Thoughts at 1 Something AM

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

                                                                        -Juliette Lewis

I can’t find rest. I want to be able to relax, but I can’t. I sit up, eat, and cry on the inside. I am beginning not to like myself. I feel like a waste of time and not worthy of love. My family loves me, and my friends respect me, but I don’t feel it. I wish I could see myself the way they see me. I don’t know why depression takes control of my thoughts. I hate it! When will I get my happiness back? Maybe I don’t deserve it. Perhaps I am asking for too much. There is something deep down inside of me that wants to run away. But how would that help me? I can’t just leave the people that love and support me.

I need to become a better version of myself. I need to give myself more grace. I know that these depressive thoughts will go away. But I also know that it will never go away entirely, and I must figure out how to handle it. I can’t let depression overtake me. Depression doesn’t have to define me. Depression can’t keep me from living. I have so much life to live. I want to stand tall and show others that depression doesn’t have the final say over their lives. But it starts with me letting depression know that it will never win.

Thoughts From the Notebook

Will I ever be good enough?

Will I ever be able to assist people and accept their thanks?

I want to be able to see what others see in me. My mama always tells me that I am amazing and that she is thankful for me. Why can’t I see that? I don’t know if I could ever accept the kind words and praises.

Ari, stop doubting yourself.

Ari, stop doubting yourself.

Ari, stop doubting yourself.

You can handle anything.

You are kind and thoughtful.

You can lean on people without feeling like a burden.

People need you.

People look up to you.

Fuck depression.

You got this girl!

A Letter to Depression

Depression,

I do not know why you picked this time of the year to show yourself, but I would like it if you went the fuck away. I am sick of being drained. I am sick of feeling like a burden to my family and friends. Does it make you feel better that I am beating myself up every damn day? Can you sleep at night knowing that I think about running away from the people that love me? You don’t know how it feels to look in the mirror every day, wondering why you look so numb. You could never understand how it feels to drag yourself to the bathroom to make yourself shower because this is the second day you try to convince yourself that you don’t need to take one. Depression you bring no light when you come around. You treat every day as a waste of time. I am done feeling nothingness when there is much life I should be living. Depression, I have no time to give you. I want to live. I want to breathe. I want to love and be loved. Depression, I want to leave you with this from Juliette Lewis:

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

Bye,

Ari

Love Me

I love me

I love me not

I love me

I love me not

I don’t know what I love about me

What is there to love about a woman who’s mentally struggling?

I am so depleted from running away from love

I don’t know if I ever loved me

Why should I?

Love is so perfect, and I am not that

Love  is so pure, and I am not that

So why would love choose me?

Depression Is

Depression is like falling down a hole but never reaching the bottom

Depression is like never seeing the sun

Depression is a family of Elephants sitting on your back

Depression is living in heavy fog

Depression is barely breathing

Depression is being trapped out in the middle of the ocean

Depression is being lost out in the woods alone

Depression is being trapped in a web of sadness

Depression is exhausting

Depression is emptiness

Depression is soul crushing

Depression is nothingness

But,

Depression is not me

Cards to Live By

I was feeling down on Saturday, so I decided to pull some cards. And these cards did not miss! I mean, let me break it down:

Temperance Reversed: I have been dealing with a depressive episode for the past two months and was not treating my body right. Between stuffing my face with food and finding reasons to be angry, I was slowly slipping further away from who I was. The Temperance card jumped out of my hand because I needed to know I had to slow down and find that balance again. I needed to do some self-reflection and try to regain myself again.

The High Priestess Reversed: I used to be able to trust my intuition, but if you know anything about depression, that is the hardest thing to do. Anxiety would shoot down whenever I thought about listening to my intuition. I felt like I was out on rough seas and could not see the light from the lighthouse to let me know I was close to land. So The High Priestess told me to kick anxiety’s ass and start getting back into trusting myself.

Strength Reversed: Now, this card got me right together. I have doubted myself since March. I felt I wasn’t good enough and that one day, others would see that and mock me. I stayed in my head so much that I sucked all the strength out of me. I always think that a little setback will keep me from becoming what I see myself as. The Strength card is telling me that I need to gain my control and power back. I need to trust that I am the shit, and no one can take that away from me. My goals are for me and me only.

These cards shed light on what I haven’t been doing and why I need to stop bullshitting and get back on my grind. Okay, heavenly Spirits, I hear you loud and clear.

Texting Anxiety

*9:00 PM

Me: Hey Anxiety. I want to tell you some good news.

Anxiety: Good news? What is it?

Me: Yes! I got a job!!! After being jobless for 3 and a half months, I got a job!

*Read at 10:30 PM

*10:50 PM

Me: Hello? Are you there?

Anxiety: Yeah.

Me: So, no good job or congrats?

Anxiety: Why would I do that?

Me: Because I got a job. Why are you acting like this?

Anxiety: LOL! Now you know this job is not going to last.

Me: Why would you say that? I really wanted this job, and I am glad that I have it.

Anxiety: Because you’re a screw-up. You will find a way to mess it up.

Me: No. This job is perfect for me.

Anxiety: Oh yeah? LOL. Okay Ari.

Me: What does that mean?

Anxiety: Ari, you are not right for this job. You always think that a job will work out and by year one you’re burned out or you dip.

Me: This job is different. This position was designed for me. My bosses love me. They made me feel like I am a part of a family.

Anxiety: Give them time. They will find out how unstable you are, and you’ll be out.

Me: That’s not true. Stop being so negative.

*Read at 11:15 PM

*12:15 AM

Me: Hello??

Anxiety: Look. Think about it; this job requires you to help people find the right job, right?

Me: Right.

Anxiety: But you don’t even know what job is right for you!

Me: I do know! The other jobs weren’t the right fit for me.

Anxiety: How do you know this job is? You really think you got it right now? Like, suddenly the right job just fell out of the sky for you?

Me: I know this is the right job for me.

Anxiety: LMAO! Girl bye!

Me: Why are you being this way? This is supposed to be a joyous time.

Anxiety: FOR WHO?? You’re going to mess up and EVERYBODY will see how much of a failure you are.

*Read at 12:25 AM

*12:45 AM

Anxiety: I got you thinking huh?

Anxiety: You know I am right.

Anxiety: Quit before they find out that you’re a fraud girl.

Me: I am NOT a fraud. I WILL NOT FAIL!

Anxiety: Are you sure? Like on a scale from 1-to 10, how sure are you?

Me: A million!

Me: I never felt so complete. I not going to let you keep me doubting myself.

Anxiety: But that’s why we are friends! I keep you freaking out until you lose your will to keep going and then you bail. I like this setup.

Anxiety: So don’t get comfy girl!

Me: ENOUGH! I am going to do great! I don’t care what you say.

Anxiety: Well, I’ll let you have your little fun. But trust me, you’ll be texting me soon about how this job was a mistake.

Me: Nah, I am done with that and with you.

Anxiety: LOL. Girl you know I am not going anywhere.

Me: That might be true, but this time I will be ready for whatever you throw my way friend.

Anxiety: We’ll see. Bye girl.

Me: Whatever. Bye.

A Little Pick Me Up for Little Ari

Hey Little Ari!

 

I know this week has been rough for you, but I wanted to write you something that will put a smile on your face. I hope these words will make you realize that you are loved and valued. Little Ari, you are allowed to cry about losing something that you wanted. You are not being punished; you are not stupid. Stop beating yourself up. You are allowed to be flawed. You are entitled to make mistakes. Don’t change how you show love. It’s nothing wrong with loving with your whole heart. There’s nothing wrong with you Little Ari. This change we are going through will help us be strong one day. This change will be something to help other people that are going through the same thing we went through. We are learning lessons that will make us a better woman. We are changing for the better. I know that it is hard Little Ari, but we are fighters. We always come out stronger (Shirts ripped and all). I got you back and your front, Little Ari. We are not alone. We might be down right now, but Little Ari, we will win! I promise Little Ari we are going to be just fine. Please put your trust in me. I will not let you go. I want you to remember even if you are afraid, Little Ari, you can still make it.

 

I love you Little Ari.

 

Ariel

 

I’ve learnt that I still have a lot to learn.” — Dr. Maya Angelou

Stupid Girl

Why did I allow myself to think that I could bring back something that was never meant to be? I wish I didn’t care as much as I do about this. It has never been a time when I felt so stupid as I do right now. I am so quick to think that everything will be alright. But as soon as that time comes, I get down. Man, I can’t stand this shit. I feel like a little kid that is gleaming about Santa only to find out that it’s your mama and older brother putting gifts out (that’s my actual story of how I found out about Santa). I can’t stop myself from feeling like I did the wrong thing by reaching out. I thought I was doing the right thing. Why couldn’t I just be told they did not want to be bothered? Damn, I am so dumb! They led me to believe that they wanted the same thing. They gave me hope again. I thought we would be family again. Why did I think that? Why couldn’t I leave well enough alone? I wish it weren’t like this. I wish we would have had a chance to speak our peace and move on. I guess I didn’t need the closure. But why do I want the closure so damn badly? Because I am stupid, that’s why. I have to be okay with not knowing how they feel about me and how I hurt them.

 

I am hurt right now, but I will be okay with time.

 

Goodbyes hurt when the story is not finished, and the book has been closed.”— Jnd

Black Tears on Loop

Black Tears on Loop

Yesterday, I saw a piece in the museum by Ebony G. Patterson called ‘…the kings weep…”  that made me cry. The work is a video installation that portrays three men dressing while tears quietly roll down their cheeks. While the three men are dressing, you hear the voice of a young teenage boy reciting a poem by Claude McKay called “If We Must Die.” I stood there for a moment and noticed that film was looping around just to have the three men start over again. It shook my soul to see those men crying as they held their heads high. How could they stand so tall in the climate we live in today?

As a black woman, I honestly mourn every time I read or hear about another black person dying at the hands of the Police or dying by the hands of “themselves.” The fact that a black man can be in his legal right to have a gun can still be treated like the bad guy and killed without reason why. As soon as I dry my tears, I start crying again. Shit! I am tired of crying! Why can’t we live our whole lives? Do we not deserve to see our babies grow up? We want to grow old too. But all we can do is cry. And dry our tears. And cry again. It is exhausting knowing that I could see another person that looks like me dead. Killed. Then I cry again. And I dry my tears, just to cry again.

I am not sure if I will ever see a day that there’s no more hate. But I would love nothing more but not to cry about another black person dying.

If we must die, let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accurséd lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die,

So that our precious blood may not be shed

In vain; then even the monsters we defy

Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!

Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”

                        — Claude McKay