Series I: The Woman, The Black, & The Mental

Compassionate, considerate and creative, Debbie has one of the most genuine souls I have encountered. She emits a gentle warmth, a beautiful dark-orange air being the best description of her aura. Maybe not as uplifting as the morning sunrise, but calming and soothing like the sunset. Full of emotion, which has at times proved detrimental, Debbie has grown considerably over the years whilst keeping many of her distinct characteristics, showing that she has and will always remain true to her foundations. Admirably, she has been able to adapt to the battles she has been thrown into. Dodging destructive friendships, weathering the storm of a heart-break, and emerging victorious from her war with depression, anxiety and self-harm, her past has made her strong enough to deal with her future.

It’s been two years since Debbie last self-harmed. Although she still has bouts of depression, her experience over the years means she is now able to accommodate for moments of extended melancholia, coping with it in ways she feels most comfortable. Most recently she has been slowly slipping back into depression after returning from an exciting journey in what was once known as the land of the flowers, off the Gulf of Mexico. Not being able to pinpoint why she has been feeling down, she has decided to just let it pass, speaking only to her boyfriend about how she feels.  Continue reading

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Six Degrees of Why

25 years of age, young, self-made, attractive, and persuasively confident. A naturally-gifted public speaker, with the thoughts of a highly-educated philosopher and the tongue of an orator who has perfected his craft; he was success personified. He had everything going for him. An abundance of wealth, beautiful women, all that good stuff and more all by his side, and yet he was alone. Whilst others saw perfection, he saw an incomplete being. They failed to hear his eyes screaming for love. They failed to see the child within him crying out for help. They failed to see the man within crumbling under the pressure of upholding the image they had created of him.

“I’m scared about opening up and letting the world know my weakness … I can’t have people think I’m weak. I can’t have people see me differently…” he told me as we spoke in a small classroom, sat on desks with our backs against the wall. Silent but solemn, the atmosphere in the air was one of uncomfortable reverence and confusing awe. My perception of him was slowly changing in the minutes that passed by. Vulnerable, but still yet strong, I wondered why he was afraid to expose himself like this to others. But I guess that is the issue. “Expose”. It seems as though we live our lives constantly in fear, constantly in hiding, and once our inner-self emerges in front of those unfamiliar with that side of us, we feel exposed. Continue reading

And After Death…

I had a glimpse of heaven today. Or at least I thought it was heaven. The bright, blinding lights left me perplexed. The warmth I felt enticed me. It was a wondrous feeling… Until I woke up. And then all the memories came flooding back. 

I don’t know what to think of death. I mean, I’ve had interactions with death, but we’ve never spoken, we’ve never had a conversation, only fleeting moments. It seems as though death has favoured others over me and sometimes I wish she wouldn’t. 

My grandma died. Sometime in May. Life had never felt so surreal. I recall arriving home and seeing my mother sat on her bed, with the white and black duvet and pillow laid out in an odd way, as if someone had spent hours trying to make the bed but unsure as to how to do so. As my mother gave me a strained smile, her light-brown eyes telling a different story, I sat next to her and waited for her to open up to me. I had messaged my brother asking him how things at home were the day before. That was when I heard. Instead of asking her how she felt and all the following patronising questions people often ask, I waited for her to feel comfortable enough to talk to me. It was heartbreaking to see her struggle between trying keep an air of happiness in front of her children but also accept the fact that her mother, my grandmother, had passed.   Continue reading