. This type of love, well, its unlike any other. It gives me power to get through feelings of suicide that can lead to me forgetting I was even having those feelings in the matter of two hours.
I refuse to be bitter on a day about love because I am luckily enough to be surrounded by it. That is a gift I will never take for granted. When I was sitting in the dark, crying, asking someone to make the pain stop I got that prayer answered. I am pleading with you this year, for Valentines day, celebrate all the people you love. Pick up the phone and call your friends, family, dog, neighbor. Spread it around like it is bursting out of you. You may just answer someones prayer.
And I know one day isn’t enough, we must say it continually. So, staying on theme, I am just going to dive right in: I love you, my dear reader.
Black History Month’s featured Black Artist:
“Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.”
Published in 1982, The Color Purple focuses on the life of a black women in America the 1930’s. Alice Walkers way of writing is done in a way that nothing else matters while I am reading her material. The book was also adapted into film and a broadway show. I saw the broadway show and it was hands down the best performance I have seen thus far. I cried… hard. Alice Walker herself is a brilliant mind that graduated valedictorian from her high school. She grew up struggling with personal difficulties and would find comfort in writing poetry and reading. The Color Purple was one of the first books I read when I started reading for pleasure (I was a late bloomer in that aspect). It will always hold a special place in my heart.