It’s #worldmentalhealthday and the past year has been the most informed year of mental health for me.
Note: informed. Not easy.
I learned what the enneagram was. I explored emotional intelligence. I lost two meaningful humans to suicide. I chose to try therapy as an adult. I took tests for depression and anxiety. I asked a doctor for help. I sobbed when I took my first antidepressant pill. I told more strangers, friends, and loved ones about my grief than I thought I ever could. I began writing my first manuscript (aka bravely/shakily claiming my story). I started asking about mental health practices during interviews.
I feel an overwhelming and humbling gratitude to everyone in my life that has held me – either in warm hugs or words – this year.
If you need someone to talk to about mental health, I’m happy to listen and offer resources. Or even just my own warm hugs.
this weekend I met new friends sang a homemade song in a croaky late-night voice smoke clung to my hair for days kayaked over sparkling lake water listened to the throaty laughter of old friends reconnecting missed my dog more than I expected sipped a ghost pepper “hot pants” cider cried in the car because grief still loves to ride shotgun listened to the longest group-retelling of a love story which might be my favorite way of getting to know a crew of strangers
you realize the full depth of how many words you have when you can’t say them to someone because a loss
is a loss of words a loss of experience
but not a loss of love
today is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay and I’ve lost much more than words
while prevention is incredibly important, my passion is hell-bent on loving people who are here, hurting I’m writing letters and postcards to anyone who needs a little sunshine (or “a heartbroken smile” as a friend pointed out)
send me your address and I’ll mail you a written hug heck, send me someone else’s address and I’ll snail one their way, too
the biggest thing is that none of us are alone in this crazy space-rock ride
grief wears different masks on everyone can strip normal away from even the simplest rhythms like eating well or consistently
a dear friend asked me peering closely at my face if I had lost weight and I have it’s been silently slipping away a quiet unraveling that I was too afraid of acknowledging
so instead I started asking friends how to be strong to teach me to do squats I want to be strong because day by day I can feel pieces of me slipping away into the motions of every day
until I’m at my front door with vertigo turning my key dizzy snapped into reality because I didn’t notice how I got there
it takes a lot of courage to admit that you have weaknesses or need help I haven’t figured it out well yet but if you’re wondering how to start healing
call someone breathe stiffly for a bit until you realize you can’t hide the crying and then give yourself a hug from me to you wherever you are