“How to Survive a Flood”

September is Suicide Prevention Month and even if not many people read this, I do hope someone that is struggling finds even a shred of comfort in my message…

The way I see it, suicide is not a conclusion you come to in one day. No, it is years of feeling like the walls are too closed. The voices too loud. And feeling too alone for too long. It is a combination of everything happening at once and without anything to hold on to. So I don’t blame you for feeling like there’s no way out. But, if I could gift you with one thing, it would be the ability to see just how strong you are. We sometimes talk about strength like it has to do with breaking a record or climbing a mountain, or surviving a flood. And, if I could give you this gift, you would see all the times your strength meant more than any of these things stitched together.

Journey To Loving My Curls

There was a period in my life when, after my mother relaxed my very curly hair, I felt normal. I had dyed my hair a honey color to imitate how the other Caucasian girls looked. And it fit me. For a short while. Until my unruly baby hairs began to grow like weeds on my hair line and I would spend hours every morning attempting to flatten them with an iron. Even when my hair was straight from chemical treatments, it never looked like the other girls’ hair. I would stare in frustration at how humidity made my hair a puffy, dry mess while gorgeous blonde locks remained untouched by the weather.

I tried products to make my hair feel soft and moisturized. Instead I would get oily and  stringy. Then I thought how the key was the flat iron. “I will take it with me everywhere”. But, after a couple of months my hair was brittle, dry, and severely heat damaged.

So I grew it out, and cut it off. I had never felt more liberated in my life. In the shower, my hair was no longer falling out. It came up to about my jawline and, at times, I would cry over having short hair. So it wasn’t always a walk in the park.

Above everything else, I did collect an album of lessons that I learned from this decade long experience. These are my favorite three (they get me through the tough days).

Fragment 55: Fishbowl

It always begins with a simple idea: What if the next words to come out of my mouth were to flow with ease?

What if I weren’t pouring clumsy thoughts everywhere?

What if, for a second, I carried myself like the rest of the girls?

Because the rest of the girls know exactly what comes next. They know when to lean in for a hug, or when a handshake is more appropriate. They don’t over analyze dialogues and stay up until 4 in the morning worrying about the little things. Their hands don’t tremble before posting pictures, and even if they did, what do hands know anyway when mirrors speak all the right words?

They know how many pictures to take and when to laugh. Not too much, but just an adequate amount that the joke is still funny. Unlike me. Who feels like too much joke, and not enough woman.

I admire the girls that mold this world into a welcome mat. I live my life within a fishbowl. Always wondering who’s looking over my shoulder.

Who’s tapping on the glass.

There never seems to be a place to hide.