I have not been okay, but, like, I’m okay.

c/w suicidal ideations, alcohol/drug use, grief/loss

Hello, my loves. It has been a minute, hasn’t it? My instinct is to apologize for the long, procrastinated post; however, I am working on apologizing less for me just being me. Therefore, I am not sorry, but I would like to provide you with an explanation of my recent absence. I realize that writing a personal blog about my journey with mental health is both apparent when there is a post and when there is not a post.

Over the last month or so I hit a low… again. This time was different because I didn’t really see it coming. I was riding a high for so long, that even though I knew I would hit a downward slope again, I was hoping that just maybe I was wrong. Just maybe with my therapy and medication and stable partner I could just be “normal”, whatever that is. In my head “normal” is being able to live everyday without this overwhelming pain of the past and fear of the future grabbing ahold of you at different times in your life. I suppose after 2020 though, nobody is truly normal. Everyone I have talked to has struggled with their mental health is some way, shape, or form. Is this the new normal then? AM I NORMAL? I could never.

Anyways… While I used to think that my lows bloomed out of random acts of the universe, I now understand the many triggers that send me into a downward spiral. These last few weeks it was a culmination of so many things. The change in weather, in sunlight, election anxiety, work stress, the ins and outs of a new relationship, the coping skills from my eating disorder that I still lean into, the upcoming anniversary of the loss of a dear friend (re: Alex Wolf), the lack of continued contact to so many loved ones, the never ending news of millions upon millions of deaths from a virus that has been mishandled, the nightmares of people that have hurt me that wake me up in the middle of the night, my upcoming 30th birthday… need I go on? It wasn’t out of nowhere these feelings formed. My depression and how it responds to all of these life stressors is valid. Life is hard, having a mental illness is hard, writing this blog post is hard.

In fact, my roommate just walked into the room and said “are you crying? Is writing that hard?” And I just came to the realization that part of the reason I haven’t written anything in over a month is because I knew it was going to bring up a lot of feelings in me. These feelings are honestly a bit overwhelming. They sometimes show up as tears, or debilitation, or over activeness, or cold sores, or all of the above; it’s all a fine line. I must say this most recent slump has been much more manageable than my past experiences. I’ve only though about dying once, and it was so fleeting I wondered if it even counted- that is a major improvement for me. Hip hip hurray!

As I prepare to enter my 30th year of life, I can’t help but look back at the last 30 years and reflect on all the different ways my life has twisted and turned. Did I think I would ever be able to say I barely think of dying? When I was little, did I ever imagine the life that I am living right now? Not even a little bit. If my life had turned out the way I dreamed of as a kid, I would be famous, married, and have many adopted children, and probably live somewhere else like London or Australia. If my life had turned out the way I dreamed of when I was a teenager, I wouldn’t exist. And if my life had turned out the way I dreamed of as a young college student, I would be lawyer with a drinking problem.

Through these reflective moments, I am also reminded of how my depression has transformed over the years. How my low days are primarily a lack of motivation and much less suicidal ideations. How I am able to recognize it and provide myself with comfort instead of searching for it from strangers on the internet. The way that I reach out to those who truly love me, instead of pulling away from everyone that I love. Even just the way that I know that I am loved instead of feeling like the world would prefer that I not be here. I spent the last month in a depressive state and it didn’t scare me. I listened to the things that I needed in moments that felt the hardest and stopped shaming myself into feeling that it was wrong. It is hard enough being depressed and then also have my brain reprimand me for the way I was dealing with that depression.

I frequently ask my patients what their coping skills are and 9 times out of 10 they slink down into their chair and they begin to mumble that they smoke weed, or drink alcohol, or watch hours upon hours of TV. I try to reposition their mind set, the shame that lives within their slouched backs and mumbled tones. We are, at the core, humans trying to survive. Is drinking wine because I am sad the healthiest coping skill? Nah. Does it make me feel good in the moment, you can bet your bottom dollar. And I tell my clients just that. We do these things because we want to feel better and we shouldn’t shame ourselves into feeling bad for that. We can recognize that these are not long term solutions and that without getting real care and proper help these coping skills could create more harm than good; we can also recognize that sometimes getting stoned feels good. There is no healing when shame is masking all that we do, no matter what we are trying to heal from.

As I mentioned earlier, the anniversary of the loss of Alex Wolf is coming up on November 20th. Grief is not linear and there is no right way to heal. Many of us this year are experiencing that feeling. I can promise you that on Friday, I will be crying and I will have wine and I will call my best friend, his sister, and we will probably cry together and that might happen every year on November 20th and there is healing in that. I’m over feeling shame. Shame for what I put in my body, shame for how I heal, shame for how I look, shame for any of it.

Alex Wolf is one of the best people I’ve had in my life and when he passed I made a promise to live life like Alex. Alex was like the antidote for feeling shame. He made the people around him feel proud to be who they were because he was proud of himself and proud of his friends. In fact, I am smiling while I write this thinking about the time I was capturing images of my friends and asking them to give me their essence. [Image posted below.] Alex ran to put on his homemade corduroy shorts and take a picture with his best friend and I’ve never seen anyone more proud, even while me, his sister, and best friend mocked the shorts.

(Pictured: Stephanie B. and Alex W.)

So, all of this is to say 1. I haven’t been okay, but, like, I’m okay, 2. I still have depression and that is very real and I am still working to heal and cope, 3. thank goodness my life has taken twists and turns 4. There is no right way to cope, 5. Let’s stop shame altogether, 6. I miss you, Alex, 7. I am still trying to live my life like Alex, 8. Best friend, call me on Friday.

A[wo]men

when i let shame take ahold of me

i let go of knowing

i am exactly

where i need to be

-reasons to get rid of shame

Connecting it all

Hey friends. Today is Thursday in case any of you were wondering. I know days seem irrelevant in the current state of the world, but I am here to remind of arbitrary things like the day of the week and how we are already in the middle of July… somehow. My past week has been a week of grief, strength, and, if I’m being honest, pure angst.

I have been on this up and down rollercoaster of emotions which honestly reminds me of being a teenager. If I had to venture a guess, I would assume this is where the angst is coming from. It’s wild to me that even as a 29 year old I can be transported back to my 16 year old responses so easily. However, I am still 29, so the rollercoaster just ends up giving me acid reflux and neck pain. I’m easing into turning 30 quite swimmingly.

Grief is a funny thing. Not a like LOL hilarious funny thing, but like a this is oddly familiar, yet totally foreign funny thing. Whenever someone I love dies, I am flooded with memories of all the other losses I have experienced in my life. My first experience with death was as a kid. We had barn cats that would always think it was okay to cross the highway and very rarely did they make it. Although, my pet cat Eric (named after Eric Matthews/the boy I happened to have a crush on in 3rd grade with the same name) really did have 9 lives. He was one of our only cats that got hit by a car and ended up surviving. My little miracle kitty. Then, the first human loss I experienced was in high school. It was an odd thing to feel suicidal while also mourning the loss of a teenage life. I think I stuck around in the ‘bargaining’ stage of grief much longer during that period of my life. “Take me instead. Her life was better than mine. Why wasn’t it me?” I remember thinking nothing can feel as painful as this loss, but I was wrong. Each loss cuts through me, without warning, and I lose my own breath when someone else loses theirs. What I have learned from each loss is how grief is not a straight line of moving on, rather it is a scar that we will always live with and while the mark may dim it will always remain.

For a long time I hated my body. (I promise this connects, just hear me out.) For a long, long time I hated my body. I would curse the way it looked and prayed that some how it could change. In the last few years I have worked really hard to not only be comfortable with my body, but to love it. Each mark and dimple no longer gets harsh words tossed at them, but rather each part of myself has felt a gentle touch and words of love. Part of the past hatred included my scars- both the physical and psychological one. (See I told you it would connect again.) In my discovery of self love I have also learned how to heal in the other parts of life. Those scars, those losses, no matter how painful are the result of deep and vast love. I no longer sit around in the bargaining phase, instead I think about all of the ways that life impacted me. I use a gentle touch and words of love to work through grief.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t expect to ever right about loss or depression or mental health or a number of other topics I have touched on. In the beginning it was about me documenting my weight loss journey. I’m pretty sure I am 10lbs heavier than when I first started blogging, so jokes on all of you. The thing is, I didn’t realize that writing would actually help me overcome this desire to change everything about me. I didn’t realize that all this healing, this whole time, was actually a way for me to understand the way I move through the world.

I celebrated my one year anniversary of blogging [with more fervor and tenacity] recently and I spent some time reading through old post. I got to read real moments of self-discovery that I can remember viscerally. I am lucky enough to be able to go back in time and feel parts of myself that I might have otherwise forgotten. Through this reading, as I was mourning, I realized all the tools I have in my toolbox to get through hardships. All the ways I have built a community around myself to fall upon when I am struggling. I will go through a million more hard moments in my life, but I finally realize that I will make it through all of them.

With a loss there is a moment where we look upon the persons life and wonder if they were happy? If they did all the things they wanted to do? The thing I have realized about these questions is that we are partially asking them because we want to be happy; we want to do all the things we want to do. So, as I continue to move forward with this new scar I am being gentle with myself, I am using my tools, I am leaning on my supports, and I am reflecting on all the ways death brings new life.

A[wo]men

physical, mental, imaginary.

round, square, heart.

scars come in many shapes.

love them all

as they are u

-seeing all of urself

 

 

 

 

 

Kitty Sopow: The Wish

Imagine you’re a child sitting in a field of grass; you see a dandelion and your eyes perk up. As you pluck it from the base of the earth, you think of the one thing you wish for most in the world. What was that young you thinking of? What did you whisper to yourself as you blew the seeds into space to take on a new life? 

For Kitty Sopow it was always the dream of her parents getting back together.

This week we will be exploring the brave and honest story from my dear friend, Kitty.

I met Kitty in a Target in Anchorage, which is strange because neither of us lived in Anchorage and neither of us lived in a Target, although it sometimes feels like it. Kitty had known my then boyfriend through Skype calls as they worked together on a project. As we were strolling down the aisle I remember him squinting his eyes and saying to me ‘I think I know her’. Then he said it to her, “I think I know you”. I remember looking at Kitty and thinking ‘damn… she’s cool.’ She had punk rock hair, 70’s fashion glasses, with printed leggings and an oversized sweatshirt on. She had a huge grin on her face as she finally got to meet her friend outside of the screen. I lingered back from the conversation, as shy people often do, trying to not embarrass myself in front of the cool kid.

“Kitty, what were your first impressions of me?”

“I could tell.. you were like ‘something is wrong with this bitch!’”

“HA All I kept thinking is… this girl is a badass!”

“WHAT?!?”

This is where I like to begin because this is where Kitty and I began. And, as I’ve learned many times in my life, first impressions are often *pardon my language* total shit. She said she thought I didn’t like her. She thought I was assessing her, trying to figure out if she was into my boyfriend or not. She shared that when she first moved to the island in Alaska for the summer, which is how we became closer than a Target meet and greet, she thought I was a “wet blanket”. RUDE. To be fair, she only knew me for five seconds and thought I was scared she was into my boyfriend- I can’t hold that against her. We all do it. Another commonality among the human race. And so, this was where our story began: Through thoughts not discussed, but impacting the relationship regardless.

As we continued on the with the interview, agreeing that we were closer friends by overcoming our preconceived ideas, I started to find a common theme- often the things we don’t talk about are creating the biggest impact in our relationships.

“Why do you want to tell your story? 

“Well, ya know, I want to support you. And I’m always the one recording stories, so [I thought] it would be kinda nice to reverse the rolls…”

Kitty just graduated with a Masters of Science in Applied Anthropology in August of 2019. This degree is what brought her to Klawock, Alaska and into my life. For her thesis she wrote about subsistence on Prince of Wales. She interviewed people about the role subsistence plays in their lives. I spent many nights with Kitty hearing her talk about her interviews and would see the way she lit up when she became a part of someones story. In a way, I think she influenced me to start this project of telling other peoples stories. Seeing the way she became so involved and immeshed in each persons way of life was intoxicating.

“What do you like about your role as the interviewer?” I asked. 

“You know, you just sit in silence and people just tell you what’s important to them and I think that’s really cool.” 

Kitty, still airing that ‘cool girl’ vibe even today, is sitting on her bed, morning hair falling every which way, as she paints her toenails a merlot red. Oversized boxer shorts and a fitted tank top sets the tone for an ‘I woke up like this’ conversation.

“So [Kitty] the other part of today, obviously, is talking about a story that you have that you feel like might connect with other people… Do you have a story in mind?”

This is where I started to see a different side of Kitty. Her words became a little more rushed than normal and I could feel her energy shift from confident to unsure. The cool-girl vibe still lingered but mixed with a story that she has been holding in for some time. 

“Can I cry while I tell you.. I think I know a story I want to tell…” 

Her eyes were watering and her voice began to shake. She took a deep breath in.

“When I was a kid, there were dandelions all over the place, obviously in the spring. And uh, and my Aunt told me if I picked one up and blew, when all the whispers went away in one blow your dream/wish would come true. And they would always say that stupid wish would come true, like, if you wish on the first star that you saw or, or like, *sniffles* you blew all your birthday cake candles out in one blow your wish would come true, but I never could… and for years all I did was wish my parents would get back together. And yeah… sometimes I sit here and I forget that for years I would just oh, I would wish so hard every night when I’d see a star, every year on my birthday, or every f****ing single breath in the spring I would wish that. And they never got back together and so… I would go from like being at my dads house with my step-mom who hated me, to going to my moms house with my step-dad who we hated.”

I could tell this was something she didn’t talk about often. This was a story that came through with most of her relationships, both platonic and not, but was never said out loud. It felt as though Baby Kitty was sitting across from me, still just wishing on her flowers, candles, stars and now blog posts for the miracle of a family that didn’t know the word ‘divorce’. I know she isn’t alone. I’ve sat with friends, clients, partners, you name it, who all dreamed of different family dynamics. My parents never got divorced, but I remember when things would get bad, using some of my own wishes on a desire to feel like the Brady Bunch. I didn’t talk about it for a long time though. Blood is thicker than water, therefore, it is easier to drown in. As Kitty took her deep breaths between sentences, it felt like she was working her way up to the surface. With each word that left her lips, the heaviness seemed to start lifting. She was no longer holding in the story that held her under for so long.

Kitty was coming up for air in front of my eyes. 

Kitty went on with how this whole situation impacted her choices moving forward. She, like a lot of kids that have difficult relationships with their families, learned to be independent. She knew as soon as she could leave their care she would; her ambitions fueled by the desire to be done with needing her family. That mentality, however, started to feel a bit bit blurry when she got the news that takes over much of the space in her mind today. 

“I was just like thinking you know, wow, like I spent years just thinking about that one wish, ya know? Now it’s just weird because well my moms got breast cancer… and I had to call my dad and tell him. And it was like, I’ve know for a long time that my moms had cancer like at first she had skin cancer, then had cervical cancer, and now its in her breasts and lymph nodes and my dad didn’t know any of this… and he was like ‘Oh, thanks for telling me.’ And I just thought that was, like, just weird. It’s so weird. What’s really weird, okay, is so my dad’s mom also has cancer. Everyone else knew that my mom had cancer but my dad didn’t and it was just weird. ‘Oh yeah dad, sorry, you’re the last one to know my moms had cancer for like a year… And its like, you know, I know my dad at one point had to have feelings for my mom… so, like, I wonder what he is thinking?… his mom has cancer, his ex wife now has cancer, I wonder if he’s thinking ‘oh my daughter is going to get cancer.’

As she said this sentence I could feel my body start to heat up, because all I could hear in that sentence was ‘oh, is my friend going to get cancer?’ My friend, that was so rawly telling me about the difficult childhood she had and her family’s battle with cancer, and the person that was there for me in some of my darkest times, would I see the day that she get’s sick? I tried to let the thought pass through, not letting it derail the conversation. 

She continued on about this strange dynamic that now existed and then it hit me, was my friend sitting there also wondering if she was going to get cancer? 

“You know [Kitty] you mentioned your dad wondering if you were going to get cancer, but is that something you’re thinking about?”

“I think so. I always thought I was going to die from suicide or cancer,” she shared as she was laughing through her nose.

Kitty uses laughter as a way to cope with the dark things in her life. It is something that I love the most about her. She continued to make jokes throughout the interview, saying things like “my mom is the one-percenter of breast cancer, so bow down, she is a one-percenter.” When I lived with Kitty we would spend hours laughing at everything we could. We would talk about our suicidal ideations like it was going to be the kickstart for our stand-up shows. No matter the topic we find a way to laugh together. But the good thing about knowing Kitty, even more after this interview, is that I know that between the laughs there are deep, deep pains that spill out with hard crying. This interview was no different, oscillating between laughter and tears. I could feel her pain and I could feel her trying to cope with that pain. 

She went on to talk about her two siblings who have gone through the same events, but how they handled it much differently. 

Kitty talks about her family through a lens of empathy, wanting to have a deeper understanding of the choices that were made as to lessen the pain and the way it impacts her daily life. She told me about her brothers and how much it affects them. She recalled the disconnect from her older brother as he pushed away from any sort of connection, which they have now started to rebuild. Then to her younger brother, who is still working on finding himself. As she then laughs and throws in “So, yes I am the middle, obviously.” Needing to interject some more comedy to help protect herself. 

All of this disconnect and hurt with her family kept her on the move. She winded up in Alaska in August of 2012. If there is one thing that Kitty has always made clear to me, it’s that Alaska held one of the most special places in her heart. 

“And so, do you think you’ll be in Alaska forever?”

“You know, I used to think that, until my mom got sick again. I’m gonna go home for a little bit. It’s not healthy for me to be there for a long time. I haven’t been home for more than 5 days in like 7 years. Yeah, I was thinking about going home for a month.” She was quick to note that she wouldn’t be staying at her families homes, she would be renting a place, still finding ways to keep herself safe. 

It felt as though Kitty was letting go of something as the interview came to an end. She was recognizing that as we get older we can take our history and rather than let it define us we can let it inform us. Kitty still cares deeply for her family, regardless of the unfulfilled wishes from her childhood. She is there for her mom and they are all working together to get through all the ways cancer derails their lives. Her wish now transforming into one of keeping her mother alive, healthy, and married to anyone, so long as she can stick around.

Kitty, who I see as a strong, bad-ass, presented me with very real vulnerability. I felt so connected to someone I already call a close friend. Hearing her story, I was humbled by the ways I didn’t know this part of my friend. It reminded me that whether you are sitting with a complete stranger or your best friend, there are always new stories to discover, so long as you leave space for people to tell you what’s important to them.

“Okay last question for you, Kitty. Is there anything you want to recommend to people hearing your story and have experienced or are experiencing the things you have experienced?”

“Uhm, probably just self-care and mindfulness and sometimes self-care isn’t a bubble bath it’s actually getting a f****ing therapist and talking about some shit. In order to have productive self-care I think you need to know a lot about yourself… Self-care doesn’t necessarily feel good. It can honestly be the most painful thing you ever do.”

Blunt enters the screen, another coping skill she has acquired over time.  

She continues, as she exhales from a deep drag, “my mom consumes every thought of mine right now. I’ve been crying a lot lately… Here I go crying again.”

“I wish I could hug you.”

Through the tears, “I just want to say that if my mom were here she would say ‘google how to do your own breast exam. And don’t forget to get your mammogram at dat 40’ and then she would cross her arms and give you the look.” 

Sound advice, I would say.

And I would like to add, never stop wishing on anything you can. As Kitty so perfectly demonstrated, sometimes hope is all that we have to get us through a difficult time.

A[wo]men & Kitty Sopow

* Featured image gathered from story-teller (From left bottom to right bottom: Joe, Terry-mom, Kitty, Pearce-dad, Bobby)

Vows, schmows. I don’t care.

Is it hereditary?

I really don’t know.

-Divorce by Kitty Sopow

If you or someone you know is interested in having their story told please fill out the contact form located on this website.

***For more information on the story-teller, follow her on instagram @sopowart

Heavy Lifting

In the name of honesty and bravery, I am beginning today’s post with some realness. I don’t want to write this. I didn’t even want to open my eyes this morning or even fall asleep last night. I ate this morning out of necessity, not out of hunger. I brushed my teeth with the will of 100 men in battle. I’m still, of course, going to write this; just as I powered through the other tasks of my morning, because I know that fresh air is coming.

It has been a tough week for me. Nothing in particular to note, but just a feeling of longing. I’ve spent a lot of time alone this week, mostly watching TV and lounging. For some, this can be a refreshing activity, but for me it often creates feelings of isolation. The more I feel disconnected the more I disconnect. I think I am currently in the dun dun dun ‘suck zone’. For those of you wondering what exactly the ‘suck zone’ is let me quote the great 1996 film Twister: “‘The Suck Zone’…when the twister… sucks you up. That’s not the technical term for it, obviously.” Obviously… but it is just the term I needed, Dusty. See I’ve been sucked up into the twister of loneliness.

There are a few things that I have noticed that may be playing into these feelings:

Number 1. I still don’t have a good schedule down. I keep having random appointments, odd trips, weird bed times, and strange work hours which I let take over any semblance of a routine.

Number 2. As I try to increase the reach of my blog, I have become a little too intense about social media. I went from taking a two week hiatus, to checking my stats every 20 minutes. It is too much.

Number 3. I still think about my breakup much more than I care to admit. This is a hard one to be honest about because I get embarrassed by this fact. I know, I know. I keep hearing it over and over… “It’s a process. Don’t feel bad and don’t try to rush it. This will pass.” And I get that. I know they are right and breakups are hard, but, like, I do feel bad and I want to rush it and could it just pass already?

Number 4. It’s Amazon Prime day and I don’t have enough money to buy unnecessary things for the sake of sales. Sometimes, I just want to be frivolous. I want to throw hundo’s around like I’m in a cool music video.

Number 5. I want coffee. Hi, I’m Sarah, and I’m an addict. I’ve been coffee free for one month and it’s been harder to resist the sweet bean of life, now, more than ever.

Number 6. I am still not Lizzo and that’s all I really want in this life.

So, as you can see, I’m not really setting myself up for great success. The good news is that I recognize this and I am being really gentle with myself. I am ensuring that I still do things that keeps the war at bay.

How, might you ask? Let me count the ways:

Number 1. I am requiring myself to spend time outside for at least one hour per day.

Number 2. I am still going to my therapist! This is the longest standing therapeutic relationship I have ever had. (Aside from my dog Brandy, who was my therapist growing up. RIP. [And yes, she was named after singer/song writer/actress Brandy. I really loved the show Moesha and her amazing rendition of Cinderella.]) In fact, I will be seeing her (my therapist, not Brandy) in about 2 hours. I always feel lighter after therapy.

Number 3. I am not really scrolling on social media. At this point I am just checking my own page, so the comparing is still down to a minimum. Baby steps = baby wins.

Number 4. I am planning a solo camping trip. Which means I have to buy a sleeping bag and, oh would you look at that, there is a sleeping bag on sale on prime day. How convenient. May not be throwin’ hundo’s, but I am getting turned up with nature. [That was the most embarrassing thing I have ever typed out loud. Sorry, not sorry.] Also, may not be a cool music video, but it is like a Henry David Thoreau story. So that’s pretty cool.

Number 5. I’m rewatching Riverdale to be reminded of the love I truly want… #bughead #Bettyandjughead4ever #iSHIPit

Number 6. I continue to sing Lizzo songs daily and even if I can’t be her, I am her in my head for at least 20 minutes a day.

Number 7. Exactly what I am doing right now; I am writing.

All in all, I would say my coping skills are pretty successful. I even had an extra coping skill compared to the aforementioned list of hold-ups. Sure, tasks feel heavy right now, but they don’t feel so heavy that I can’t lift them. I’m just becoming a pretty toned heavy weight lifter. “The beach is that way.”

While I am starting to grow emotional muscles, there have definitely been points in my life where I felt too weak to lift anything. In the past my coping skills list consisted of 1. binge eating and 2. self-hatred. Look at that growth. I guess this is how strength builds though. One day you’re lifting a 5 pounder and the next you are lifting in the hundo’s. +I think hundo’s is my new favorite word, BTW. Again, like a break-up, it takes time. You don’t just jump into it because then you will break your back, or is it your mothers back? Oh, wait, that’s only if you step on a crack. Either way, pain is involved.

But the real problem is we don’t talk about it; we don’t talk about any of it. We expect the quick turnaround because we don’t see all the hard work that we put in day in and day out. We see the end results, not the grueling work. The first time I opened up about any of my feelings outside of joy was in a chat room, on the Post Secret Website. If you have not heard about Post Secret, it is a brilliant site and I encourage you to follow the link. Essentially, complete strangers from around the world send secrets to another stranger who then posts them weekly to his blog. The reason I felt safe to open up there is because of the honesty and bravery shown by everyone else. I learned in those moments that feeling this way was meant to be secret. We tend to not open up about feelings outside of happiness, unless it is to complete strangers.

While I loved and continue to be thankful for the opportunity that chat room gave me, I also think it’s important we give space to those we love to hear how we are feeling. I’ve been trying to correct my way of thinking because for a large part of my life only telling strangers held me back from feeling okay. I had to be a different person depending on where I was sitting. Quiet Sarah at home, happy Sarah at cheer, sad Sarah on the computer, sassysarah600 on aim… When all I really wanted to be was Sarah Lorraine Robinson. *Gasp* THAT’S THE URL NAME.

This blog allows me to open up to strangers, but also to those closest to me, with my name right there in the website address. I am no longer hiding my identity, I am shouting it from the tops of webpages. Earlier, when I said I am still going to write and do my normal activities because I know there is fresh air on the other side, this is what I meant. I feel like I held my thoughts in for so long it was like holding my breathe under water. When I write, when I tell people the truth, just out in the open like this, it’s like I am able to exhale. In fact, breath work, i.e., the inhale and exhale, are some of the greatest coping skills we have.

I suppose I have a number 8 to add to the list: Breathing.

A[wo]men

PS- My hope is to continue the #honestyrevolution #braveryrevolution on social media. Please join me in showing your own journeys, not just the results, and all the emotions that go along with that. For more information on this social media campaign read my previous post- The Social Media Revolution

xxoo