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Monday, February 29

I Had a Dream That I Was Me


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.

If you have thoughts of suicide, please call 1 (800) 273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Crisis Hotline, or call 911. Please know, admitting help is not a failure. Life can be beautiful, you just have to live it first.
It’s nice sometimes, just to quiet the mind. I find it to be a rather difficult thing to do. The nice thing about being hospitalized is that it’s not so much of a choice anymore. For a moment, you’re taken away from yourself. And in the same moment, you become more of what you are. You accept it, I suppose.

When I laid awake for four days, all I did was think. Not a moment, not a second passed where I wasn’t thinking of something, trying to answer some such question that was branching out of the one before it. A million questions it seems.

At some point the thinking became too much. All encompassing really. I’d felt this on small scales before but never quite the way I felt it this time. I couldn’t sleep if I wanted to. I tried, I really did. But I just couldn’t.

So I wrote.

I wrote every thought I had for four days.

I still can’t bring myself to read over them. I’m not sure if they would shed any light to what I was feeling. I’m scared, honestly, that it’ll be a trigger for me to tail spin into another panic attack, to have another psychotic break, that maybe I’ll really lose it.

I think I understand now what they’re talking about when they say things like diving into a rabbit hole. I guess I understand what a rabbit hole is now.

It’s strange when references from someone hallucinating suddenly make sense to you as a seemingly coherent person.

That’s a first for me.

I understand the head space, I mean. I get what happens when you don’t control your thinking anymore - when you lose sense of your “self” - when you don’t control this, when I can’t control me.

I thought a lot about what that even meant.

Who am “I”? What does it mean to be “me”? Am I anything? What if I’m nothing?

And that’s how I came to zero. Zero was this concept - I became obsessive about it really. I don’t know that it was ever founded in anything real. But for me, zero was me, reduced to nothing. And I wanted that. Sleepless, dreamless me wanted that. I wanted it because then I could ask, “Now what?”

What was my new One? Where did I start over again?

I went through this cycle obsessively for days, documenting it on my phone in a series of increasingly less coherent notes.

I kept reaching zeroes and I kept finding new ones. I kept answering my questions and I kept finding new ones. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t sleep because of this. Why were there always more questions?

I think at some point - and probably before I even knew it - I was trying to find a reason to be alive. I needed a reason to keep existing because something happened to me that made me believe that life was not enough, existence itself was not enough. Why, if it all ends anyway?


I think that was my real question.

It’s funny, you know. “Why?” was my favorite question as a child. I remember distinctly being three or four, before Pre-K, constantly asking my mother “Why?”

Why was the sky blue?
Why was the grass green?
Why can cartoons do things I can’t?
Why are you cooking that?
Why can’t I eat this?

I remember getting frustrated, infuriated sometimes, moved to tears and tantrums when the answer was one I found to be insufficient. You couldn’t tell young me that the sky was blue just because it was.

That didn’t make any sense.

No one thought to explain to a child that it had to do with lightwaves and receptors in our eyes - that in fact we only perceive it to be “blue,” that there are instances in which other animals do not perceive it this way. In fact, there are colors we can’t see, there are lightwaves that we can’t even perceive because we’ve never even seen them. There are animals on the earth that see things vastly different, in wider spectrums - and in smaller ones - than you do.

Because no one thinks to tell a child, “You’re just an animal, like every other living thing on this earth.”

I guess because they think it sounds...pessimistic.

Well, at some point I figured it out anyway. And I figured out other things. And I just kept learning, and learning, and learning. And yet, it always persisted, “Why?”

I left for the Philippines with this question in my mind.

At some point, before all of this happened, I had decided that pursuing a Master’s Degree was going to be something I would seriously consider in the not so distant future. I had considered it before, but never found the time - I was busy searching for happiness. You can imagine how that goes.

So, the night before my mother and I left for the Philippines, I sat down at the kitchen table of my Aunt’s house where I spent my summers as a child and I began typing away, into my phone, what was supposed to have been my essay for my graduate school application.

I was trying to write this story about my own history, who I am and what drives me, and how I came to this conclusion that grad school was going to somehow give me something to satisfy that drive.

I wrote seven coherent paragraphs before I realized, I didn’t know anything about myself. Certainly, I didn’t know enough about who I wanted to be, what I wanted in life. I didn’t know anything.

So I stopped writing. Unfortunately - or fortunately? - the same building blocks that make me a person with Bipolar Disorder also make me a person that is completely incapable of being inauthentic of long periods of time. I will literally have panic attacks that drive me to quitting jobs, moving to new cities, ending friendships or in extreme cases, thoughts of suicide. I literally can’t live with myself if I don’t feel like “myself.”

So I stopped writing.

I thought, well, I’ll go to the Philippines, my ancestral homeland. I’ll get a better sense of who I am. And then I can finish this essay.

And I went. Two and a half days of travel over one ocean and five countries.

And I saw.
And I let life happen.

I came home with one last question still lingering in my mind.


Why poverty?
Why corruption?
Why beauty?
Why death?
Why violence?
Why hatred?
Why love?
Why us?
Why this?
Why here?
Why now?


And I wrote. For four days, I laid awake and thought and wrote.

What started out as my graduate essay became the increasingly incoherent ramblings of a person having a full on mental break.

The last thing I wrote before I was hospitalized was, “Be good, be safe, be real. Want to be real :(. Please. Please. Please.”

I just wanted life to be good. I just wanted to live it. I just wanted everything that made me happy, that made life worth living, I just wanted it all to be real.

The trouble was, after four days of no sleep, weeks of poor eating - days of no eating at all - I didn’t even know if I was real.

And then I had a dream it seems. A dream that I was me.

And that’s a story for another day.
Friday, February 26

Where to Call for Help


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It occurred to me, and hopefully not too late, that while I am blogging truthfully about my own experiences, there may be some readers out there for which this is a trigger - for their own suicidal, manic or other thoughts they may feel during episodes of psychosis, depression, or other illnesses that have not yet been treated.

Though many people have messaged me with words of encouragement and love, and shared their own struggles with me, I understand that not everyone is on a path of hope, just yet.

So, in order to address this, I have now added the number for the National Suicide Crisis Hotline to the top of my blog.

It is a 24 Hour, 7 Days a Week crisis hotline for moments that are very familiar to me, and if this blog resonates with you, probably familiar for you too.

Please - call this number, whenever the thoughts become too much. It is okay to admit help.

And if it ever gets to become too much, please call 911, and take care of yourselves.

We can make it together. You and I, we struggle, yes. But we can make it together.

So please,

Ask for help if you need it. I know that's hard, but life can be beautiful, we just have to live it first.
Thursday, February 25

An Open Letter to My Family, Friends, Loved Ones, and You


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When I first started to share bits and pieces of my story less than five years ago, I would simply tell people I had been depressed at one point, but that I was better now and life is good.

I don’t think I was lying at the time. In fact, I think I truly believed that I was better. Life was happy, I had my husband, I was happy at work, and my family and I were spending more time together.

But those bits and pieces were just bits and pieces. Maybe I wasn’t lying to you, but I was lying to myself. I only told people I had been depressed because that was the only thing, the only part of my mental illness, that I had managed to accept.

You see, this is a struggle for me too. As hard as it may be to read these stories, please know, it was exponentially harder to live them.

I am just now starting to see what my whole entire story is. I know now it’s not the story of a girl that was, at one point, depressed, who is now better, happy and living a life that fulfills her.


That is not my story.

I know that hurts some of you. It hurts me too. It kept me up for four nights. It kept me from eating for days. It kept me from dreaming. It kept me from believing anything was real. It kept me questioning my own existence. It kept me begging - begging myself, begging to an empty bathroom, begging to the walls of my apartment, begging my sleeping husband - to please be real, to please really love me. Because this is a story about me - a person who couldn’t live, who didn’t want to live if love wasn’t real.

That’s it.

And I’m sorry if that breaks your hearts. It breaks mine too.

We don’t choose our stories. They just happen. And we can tell them, or not. But you see, with my story, it’s also a story about Mental Illness.

That story is one that can be happy, and one that I think is on the way to being that.

But for awhile, and maybe for awhile more, it’s going to be a story about how my own thoughts betrayed me, how my body betrayed me, how love betrayed me, how I betrayed me. And that has to be okay.

You see, I have to accept my story. To accept my story, I have to tell it. Because by telling it, I can no longer hide it. And if I can no longer hide it, I can no longer be ashamed.

I know many of you have known me for over a decade. Many of you have known me my whole life. A special few of you have known me from the day I was born, the day my lungs took my first breath, the day I first said hello to this beautiful Earth of our’s.

Thank you, for still being in my life.

I acknowledge that many of you, most of you, don’t know these stories and are hearing about them for the first time.

I want you to know that every story is true. I might be dramatic, hyperbolic, and a fan of poetic prose - but the stories are true. And I’m sorry if that hurts you. It hurts me too.

I used to hate that this was my story. I used to say I was “fucked up.” And I hated myself for being myself.

But now I don’t hate this story. I don’t love this story. But it is my story. So I accept it. I accept this story as my story.

I’m sorry if that breaks your heart. I truly am. I don’t mean for that. But please know, I have to tell it, because my heart was broken to the point of no return less than 10 days ago. My heart broke, and it betrayed me, and it told me love couldn’t be real.

And I pleaded with my heart for four days. I laid awake, starving, pleading with my heart to let love be real, so that I could live.

That’s the truth.

That’s my story.

And I share it because I have to accept it.

That’s it.

Because my heart can’t break anymore.

Because I want love to be real.

Because I want to live.

And I think you want that too.

So I’m sorry, to you, to my friends, to my family.

I’m sorry to myself, that this is not the story you wanted to read. It’s not the story that I wanted to tell.

But I’m 28 years old now. And for 28 years, I thought I was alone. I thought my heart and my mind were the only ones betraying me in the way that they did.

And you can ask me, “Why?”

I welcome that question. I am used to that question.

I’m used to saying, “I’m depressed.” and I’m used to the response being, “But why?”

And the answer is that I don’t know.

That’s not the way I was made. That’s not the way my heart or mind works. I just am this way.

And this is just my story.

Whether you like it, whether I like it - whether you hate it, whether I hate it; whether it hurts you, whether it hurts me.

This is my story.

We have to accept it. I have to accept it.

Because I want to live.

And to do that, love has to be real.

So let me tell my story.

Because love has to be real.

Or I’m not real.

So let me tell it.

Because I believe love is real.

I believe love is real.

And Love saved me.

And Love got me the help that I needed.

And Love makes me see the beautiful colors in a night sky.

And Love makes me hear the songs of birds in trees.

And Love makes me feel the wind brush against my skin.

And Love saves me everyday.

So let me tell my story.


Love, Hope, Forever,

I Don't Want to Kill Myself Today, But What If I Did?


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.
I’m writing this while I’m frustrated, which is admittedly not a great idea, but you know what, this is my blog so we’re gonna do it.

I was released from the local Psychiatric Ward on February 16.

I was given life saving medications - anti-depressants, thyroid support, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotics (Yea, I know, it’s a doozy, but it helps - haven’t decided yet what that says about me.)

These medications were dispensed under the condition that I would not be able to get refills without a doctor’s approval.

Fair. Abuse of prescription medications is a reality.

To catch you up, it’s now been nine (9) days since I left the supervision of a mental health clinic.

I was admitted because I was having severe panic attacks, hallucinations and behavior that was endangering myself and others (suicide, paranoia, etc.)

I know this about myself. Please note, there are several patients that I met in my unit that do not in fact know this about themselves, some that were struggling to make sense of their immediate surroundings, and some that could not even speak.

Think about that.

I was released with discharge papers and phone numbers I could call for support, should I need it in the days following my release.

I have now spent nine days and numerous phone calls all of which have led to dead ends trying to find 1) A Primary Care Physician 2) A Support Group 3) Psychiatric Evaluation 4) Renewal of my Life Saving Prescriptions.

I would like to re-emphasize:

I am more coherent (albeit very frustrated and should probably pop one of those anti-anxiety pills) than many of the patients I met at the mental health facility that treated me.

It has been nine (9) days.

I have called everyday trying to reach support and find answers.

I scheduled an appointment at a clinic that was recommended to me by the Psychiatric facility I was staying at. It is listed on my discharge papers as a clinic to call for Primary Health Care.

I went to this clinic.

They refused to take my health insurance.

I am listed as a dependent on my husband’s insurance - and apparently this is a problem for them, because my husband was not the patient - so they could not “find my insurance in the system.”

The problem was, Blue Cross Blue Shield (middle fingers up to you, honestly) - rather than giving us our permanent medical ID number - wrote a very lazy attempt at a plea to any clinic that we should choose to attend. It says, “Please accept this as proof of insurance.”

Please. From, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we would appreciate it, thanks, signed, us, xoxo. PS. This doesn’t guarantee we’re going to pay you. But like, please accept it anyway. Thx.

Well, that wasn’t acceptable to this clinic - which I should tell you accepts WIC, Medicare and Medicaid - none of which I have or qualify for. They also provide a sliding fee for anyone who meets their income restrictions. I was not told this was an option and was not prepared with pay stubs or tax returns - which anyway, why the hell should I? I NEED THESE MEDS BECAUSE THEY SAVE MY LIFE.

Okay, so anyway.

They refused my insurance, and I cancelled my appointment.

I left, defeated, no where closer to finding a physician that can help me continue much needed care.

Then, just this morning - I called no less than four phone numbers trying to reach clinics and support groups recommended to me by the mental health facility where I was treated.

These were numbers, clinics and national associations recommended directly to me on my discharge papers.

All four phone calls connected me to people who either did not know what I was talking about (“Support groups? Yea that’s not us.”) or offices that do not communicate well enough with each other that I have now been asked three times to complete “Initial Intake Forms” which are still under review because the one person - the ONE SINGLE PERSON IN THE ENTIRE CLINIC - responsible for approving the intake of new patients is out sick.

Whatever, you deserve your sick day.

It has been nine (9) days.

This, my friends, is what modern health care for people dealing with mental illness is like. I have been dealing with clinics, doctors, support groups, national associations, that are meant to support people with mental illness AS PART OF THEIR PRIMARY MEANS OF BUSINESS.

And THIS has been my experience.

I don’t want to kill myself today. But what if I did?

My only option would be to call 911 again.

What are we saying to mental health patients and those who suffer from mental illness, that 911 is their only means of getting help, when there are life saving medications and therapy available to them - but only if they navigate the maze that is our healthcare system?

I don’t want to kill myself today. But what if I did?

Think about that.

Think about all of the other patients I shared a unit with that can’t even speak or recognize their immediate surroundings that are discharged every 72 hours only to have to navigate this maze by themselves without advocates or even someone to fucking help them make phone calls.

Some of these people are homeless.

Think about them for just one god damn second.

I am so infuriated. Not just for me. For every single person suffering from mental illness that has to deal with THIS.

If you do not think our health care system is broken, you are probably one of the many lucky people who receive health insurance from their jobs, are above working middle class, don’t suffer from any chronic diseases that require expensive medications, live in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood that has only quality clinics to service you, work in the medical health profession, know doctors personally or other.


I am an average, American health care patient that has been lost in the system for nine (9) days despite every attempt of my own to try to receive help.

I don’t want to kill myself today.

But what if I did?

Think about that.

Think about all the other people suffering who can’t put to words what they are going through. Think about veterans suffering from PTSD who have to come home and try to live a normal life like they didn’t just watch thousands of people fucking die.

Think about people that have been suffering from mental illness their entire lives, who want to die every single day and think about the lack of care that is available to them.

Think about how many lives are lost in this country every single day because people don’t know where to turn for help or how to help themselves.

And think about me.

With every bit of information I could probably ask to have, who received great treatment at the mental health facility I was in, who received life saving medications that make me want to LIVE.

And think about how I can’t even get the help I need to renew these prescriptions or go to a support group.

And think about how if I still can’t do that for 21 more days, that I’m out. I’m out of medications.

Think about me shaking, seizing, crying, blacking out on a bathroom floor, naked, begging myself not to kill myself.

Think about that.

And then think about how you don’t want every American to be covered by insurance as a fundamental human right.

Think about all the people that die because you don’t want to pay your FUCKING TAXES.

Think about anything for one god damn second.

Wednesday, February 24

How A Teacher Saved My Life the First Time


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.
I had a bad day, and then I tweeted the President. This post could also be titled “Things I Do When I Get Too Frustrated and My Husband’s Not Around to Take Away my Phone.”

It’s now been eight days since I was released early (because I’m an overachiever, so of course I was released early) from my stint at the local Psychiatric Ward. Things have been good, bad, confusing, overwhelming. I’ve been pretty forthright so far with my blogs, and I don’t intend to stop that, so just being honest, today was a pretty rough day. And I wish I could be more eloquent than that, but in the moment I can’t seem to find that side of me.

In the days since leaving the hospital, I’ve thought a lot about the other patients that were there with me. I’ve thought about the nurses and doctors too, but it’s the patients that I think of most.

When you suffer from mental illness, most people (if they don’t suffer from it themselves) are weary of you, hesitant to sit down and talk at length with you about it. I think it’s easier sometimes for them to just say, “Hey, she’s crazy. Let’s just back away slowly and never bring it up again.”

I met a wide variety of patients during my stay, many of whom I will think about for many more days, if not for the rest of my life. I met a boy. He sat next to me during a game of Bingo. And he smiled, when I looked at him. I said “Hello,” and asked if he was happy today. He smiled, and nodded yes.

This exchange will stay with me forever. One small exchange, and less than a few words. But it was the only smile I saw him make in my short time sharing a unit with him.

Over the course of my life, a handful of people have managed to make me smile when I couldn’t even imagine making it to the next day. I want you to know how important this is.

The first time I seriously contemplated suicide, I can remember exactly what I was wearing. A pink long sleeve sweater and dark denim jeans. I remember that morning was difficult for me, because I had forgotten my homework and was late to first period. It didn’t take long (literally five minutes after the bell rang) for me to burst into tears over something so small - a boy said something that annoyed me, and I wanted to scream at him, “I want to die today, so just leave me alone, okay?” But I didn’t. I just cried.

At this point, several of my teachers knew I had been cutting myself. I had been assigned a social worker and a school psychologist - both of which I lied to so I wouldn’t have to see them again. (Remind me to gather my thoughts on our broken education system and how we leave so many children suffering from mental illness behind.) The tragedy is that the lies worked, and they believed them. I outsmarted adults that were supposed to try and save my life. How does a 17 year old do that? I still don’t know to this day, but I do know it shouldn’t have happened that way.

I digress.

So, there I was, in my pink sweater, the long sleeves covering scars from the night before, my scabs stinging as they caught the fiber of its polyester blend. Crying. 8:05 AM, it must’ve been, crying in first period, before attendance was even taken. Obviously a broken child.

My Psychology teacher was across the hall. My Calculus teacher went to go grab her. Little did I know at this point, that my teachers had built a coalition around me, to make sure I didn’t harm myself anymore, to make sure I wanted to live.

My Psychology teacher was the first person I had confessed my self-harm to. I had shown her my scars a few weeks before this particular day. She hugged me that day, then looked me in the eye and told me she had to report it.

It’s the looking in my eyes part that was pivotal for me. When she could’ve been frustrated, when she could’ve rolled her eyes at whatever small problems I had allowed to overtake me, she looked me in the eyes instead and made sure I was complicit in saving my own life. She made sure I knew what was going to happen next.

She made sure I was a willing participant in saving my own life.

So on this particular day, the day I was sure I would commit suicide, my Calculus teacher ran across the hall to get my Psychology teacher to pull me out of class. We stood in the hallway, tears streaming down my face. She didn’t ask me to roll up my sleeves and show her if I had been self-harming still or not. She didn’t ask me if I wanted to kill myself. She didn’t threaten to report anything to anyone.

She hugged me. And she asked if I was okay. And I said no. And then she let me sit in her class, by her desk for three periods, crying and thinking, until I felt well enough to go to my next class, until I stopped crying, until I could catch my breath and face the day.

And then I went home, crawled into bed, and didn’t kill myself that night.

And that was it.

She was the one person, at 17, who ever looked me in the eye, asked me if I was okay, and let me know it was okay if I wasn’t. She didn’t try to make me feel better. She didn’t try to solve my problems. She saw I wanted to cry, and she let me. I owe her my life for that.

My husband sat next to me in her class. And our friendship grew there, bigger than the two of us. The universe works in mysterious ways like that. I’m alive today, all because someone asked if I was okay 10 years ago, and accepted that the answer was no.

So please, if you know someone suffering, if you see it, if you feel it, ask them. Say hello. Ask if they’re okay today. Accept their answer, even if it’s no. Hug them, if they want it. Let them cry, if they need to. Don’t deny them their right to feel, because when you do that, you’re denying that they are them - you are denying they even exist. And if you don’t think you exist, then what is there to live for?

So please, just do that for me. Be kind. Be understanding. Be accepting.

And maybe we can heal each other.

The Void


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We are lost.

You endless void,
You hateful, selfish, endless void.
Whispering into us your own wishes to be destroyed.

How many shall be lost to you?
How many will be swallowed whole?

I claw my way back,
Digging nails into your oozing flesh.

You will not swallow me,
You endless, awful, ugly void.
I hear you whisper, I scream back.

I will claw back to the light
Out of your wretched mouth
I will look into your darkness
And not be swallowed whole.

You cannot win against me, void.

I have felt you
And I know you
But you have yet to want to know me.

Who I am,
The one who claws back.
The one who will eat you.
The one who has seen you.
The one who chose to come back.
The one who was not swayed by your serenade.
The one who did not believe your promise of release.

I see you.
I know you.
And you will never win.

Look at me.
Look into me, void.
See me as I have seen you.
Shake in fear as I have shaken.
Cry for help as I have cried.
Look into me, void.
I no longer fear you.
Because I’ve seen you.
And I can swallow you whole.

Tuesday, February 23

On Being Someone to Love, and the Love Affair with Myself


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.
The leaves outside my apartment are turning a beautiful shade of golden yellow. If it were a crayon, it would be Goldenrod, for all you Crayola fans out there. The sidewalk leading to my apartment is covered in fallen leaves and the parking lot is sprinkled with hundreds of them, like confetti after a sad parade.

Fall in February might be a foreign concept to anyone out there that lives in a halfway normal continental climate. But me, I live in Florida, and apparently we have Fall in February.

So, that’s what I’m staring at outside my window, on this cloudy, rainy, windy day pondering what I should write about and what story I should tell next. A few of the ideas that popped into my head are:

  • How a Teacher Saved My Life the First Time - a story that sounds hopeful, but is actually pretty dark.
  • How I Called Myself Esperanza and Spoke Spanish During My Mental Breakdown - a story that’s kind of funny, but also weird, also kind of dark, but funny. So +1 to this story, maybe I’ll tell it next.
  • How I Was Convinced I Could Speak in Binary - a continuation of the story of Esperanza.
  • How My Watch Stopped Ticking the Day NASA Announced the Discovery of GW150914, and I Was SURE I Was an Alien - +1’s all around, really. This is a great story.

But instead, I think I’ll write this one. This is a story about being someone to love, someone I can love, and the tumultuous love affair I’ve had with myself my entire existence.

Self-love is hard. Self-love is hard because self-reflection is that much harder. It’s hard to face up to all your (my) flaws and still find something to love. I am very hard on myself. Failure is not an option for me. Failure is also a fluid concept. For me, it literally means something didn’t go my way. I think that sets me up for a lot of disappointment. I know that now, and it’s been a tough lesson to learn.

I’ve spent most of my adult life in search of what I had termed “The Real Me.” This was a me that was successful, happy and content; on an upward trajectory, shall we say. It was also a me that was never depressed or anxious, and a me that never had panic attacks. Ha, says 28 year old me, how little did I know about myself.

From 2007-2010, I had managed to live in four different cities (Tallahassee, Chicago, New York and San Francisco) on this search for The Real Me. I had thought I’d found it every single time. I was successful in my chosen fields, landed every internship or job I had interviewed for, and I even graduated college a year early. That sounds like success right? I thought it did. Except I wasn’t happy.

I want to remind you that 2009 was also the stage for the worst employment environment our country has ever faced since 1982. So, the job search for me was loads of fun and very care free. (Sarcasm.) It was awful. I hated it. And I internalized that failure. (Thanks Wall Street, hate you forever.)

The fact of the matter was, I didn’t have the luxury of being unhappy at a job, and I knew that. Even if I was severely underpaid in an ever growing metropolis, working in tech and living in a studio one street up from a homeless shelter - I didn’t have time to be unhappy.

But I was.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a story about not loving your job and how that makes you a failure, nor is it a story about how having a good job can make you happy. What I’m trying to say is -

I was impatient with myself. I forced myself to be this person that I thought everyone else would think was successful, because if they thought that, then maybe I was and maybe I could be happy.

I remember very distinctly a conversation I had with my mom when I told her I wanted to leave San Francisco and come home.

She said to me, “What about your year end bonus?”
And I said, “Mom, I’m going to jump in front of a bus.”

I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic.

That’s when I knew that money would never be a motivational driver for me. That’s tough when money buys you things like food and housing, and most other necessary things to survive. What did motivate me was passion (pasiĆ³n, as Esperanza would say).

I left San Francisco six years ago. I’m still trying to define what passion means to me.

Writing is a big passion of mine. Writing centers me, and organizes all the thoughts that are in my head. My brain, it seems, never turns off. I’m always thinking, always ticking, like a clock. So writing is meditative for me. It allows me to slow down and make sense of the circus in my brain.

Helping others is also a big passion of mine. This is a passion that I’ve had to learn to redirect over the years. Ever since middle school, my mother always made it a point for me to dedicate some of my time at children’s homes and homeless shelters. It was important for me to see that there were people in the world that didn’t have the things that I had. Very basic things - a home, food, parents, toys, a family. Huge things, in retrospect. That stayed with me and still stays with me.

The difficult thing about passion is that sometimes it manifests itself into frustration. That was me for awhile, and me still now. I mean that in the sense that I genuinely get upset with things like, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Flint Michigan water crisis, Climate Change, and Civil Rights struggles worldwide. I mean, take your pick of global crisis, seemingly obscure or not - the sovereignty of Tibet, for example - I’m probably upset about it.

That’s hard. As you know, as a fellow human (I’m assuming) on this Earth, life is full of crisis and ugliness. But beauty, too. Let us not forget that.

What I’ve learned over the past few days - yes, still a new lesson to me - is that I must focus on my immediate surroundings. I must focus on me. I must love me first, and get better, and then maybe I can think about making the lives of others better, too.

Focusing on beauty is one thing I’m trying to do. Beauty is a thing that can be amplified, and I tend to think that beauty will always win.

So that’s me.

Believer in beauty.
Learning to be forgiving.

That’s me, today. Me tomorrow? Not sure. See you when we get there.

Monday, February 22



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Are we lost on our search for beauty?
Can we ever find it?

Ever elusive, slipping from our faint grip
Not the strength to hold it
Not the heart to keep it
Floating somewhere in between.


What of Beauty, Light and Love?
Is it real?
Can it be?
Are We real?
Can We be?

And if not, then what?
What remains when it all fades away?

Ivy wrapping us and beckoning us back to the Earth
From whence we came
Where we belong.

And then what?

Are we it, then?
Cosmic light and dust hurtling through vast emptiness.

Is that Love?
Is that Beauty?
Can it Be?


Cosmic light, hurtling through vast emptiness
Like a voice to an empty room,
Like a soul searching the sky,
that a hand might reach out and acknowledge our existence.

The only thing I have.
I think,
The only thing that’s real.


And yet,
Here You are, next to me.
Flesh and Bone
Breath and Blood
Freckled skin and coarse hair.

I’m so sure you’re you.
Are you sure?
I’m so sure you have to be,
Because our love binds us -
And I am forever your’s -
Spit out from the same star -
Forever connected -
Because I know not else how to be alive.


And if life should be real, so you must also be
Because I yearn for a love that makes the blood flow through my veins
A love that illuminates,
That makes colors brighter.

A love that makes me see.

So life must be real,
Because you must be, and I must be
And Here must be

Because You are.
And I want to Be.


I want no longer to be lost.
I hope you find me in the void.

I call for you, arms outstretched
Hoping We transcend.

The void is real,
And so are You,
And I choose You,
Because I choose Me,
And We are We.

Intrinsic, Infinite.



Don’t forget me sweet one.
I am your love.
In your eyes I see a light.
Please don’t lose the light.
Don’t lose me.
Don’t forget I love you.



On Religion, and My Spiritual Journey, and Death or Whatever


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.This may ruffle a few feathers. You have been warned.

I’ve been talking a lot about Mental Illness in these series of stories, so for the record, I’d like to share that I’ve been diagnosed Bipolar. I’m on all kinds of interesting medications, and it’s a real fun ride. Except, it’s not fun at all, and I’m kind of annoyed by it but y’know, that’s what happens when you get Baker Acted and other people make choices for you. Good choices, I believe. But still annoying. Choices can be both good and annoying, I guess is what I’m saying.

But what I really wanted to talk about was the other side of me - the “spiritual” side, shall we say.

I’m not religious. But let’s start at the beginning - it’s a pretty good place to start. That’s what Julie Andrews tells me. I digress.

I was baptized and raised Catholic for a good majority of my young life. At some point, in my early adolescence, I was sent to an evangelical Christian youth camp where I learned to embrace Jesus and all the wonderful gifts he could give me. It was also around this time, that my depression started to develop like a budding flower ready to bloom.

Have you ever watched Jesus Camp? You should watch it. It’s terrifying and hilarious, and a pretty good analogy for my experience as a young evangelical Christian. I acknowledge this might offend someone out there - mainly because I believe there’s a good portion of people that use the internet just waiting to be offended (Hi, Hello, How are you today? Hope you’re well. Make good choices.) - but I’m going to stop right here, just to say I experienced it, so if anyone should be offended it’s me, and I’m not.

So let’s continue.

I remained active in this youth group until one seemingly innocuous afternoon. I sat off to the side, the teenager in me already growing cynical beyond what my small body could contain, listening to a sermon. I can’t remember the context of which this was said, but I remember quite clearly the phrase, “We must bring our gay and lesbian friends, so they can see the sin that they’re living.”

Hold up.

I think it was at that point that I decided that everything was bullshit. Remember, I was a teenager, cynical, depressed, and pretty sure I knew it all. And at that moment - and for the record, in this moment - I knew that was some real bullshit.

You see, I couldn’t reconcile my personal ethics with the ethics of this person delivering their sermon. I want to make a point to state that specifically. I know some very wonderful Christians, many of which are great friends of mine. I just happen not to be, and that’s okay. We get along fine, and they’re wonderful people. You’re probably pretty wonderful too and for all I know, you worship the flying spaghetti monster. Shoutout to Richard Dawkins.

And thus, began my spiritual journey that I’m still on today. That was almost ten years ago, and I’m still trying to figure it out.

This is relevant because most people form their beliefs about death and the “afterlife” on their religious foundations. Well, when you don’t have any - or you have too many - death and the afterlife become enigmatic concepts that many times, you (I) have to convince yourself (myself) even exist. (For the record, Death: Exists, Afterlife: Not sure yet.)

This made dealing with grief after death a very difficult thing for me. In the span of about two years (2007-2009-ish?), my aunt, two uncles, a family friend, another family friend, and a coworker all died. Cancer, heart attacks, suicide, medical malpractice, and other - in no particular order. That was tough for me. I was on the verge of failing a semester of college and trying to reconcile that death is a thing that exists. Life just stops. And that’s it. That was crushing for me.

It’s still crushing for me. But as with all things, as is my nature, I observed my surroundings to try to make sense of it all - at this point, to try to make sense of anything.

What I saw was unrelenting sadness. What I felt was emptiness. What happened was a void. One moment, a thing exists. It fills your life and it makes you happy. It completes you, the whole you, or who you think you are. And then, another moment passes, and that thing no longer exists. Existence itself ceases to be. How can this be? Why does this happen?

At 19, two years after I first seriously contemplated suicide and almost ten years ago today, I made a decision that I would never do it, no matter what. I would never create a void for the people that I loved. They mattered enough to me, their happiness mattered enough to me. Even if my happiness was non-existent, or existent and void of meaning, I would never take away theirs. I would never fill them with emptiness, because I knew emptiness and I never wanted them to know it.

That was 19 year old me.

The funny thing about time is that it changes you. Well, I should say, time moves and you change and this happens simultaneously. And you can’t be sure of who you’re going to be after so much time has passed. And the person I was so sure I was, laid broken on a bathroom floor, barely able to breathe, convinced she was already dead or dying - so far separated from the 19 year old me that was sure she wanted to live.

Time is a circle like that.

I chose to live both times. I’m still not sure why. Love, I think, is a big reason. But loving myself, I think that’s the real challenge.

I want to end this by saying that Christianity and religion in general can be a great and wonderful thing for many people. It can give them meaning, a reason to live, and a moral code by which to live their lives. I hope, and I'm sure many others hope, that the moral code always guides them to do good. I think if we all can commit to doing good, the world would be a beautiful place. I think most conflict arises because everyone thinks their definition of "good" is more valid than everyone else's. I think we can all agree, fundamentally, that loving one another, respecting one another, providing for those who can't provide for themselves, and seeing our own faults, and seeking to fix them are ways to make the world a better place. Plus, like, Hillsong United makes some pretty dope music, so whatever, we all have good things to contribute. Let's get along, shall we.

Sunday, February 21

Mental Illness in the Age of Information, and the Struggle to be Something in a World of Nothing


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.I get most of my news from my phone. I tend to think I follow a varied stream of information - multiple viewpoints are important to me, but also facts and objectivity. I like trusting the news. I think that’s it’s purpose - to be trustworthy.

But a funny thing has happened with news in the recent years, and that something has been exacerbated at astronomical speeds in just my lifetime alone. I don’t know anyone that would argue with me that most of the news that circulates is heavily biased, and that’s disappointing to a person like me who just wants to know what’s happening in the world.

A person like me also struggles with mental illness, and a person like me also has so much information literally at my fingertips.

So, I struggle with this.

I struggle with my own mental battles, shall we say, but my heart also breaks for Ukraine and Syria, and I worry about the struggle for Civil Rights in Uganda, and the generation that will be lost to disease in South America. And I worry about the refugees because I can’t imagine having to make that choice - to die here or there, or risk death for maybe a life, to gain maybe a life but maybe also be sent back to death. That’s an awful choice, don’t you think? I tend to think so.

And then I read about scientific discoveries. LIGO and NASA and GW150914. I see the beauty of our ever expanding universe, the beauty of nature, the colors of a sunset, and the exploding gas illuminating the black canvas we call space.

And still, I struggle.

I struggle to comprehend the plight of the disenfranchised - neighborhoods destroyed, a generation left behind, children who want to learn but can’t, families that want to thrive but don’t.

And I struggle with my own struggle. This overwhelms me to no end. Most people, logical people I think, would tell me not to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders - I’m only one person, they would say. And I might tend to agree.

But I am one person, a part of the human race, living on this rock hurtling through space, trying to find meaning and a reason to live. And I think that’s all of us, too. I think that’s you, and I think that’s me, and I think that makes us “us.”

So, I struggle.

I struggle because I see your struggle.
And I see mine too.
I struggle because I see your beauty,
but I struggle to see my own.

And I struggle because my heart breaks,
because I know your heart is breaking.
And it hurts me that you hurt,
and all I want to do is heal.

And yet, I struggle still.

And I think that makes me human.



All of us.

I hurt because you hurt.
And I hurt because I hurt.
I want you to know I see you.
I feel you.

You are not lost in the nothingness.

We cannot become the nothingness.

Saturday, February 20

On Keeping Secrets


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.
I wasn't sure I was going to write and publish this blog. This is still a difficult thing for me to accept about myself. But if it can help one person out there to understand their struggle a little better, then I think it will be for good. So, thanks for reading if you still want to and no hard feelings if you don't. I'm writing this for me, and you, whoever you are.

When I was younger (that sentence was weird to type. I’m 28, I’m still young right? Right?) I had a few secrets.

I wasn’t allowed to date, so if I liked a boy, it was always a secret. I got so used to this habit of mine, keeping sacred and special things close to my heart, heavily guarded and never uttered to anyone. I always kept journals, from a very young age. I liked having my secret ideas and all my secret dreams and thoughts.

But I had a very visceral fear that kept these secrets hidden.

I’m not sure what I feared at the time. Maybe that my family would stop loving me if I wasn’t the Kristine they thought I was or wanted me to be. I think I know this isn’t true now. My family is full of wonderful people that I know love me very much.

(If you’re reading this, I know you love me. This is all just a part of me healing. Please don’t be mad and I’m sorry if it hurts you. It hurts me too, and that’s why we have to face it, and why we have to be better.)

So me and all my secrets grew up from a wide eyed child filled with wonder into an angsty teen that only wanted to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch. And that was me for awhile.

Then the secrets became dark.

I’d like to preface this part of the story by saying that I’ve only shared this part of my life with my husband, crying in bed six months into our relationship. But, it’s important to me that you know it, because I have to know it and accept it as my truth.

My sophomore year of high school was the first time I could really identify with the term depression. I struggled with a sincere desire to be happy, and a very real inability to actually do so. I suppose I was 14 or 15 at the time. To note, I don’t remember much of high school. It was a very difficult time for me emotionally, and I’m going to assume my brain erased a lot of it, y’know, to keep me functioning and what not.

The sadness became another one of my secrets.

Depression would become this hidden thing, that I would hold close to my heart, guarded and hidden from everyone I loved, so that they still loved me and that I could live - because I couldn’t live if I wasn’t loved.

The funny thing about secrets is that when you hold them too close, they start to eat you alive. In a very real sense, you lose yourself. On one hand, there’s the you (me) that was happy, talented, popular - and on the other hand, there was the me that would cry myself to sleep every night with no real reason why. 28 year old me knows now that the “real” reason was depression.

Eventually, around the age of 17, I began cutting myself and practicing other forms of self-harm. Yea, that’s a pretty ugly thing to write. But it’s an even uglier story to tell and accept. It’s all pretty ugly. I apologize if that makes you uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable too. And it made me uncomfortable to live it, and still live it, and try to make sense of it all. So I guess we can all be uncomfortable together.

A few events coalesced at this very turbulent point in my life. For one, my husband - then friend - sat next to me in Psychology, and our friendship grew into something bigger than the two of us. (We didn’t date in high school. I’d like to submit that for the record, but also to highlight how oblivious the two of us were to our impending all-encompassing, borderline obsessive and very co-dependent love. Y’know, you live, you learn.)

It was also around this time that I first contemplated suicide. Why? I suppose because no matter how hard I tried to ignore all the dark and ugly things, I just couldn’t find the light. In that sense, I mean that the depression was now the secret that was eating me alive; the ugly parasite that ate away at all the beauty and was destroying us both. I couldn’t even imagine happiness if I wanted to. I had not felt true happiness in a very long time.

That’s the thing about 17 year olds. They think they know everything. And I sure did think I knew it all.

I want to stop this story here, because I haven’t quite decided the best way to tell it.

That’s the thing about me and writing. Neither of us know where the hell we’re going with anything, but we’re charging head first into the dark trying to make sense of it all.

Thanks for joining me on the ride.

Friday, February 19

A Funny Thing Happened in the Philippines


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.
I’ve been having a difficult time articulating how my recent trip to the Philippines impacted me - physically, mentally, emotionally.

I suppose I should start with what I hoped it would be.

I am a romantic by nature. I want to see only beautiful things, and I want to believe the ugly things exist only to amplify the nature of the beautiful things. Symbiosis, y’know? Except that beauty always wins, and ugliness was like a parasite eating beauty alive and destroying them both.

I went with an open heart, hoping for it to be filled with beauty and wonder, and to give me a sense of completeness about who I am, who I was, who my family is, where I come from. I think most people visit their ancestral homelands in search of something like that.

But that’s not what happened.

What did happen..
A dream, it seems. Something I’m not sure yet was reality. Maybe because I can’t accept that it was real, or I can’t accept that my feelings about it were real. But a dream happened. And I walked through the dream, trying to find reality - to wake up, to see, to feel - and I couldn’t find it. And I stayed in the dream, got lost in it, clawed my way out, and now I’m left with pieces.

Me, in pieces.

(I know this doesn’t make sense, but if you’ve ever witnessed something that gave you such a sense of wonder and awe - chills, even - it was so mystifying and spellbinding that you couldn’t believe someone could create such a thing. A piece of music, a piece of art, a kiss. The feeling is like that. But this one, I wanted to escape.)


Like putting together a puzzle and not knowing what the final picture will be. That was my trip. And that was me at the end of it.

What I did see was my grandmother’s land. Vast, green, sprinkled with palm trees bursting with coconuts. I woke up to the sun gently lighting the fog clinging closely to the corn stalks. I saw the light rising and illuminating vast parcels of land. And it was her’s. My grandmother’s. This was her’s. Where she raised her children, where she hid from Japanese soldiers, where she came to start a new life.

So much life had happened there, in one place, in one seemingly vast but really small parcel of land. Life and death, in one place, remnants of a life lived and still, hope clinging that life could start again.

The dichotomy of this was too much for me to comprehend at the time. I found peace in a hammock reading Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal - highly recommended, for the record. No really, please read it. Can you read? Read this book.

Thinking of it now, I feel a heaviness in my heart. I can’t explain this heaviness quite yet, except to say that my hope for only good things faded a little there. Faded almost to nonexistence. And I fought with this feeling for the next two weeks, trying to make it make sense, when now I’m realizing, it may never do that.

How could so much life and death exist in one place? And how can you be happy still, knowing that?

I thought about the Earth. The Earth was like this parcel of land that belonged to my grandmother. So full of joy and light, life but death also. And I tried to reason with myself - how could this exist? Why would this exist? Who put us here? Why did nature create such a beautiful and daunting thing at once? Why was nature destroying itself? Why life, if death? Why?

And I couldn’t answer that question.

And I still can’t answer that question.

And I tried to ask so many people.

And no one could answer it for me.

And then I was Baker Acted.

And then I stopped to think, that maybe there is no answer. Maybe death exists and darkness exists, because light does. Because it’s one and the same. That nature, by design, is life and death, light and dark. And I’m sure nature exists, and I’m sure I’m nature. And now I’m sure that I have light and dark too.

That’s the only thing I can ever be truly sure of, at least in this moment right now.

Maybe the story will change.

I’m not sure yet.

I’m still writing it.
Thursday, February 18

My Valentine's Day in the Psych Ward


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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.I want to preface this by saying that there are few things anyone could say about me that I haven’t already said about myself. Crazy is one of those things. I know I’m particular, neurotic even, maybe a dose of obsessive in there. Maybe a lot of doses of obsessive. Maybe so obsessive that it upsets me if things don’t go my way. Bratty? Maybe. Let’s assume that’s all true.

Stress is an amazing thing. No, not good amazing. Wonderous amazing. Curious amazing. Meaning, it can make you do some curious things. There’s a whole big story - that I’ve yet to make sense of myself - that leads up to my Valentine’s Day in a Psych Ward. But let’s both focus on the here and now. That’s a new concept to me, so bare with me if I can’t keep up with myself.

Also note, it’s hard for me to keep track of time right now. The past month has been a whirlwind. In fact, the past year - the past lifetime - has been such a discombobulated culmination of seemingly haphazard events that led me to today. So many stories to be told! But we’ll focus on this one.

Did I say that already? Ok.

So let’s start at the beginning of this part of this story.

After five days of no sleep and hardly any eating (I think they call this a manic episode, but we’ll get to that) I found myself laying on my bathroom floor fighting what seemed to be a combination of seizures, blackouts, crying, and fear. Let’s start with the fact that for about a week, I was pretty sure I wasn’t real. I know this sounds “crazy” but maybe someone out there has felt this way before.

Certain things can jolt you back to reality. We can all agree on that. They snap you out of a daydream. For me, that’s my husband. He’s probably the most logical person I know and can talk me through any decision - whether or not to go back to school, whether I should buy my sixth pair of black boots, whether I really need that $40 shampoo (yes, I do need it). He’s grounding for me.

I’d like to interject my own story by saying it’s important to have those grounding things. It’s important to come back to reality. This is where life is. Try to remember that.

A peculiar thing happens when you’re sure you’re not real. You lose sense of being alive. Well, I did anyway. I was so sure I wasn’t even alive. In fact, I was so sure I wasn’t alive that I was pretty sure it wouldn’t matter if I were dead. I know this story is taking a dark turn, and I apologize if that makes you uncomfortable to read it. But I want you to know it’s true.

You, as in, whoever is reading this and has gotten this far, and feels like this story resonates with some part of your own life, your own thoughts. I could be talking to myself, but honestly that would not be a new development. I accept that, it’s me, I talk to myself. Ok? Ok.


Let’s take a second to dive deep into the darkness and try to make sense of it all.

Suicide is not/was not a new thought to me. I had contemplated it a few times in my life, and this was the second time I had contemplated it seriously.

(To my friends and family, loved ones and those who love me, I’m sorry if this hurts you to read. I promise I am trying to heal. The first step is being honest with myself. So, please be forgiving, even if this hurts. Please know that I love you, you matter to me, and you keep me hanging on.)

Life at this point was full of so many joys. So many bright moments that filled me with hope. But it was also full of so much darkness. Darkness in my life, darkness in the lives of others. It’s been hard for me to accept that one cannot have the light without the dark. I wanted a life that was just full of light. And I thought if I could ignore the dark hard enough, if I wanted to forget it hard enough, if I just tried hard enough - the dark could disappear, and I could just have light and I would just be happy.

Well, it didn’t really work out that way.

So there I was, lying on the bathroom floor, crying, shaking, barely able to say any words, convinced I was dying and not sure if I was going to give in to death or fight to stay alive. Yes, it’s dark and yes it’s terrifying. I hope no one ever has to feel what I felt, and my heart breaks for those of you who have already felt it or are feeling it now. Please know, I’ve felt it too, and there is a brighter side. Please keep holding on. Please don’t give into the dark. There is still light, I promise.

At some point in the engulfing madness, I decided I had to call 911. I had already weighed the consequences - as I am wont to do - of being Baker Acted and being separated from everything and everyone I knew for 72 hours (which at the time seemed like an eternity, but also I wasn’t even sure time was real, so there’s that).

A sweet voice answered and asked what my emergency was. The only words I could manage to say were “Help me.”

Help me.

My entire life, those words felt like defeat. I didn’t even want help with homework as a child. For 28 years, I was convinced I could do everything - anything - and that needing help was a weakness, that I was admitting failure. That I was a failure.

And here I was, convinced I was dead or dying, with nothing left - no food in my stomach, no sleep, no rest for my weary body, no water, no sustenance, no hope, nothing. And all I could say was, “Help me.”

I was sure it could be over then. I was sure I’d snap out of it and be alive and be me. But life had other plans.

And that is a story for another day.

So this? I think this is a story of not being ashamed. I think this is a story of owning your truth. Of knowing your darkness and seeing your light, and reaching for the light instead. Of choosing life and choosing to live it. And it’s a story of asking for help when you need it and accepting it, even when it comes from the wildest places in the strangest ways. It’s a story about being here, and being alive, and being loved, and loving others, and loving yourself. It’s a story of being forgiving to yourself, and to others.

And it’s a story of helping yourself, so that maybe someone can see you, hear you, understand you - that maybe they will understand themselves better because of it and maybe, just maybe, they will want to live.

Because life is where the light is. Please hold on.

I am rooting for you.

Friday, February 12

An American Dream


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There is light.



Warming us,
Filling us.

Nourishing Us.

Teaching Us
so We may see.


Your ever flowing waters,
You cracked face.

What will feed your incessant hunger?


We are the seeds planted,
Your Womb, Our Vessel

in search of Light.

to fill our Bodies
So that We may nourish Yours.

Intrinsic, infinite.


We are the Pilgrims,
journey towards the Light.

The Frontiersman
Guided by it.

The children
Seeds in search of Nourishment -
Givers of Light
Intrinsic, Infinite


Our Roots, these branches
Reaching evermore
In Search of the Light

For sustenance

That we may Be alive.
Monday, February 8

The Question of Existence, Solving Mental Illness, Healing a Generation, Healing a World.


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The question for a generation.

Is value the measure of matter?
Does value equal matter?
Is value matter?
Is that the human instinct? To find the value?
Is the ability to measure intrinsic value an advent of human intelligence?
What does intelligence mean?
How do we measure it?
Why should we measure it?
What do you think will happen when that thing happens?
What is the consequence of that thing?
Does the consequence matter to us?
What does it mean to exist?
What is the value of life?
Why do we defy Instinct?
Why are we able to choose?
What is this anomaly in nature?
Why does it exist?
What does it mean?
When we find out what it means, can we measure the value of its meaning?
Will this lead to artificial intelligence?
Is that a goal worth pursuing?
Why or why not?
How will we decide?
What will affect our decisions?
What is thought?
Can we control it?
Should we control it?
Can technology and nature work together?
What does it mean to biohack the brain?

Why have I been spending my whole life trying to do it?
What drives me to keep asking questions?
What is the value of this?
Why is it important to live?

Please help me. I have reached 0.

ETA: A question for the human species:
Does what makes me happy matter more than what makes everyone else happy? What sacrifices am I willing to make in order to find happiness? What sacrifices will I not make? What does reason tell me? Why do I believe my reason tells me this?