Day Eighteen || 30days, 30minutes

In my Undergraduate, viagra 40mg I studied Psychology. There was something about the human mind that fascinated me. Why do we do the things that we do? How do we define truth and where does that stream from? What does birth order have to do with our personalities? I am constantly processing through a lot, all the time. I internally and externally ask a lot of questions. I analyze every concept I can get my hands on and I am constantly wanting to understand deeper. I am intrigued with discovering heartbeat and the root of people, places and things. I knew midway that I wasn’t going to pursue Psychology on the graduate level, I didn’t really have a desire to be a doctor or to have a practice, I just wanted to know how to love people. I quickly learned that Psychology was about more than diagnosing yourself or others. It was the ability to grasp a deeper, wider and more universal approach at understanding other human beings. I figured, that in whatever I did-- I would always be around people and psychology would allow me to understand people better-- thus hopefully knowing how to better love them.

My favorite class was a summer class taught by Professor Becky Murdock called Psych of the Exceptional Child. The whole focus of the class was geared towards the various mental disorders that children can have, their causes and treatments. This class wrecked me. I cried A LOT and every child I told myself I would adopt and keep them in this cute little house tucked away surrounded by willow trees so they could just be. (I realize how creepy that could have sounded but I meant it in the most sincere, nurturing kind of way) Shortly after this class, I started working with a beautiful little girl who is on the autism spectrum. Her name is Naiya, I’ve mentioned her before on my blog a few times. She is a precious human who reminds me to take everything in, every touch and every flutter of eye contact. She has taught me that it’s okay to know what you want and not know how to express it, she also reminds me that no matter what goes on in our own heads-- we all have a deep desire to be known, seen and loved.

I’m not sure if you know this,

but currently we are smack dab in the middle of mental health awareness week.

Did you know that about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder?

Did you know that an estimated 16 million american adults (nearly 7% of the population) had at least one major depressive episode in the past year?

These are barely scraping the surface of all that mental health awareness focuses on. However these are the ones I know about-- these are some of the stories I can tell but can you imagine how many stories are out there not being told? Because when you are suffering from something that cripples your mind and sometimes hinders your ability to function to your full potential --- the immediate response is to recluse. No one wants to see when you’re not put together, when you’re not whole and you’re walking around with all your pieces. No one is going to understand, these are the lies that bombard thousands of individuals everyday.

The biggest power mental illness can have is the power of silence.

The power over convincing those suffering with them that there’s no need to share but there is.

Tonight, I had the incredible honor of performing for an event for an organization called Link of Hearts, a jewelry company focused on, RAISING AWARENESS FOR DEPRESSION & SPREADING HOPE ONE GIFT AT A TIME.” The owner and founder, Elizabeth shares her own story about her walk and battle with depression here. A few months ago, Elizabeth asked me to write a piece for her kickstarter video raising awareness for those suffering with depression. I couldn’t do this project alone and asked my friend Sophia to write it with me. She agreed and then tonight we performed this piece;  

Darkness brings a lens that magnifies

the small evils that

have made nests inside my instability.

The micro fibers of their homes

Are too tangled to

Free myself from the

Residency they’ve claimed.

When horizontal

It all grows quicker,

it swells faster.

Grip hands to sides and cling to

Repetitive hopes that

Sun comes again and

Your skin and bones will wake again.

This can’t be living.

I never thought I would have to remind you

What living feels like -- how to be the one to sing away the darkness

But I promise to your bedside lullaby

reassuring you that this night will pass

I promise to be the one who lies next to you

when you’re convinced everything in this world is against you

you are more skyscraper than abandoned building

rest, please rest

but rest means

Sleeping and sleeping

Means peace and

Peace means quiet,

Well it all must be

Wrong then because

Sleep is attempt

After tired attempt at

Finding reconciled

Ignorance to your

Too-filled mind at

A chance to focus

On your breath

In your lungs to

Carry you into the next day.

I will carry you into the next day

Remind you of your strength in the moments you are weak

And to be the one who sews your cape when it’s tattered

Hold the mirror to your face when you’ve lost sight of your identity

Is this when I have to face myself?

you are beautiful.

The time when the outside

stops growing because there

is no sun right now,

you are good enough.

but this thing inside me has proven to be

nocturnal because

when sun sets,

roots grow.

You are not falling apart.

When the outside does not have

chance at convincing

me of ignoring myself again,

is this when i have to face myself?

You are beautiful.

Pain searing through her bones

And taunting insomnia

aching more than just in your body

Sadness kissing her temples each night

fighting battles I always figured she had already won

I cannot pretend to understand

I cannot pretend to know how to hold you

I just know that I must

Let the dark be your space for

feeling fully.

Let your sadness swell into what

is not seen.

Let your chaos absorb what

is not seen.

this is only one experience untold

of the countless men and women

with this illness, suffering in silence

We hope that this will be their gateway--

you do not have to do this alone,

you no longer have to be silent

You deserve to be seen,

To be known, to be heard

every shaky, uncertain

roaring and unwavering voice

it’s time to out come out of hiding

you’re safe here

you’re safe here

you are safe here

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I don’t believe that any story should go untold. I don’t believe than any voice should be unheard. I do not believe that giving the power of silence over to these mental illnesses will make them go away. They’re not dramatic scenes in movies, these are the stories of real people all around you. So this week, I would challenge you to learn something new that you haven’t known before about mental health and the issues surrounding it.

Here are a few of my favorite resources for hope, encouragement, knowledge and support;

https://twloha.com

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

you are seen. you are known. you are heard.