For Colored Girls Who Suffer in Silence...
Suicide is ever prevalent. People are committing suicide because they feel that the world would be better off without them in it. The things they're currently enduring are too overwhelming to bear. Today, it's been on my heart to speak about this topic because I've been there and know what it's like to not live anymore. It's why I birth characters like INDIGO KIDANE AND AIRIS HAYES, who too, have had thoughts of suicide.
All of our lives, we're told that life is precious and indeed, it is because so many peoples' lives end too soon and at a young age (such as the frequent mass school shootings currently plaguing the country that's stolen away so many young children's lives). Even in great suffering, we're told to hold on, because above it all, our lives matter. "Where there is life, there is hope," they say... sometimes I believe it.
I believe this because sometimes I know that any burdens that I may be experiencing will likely be shouldered by those who love me the most. Even when I have felt alone and at my weakest, I have known in the depths of my soul that I am not alone. Faith has provided me answers in the form of family and friends who give me love, peace, and hope. But what about those who don’t know? What about those who suffer in silence and feel as if they have no remedy or folk to turn to?
As humans we need others, yet in some places, we choose to live as if we don’t.
And we’ve all been there. Put on fake smiles and gone through days, perhaps weeks, where everything was so miserably, terribly wrong. We’ve said we were fine when we weren’t; we’ve pretended that life is good when it isn’t. I think these days even the words, “How are you?” have become meaningless; just another way to say, “Hello” and without much concern. Sometimes when I’m riding in the Uber or walking on the sidewalk or grocery shopping, I’ll stop to notice the people around me, and I’ll wonder if they are okay. I’ll wonder what they’re thinking about, the thoughts that trouble their days, and their reasons to be happy or sad. On my worst days, all I’ll do is wonder. On my best days, I’ll give them a smile and try to be kind because far too many people suffer in silence.
Sometimes...that suffering turns into an illness. Like depression, anxiety, or even PTSD.
Here’s the truth: Having this depressive feeling was never your choice. It's never anyones choice. And I'm here to tell you that, I'm here for you. Yes, what you're currently doing through does hurt on a daily basis. And you’re a marvelous badass for fighting it even if it terrifies you.
I think it's important to Remember that you are not your mental illness/suffering is part of the daily battle. Remembering that you are enough is your ultimate weapon. Remembering that you are simply you—your soul is the inevitable victory. As mental illness is similar to having a scar and you don’t say that I am that scar, you say that I am going to live with that scar.
Don’t let your mental illness convince you that it’s not going to get better. Don’t let your mental illness convince you that you’re never going to be functional like before and that life is hopeless. You are loved. You are wanted. And you are beautiful beyond words can ever explain. Don’t let your brain persuade you into thinking that you aren’t.
You are so much more than what’s going on in your head. You have genius in your soul. Talents beyond talents. Gifts beyond gifts. You are capable of doing amazingly extraordinary things with your amazingly extraordinary soul. Your life is not a diagnosis. Your life is living despite symptoms.
You are going to have glorious days when you’re really happy to the point where anything feels possible. Like your mental illness and suffering is non-existent and you feel extremely alive like you belong in this planet. And all you do with your positive energy is to pour it into your soul and make something long-lasting like creating a poem, a song or a painting of the sun and the birds that will give you hope on days when you’ll feel sad. Days, when you’ll feel like nothing you do feels right and everything you do drowns you. And those days will be hell but just like Winston Churchill said: If you’re going through hell, keep going.
You are not your mental illness. You are your soul, and your soul is a fighter, an artist, a friend, a brother or a sister and a child of both love and light.
Mental illness is not a choice but always remember that recovery is a choice. So stay alive and know that you have a purpose. As long as you’re alive, you have a purpose.
Be alive. Be yourself. Shine the brightest stars inside you. Be unapologetically you.
I know what you're probably thinking right now..."It's not that easy"...I know it.
But when life has made your silent suffering so exhausting, so painful, so full of darkness, I beg you to break the silence. I don’t know what it feels like to truly believe that one is alone in the world. But I do know that screaming, crying, and anger is better than a silent suffering that kills the soul, perhaps long before it kills the body. I do know that life is meaningful even when one is in pain, and maybe especially then. And perhaps that’s why love and kindness are so important as we pass each other as strangers in this world – to remind each other that we are here together, that we are each other’s keepers. And to look in the eye of the stranger who may be suffering in silence and in your own way let them know, “You and I belong together. You and I are not alone.” And maybe in those moments, we save others; maybe in those moments, we save ourselves.
I life you always...