They called it the fish bowl. This was a meeting room behind a glass, sliding door in the rear of the cafeteria. I had no idea what this meant or why they called this room the fish bowl. I had no idea why I agreed to this place nor did I believe that any of this was beneficial for me.
I was a kid and, at best, I saw this as a move to escape the shower rapes and jailhouse beatings that would have inevitably come my way. Had I not chosen this as an option, I am not sure that I would have survived the cages and the guards and the raw viciousness of other angry men.
I have lived different lives and like you, I have come to new understandings. I have grown. I have circled back. I have come to conclusions and reached new levels of awareness. I have come to the understanding that there are times when I had everything I needed, right there, in front of my face. Yet, I never knew it was me (or that it could be me) who could change or improve or be better than my expectations.
In some cases, we might call this maturity. In other cases, we might see this as lessons learned. Or, perhaps this is just life.
Maybe we think too deeply. We pick apart and overthink and no one wants the complications; yet, here we are on Project Earth. We complicate simple facts. We argue, we battle and we mix our opinions between facts and fiction.
There was a basement I knew about when I was younger. I would hide here. I would hide away from the groups and away from the different people and the so-called friends in my so-called crazy little town. I was a suburban kid with city genes. I was all over the place. Here, there and everywhere else I could be, if you know what I mean.
At least, this is how I see it. I was someone who had starry eyes and I was unsure if this was okay. But in either case, I always knew there was something out there for me.
The truth is . . .
No one wants to know. At least, not really. No one wants to lift their heads from their early morning cereal in the kitchen of their homes while reading their early morning newspaper, surrounded by a white picket fence, a two-car garage and their 2.5 kids.
It is a comfortable spot on this side of purgatory.
I’ve been told about this. Or, maybe warned is a better word to use here. But either way, I made a promise.
I made several of them to be exact and whether this coincides with a welcoming view and public acceptance or consumption; and whether people see this as “too raw” or “too real” has nothing to do with me.
Please forgive me but this is part of what I do.
It’s never easy to speak honestly or least of all to tell the truth about the so-called life or the feelings or thoughts and ideas that come along with certain disorders. And it’s true.
They pin stigmas on us like pins on a map. Perhaps the pins are red; as if to resemble a warning of what to expect (and what not to).
Perhaps this is to make a mental note of who we are and who we were. Or, maybe this is a judgment, which is more of a reflection on others.
There was a night that I recall. It was nothing special, at least not for any reason other than it was a nighttime in my young life. I was about to find myself at the spot where I traded my money for a few bags of self-destruction. Or wait, no. Maybe it’s more accurate to call the bags a form of self-distortion. It was true what they say, “The first hit is always free.” This is how they keep you coming back.
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the news. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written to you but I think now is the best time to reach out. Three people, two suicides, one overdose and all within two days time.
By now, I’m sure you’re tired of the news, but yet, you and I are not surprised about this. We only come at this from different angles. You and I are on different sides of the table, but yet, at least we can see each other.
In honor of awareness week, I thought I would spend a little time to write my thoughts about prevention and personal maintenance. To be clear, I don’t know if awareness week is only an American thing. Maybe it is. But I do know that worldwide, someone dies from suicide every 40 seconds. And by the way, I get it. Nobody wants to read about this. Nobody wants to think about this, let alone talk about this or be open about the subject. So, I’ll understand why this thought goes unread. However, as someone who lived with depression throughout my entire life, it is important to me that I go forward.
There was an interview with a famous performer who explained how they gave up their worldly possessions so they could find themselves. As I heard this, I thought to myself, “Man, — that’s rich.”
It is somewhere past 5:00am in this part of purgatory. The previous storm has left its mark on the residents around town. There are cars stranded after the floods. There are homes that are wrecked from the winds and some that were torn apart from the tornado, which is rare in these parts. There is tension in the air, and all the while; in reality, this is just another day in the life on Project Earth.
There are a million things that we want to do right now, and yet, maybe there’s nothing. Maybe there’s nothing else to do but sit and do nothing. Either way, there are also a million thoughts and ideas in our head. There are thoughts and feelings and emotions. We all have this. Believe me, this is all true. It is simple, and yet, the way we think and the way we feel can be complicated sometimes. We consciously try to consider the options. We figure the math and we do the numbers but we miscalculate the unknown figures to be bigger than they are. We add too much. Yet, there is this entire world around us. And it doesn’t look the same to anyone else. All we know is all we see. I know what I see.
I know what the sunrise looks like. I know what the sky looks like when the dawn takes shape. I’ve watched as the sky shows its first light. I know what it feels like to have a cool breeze hit my face when I walk outside in the morning. I know what it’s like to see things and be fooled by comparisons.