I think the one thing Haiti has done for a lot of people is put there lives into perspective. I mean really, if you are young or in the middle of a big growing pain something like Haiti helps put your problems in check real quick. I can not tell you how many tweets about Haiti I have seen that say before Haiti I complained and thought about the minutest shit. For some they have had a fairly good life, a life that can't comprehend the devastation and despair that is now front and center on their TV screens. A lot are not people who have had what I would call their personal Haiti. I mean after all many of us have been in the place Haiti is right now emotionally. We have had our worlds shaken to the core. For some it was losing a parent or close loved one (through death or divorce), for others it was just the overwhelming weight of your life sitting on an unstable foundation and for others it was being a the brink of deaths door (by your hands or someone else's).
And as someone who has been so sad and felt so alone and close to giving up, the strength and determination of the Haitian people makes me cry with admiration. It makes me proud to see how the people of the first recognized black Republic DO NOT DIE. After all the Diaspora is strong especially those on this side of the Atlantic. Descendants of the fittest of the slaves who mange to reach the shores of the new land. Haitians are strong in spirit and I feel their hope as much as I see their despair in the streets. Survival has become synonymous with Haitian to me, as I watch stories of people who are being pulled out the rubble days after recovery specialist expected to find life, defying the rules/laws of nature. Their will to live should serve as an inspiration to any one going through anything emotional right now or who has ever survived a core rattling event in life.
I remember being buried in the rubble of my life, thinking that I could dig myself out, not even thinking I should ask for help. I remember thinking I have been in rubble before and got out, never mind this rubble was the equivalent to being under a collapsed hotel. I remember thinking I got a stronghold and a leg up only to fall back into the pile of trash that was once my life. I remember thinking it was better to just die than to try and get out the rubble. I remember thinking it would be easier because the task at hand, saving myself, was one I was just to tired to do, not once thinking to scream for help.
However one day after a very intense day, a day that I sat in my car and thought, as watch the garage door close, "if I don't turn off the car right now I could die and this, this horrible useless worthless feeling would go a way I would go away. hmmm". Wow that looks more horrible when I type it out. I mean I assure you it was a fleeting thought, like running down options to buy a good pair of black pumps. Not dramtical (yes I know that's not a word) and Lifetime movie like. However it still was a suicidal thought. And for me having that thought, like a real I should just end it thought made me decide I needed to ask for help. Man, I remember crying and feeling like a failure. I remember thinking how foolish I would look to my friends and family, I mean I had been "acting" fine all this time all these months. Now they were going to see I was weak and I needed some one to fix my head. They were going to judge me as crazy or even foolish because of the trigger event that sent me into the tailspin. I just cried. I never cry, I was raised by a man who raised my like a man in many aspects and one of those was crying was for the weak. However even if I didn't have a bout with depression I would soon start crying, thanks to my hormones.
I remember telling my best friend, Mandy, I'm crying right now telling you about this. I dunno know it just seemed like telling her was the hardest thing I had to do. I felt like I had failed her and now here I was looking foolish over "this" of all things. Over everything she had seen me go through in my life, I mean everything. She had watched me bury my father, get married, get a divorce, leave one home and build another, and even move to a city with out knowing anyone there. Now, she was seeing something as simple as "this*" break me down to my core. Break me so hard I needed help. I just felt silly, for crying, for letting my life get there and for not being strong enough to course-correct. One day I'll blog on being strong and what it doesn't get you (AB4AD).
Her response was the best and exactly what I needed, she said she was glad I was getting help and sometimes we need help. And to be honest "I'm glad to know you are human and have feelings. We can't all be superwomen all the time." After that it was like I could see the daylight outside and I could hear the rescuers outside to help me. What a relief. I'm so glad I chose to shout out through the rubble of what was my life and ask for help. I was so relieved after I knew I was gonna get help that I actually felt a change immediately.
Really to be honest what triggered my depression was so deep and wrapped up in my childhood it blew my mind. I was sitting here thinking "this*" was the trigger when in reality he had to do with some unresolved Daddy issues, that I wasn't FULLY aware I had until I started peeling the layers with my therapist. The work I did with my therapist to be able to cope and deal with things that for most of my life I never dealt with or even thought I had issues with was instrumental in me pushing forward to this next new phase in my life. I've said this before many years ago, growing hurts. I'm convinced it is why we do most of it as children because it physically hurts and mentally hurts. Eventually the physical stops, oh but the mental growth should continue, well in my opinion.
Before therapy bad shyt would happen to me and I would deal with it, but I wouldn't emotionally process it. Meaning I would create a plan on how to deal with whatever happened, you know a plan B, but I would never feel about that situation or even address I felt some kinda way. I'd just be like ok so we're not going to be married any more. That means I should figure out how we are gonna split assets, when should we file, what will we share.... I never felt oh my God I am a failure at this. I can not manage to chose someone to spend my life with. I can not love someone unconditionally. I have lied to God. I mean that's what I felt... failure.
Unfortunately I think what I did often happens in the black community. We have been told and designed to well "get over it" for lack of better phrase. Not necessarily process it, but get over it. Or we don't want to feel the emotion, because we don't want to be labeled as a victim or weak or crazy. Well I take that back maybe not the black community but my personal local black community. Many of us just think going to a therapist means we are crazy. Again my personal local black community.
I don't know in these days in times I think its best that you just ask for help whenever things feel wrong. There are so many people out there waiting to help you dig out your rubble. Sometimes you don't even need professional help; I was the kind of person who never asked friends for anything, while giving everything. And not because I don't have friends that will help me out and do for me, but because my mom and dad raised me that you can only truly depend on yourself. However through this episode in life I have learned to open my mouth when I'm hurt even if it means others are not comfortable. I have learned that no man is an island. (I have this urge to quote Andre 3k here...Peninsula maybe// It makes no sense, I know crazy// Give up all this pussy cat that's in my lap//No lookin' back// Spaceships..." Every time I say/type/think no man is an island, that verse pops into my head.) I do realize everyone does not have the strong support system of friends and family I have, but no matter what you think you have open your mouth and talk about it, cry about it even be a bitch about it, sometimes that can help keep you from slipping.
In hindsight and with therapist help I realized that I had gone through a lot of emotional stress and never released, never really work through all of my issues. And at 36 I'm happy to say that I feel well adjusted and healthy and happy. I love my life. It doesn't mean I don't have those Fuck My Life days. I also now allow myself to feel and cry and be weak, something that was very hard for me to do. Something else uncovered in therapy. I think these days I am much better at being well rounded emotionally. I have learned to take from my friends, because they are interested in a give and take. Real friends want to help as much as they want to be helped. I have learned to cry when I'm sad for as long as I think I need it, not just right before I beat a bytch down. And I have learned most importantly to only worry about what's going on now, more than what went on and what will happen. I mean I have goals and I know my past, but I never let what will or didn't happen completely CHANGE my trajectory, only guide it. I can only live and exist in this moment that is happening right NOW. Not my past a minute ago and not my future in the next second.
That's all I have for today. As I watch the physical pain and suffering in Haiti I feel blessed that my personal Haiti is a Haiti and not a Vietnam. For when I see the Haitian people I also feel the re-birth and renewal I see the hope in their spirits. It's a good feeling and it makes me smile the same way I did when I finished my therapy. You know like a Phoenix from the ashes and all that jazz!
*- This is the event that triggered my massive depression. Something that I felt should not have made me fall into the depression I fell into. It was in the same vain of a similar depression I managed to pull myself out of. And one I thought I had protected myself from ever going through again.