standing there…tears falling as I stir the food. dinner has to be prepared before anything. i wipe my eyes as more tears fall. echos of several rounds of “mom” falter in the background. music plays in my head to drown out that nagging voice. the voice that is telling me no. i glance at the kitchen shears out of the corner of my eyes. the music begins to get louder. the voice is quieter. i keep myself busy as they eat. cleaning the dishes for the millionth time. sweeping the floor. picking up clothes that are only visible to me. breathing becomes shallow as arguing ensues. i have no strength to tell them to stop. i sit at my desk, writing a letter that never becomes finished. silence finally as they are finally sleep. i stare at them in their peaceful slumber. they will be happier in the morning. the voice begins to speak up. i begin to play back reminders of why this pain began. the voice is quiet. i go downstairs. into the bathroom. the kitchen shears have appeared once again. i stare at myself in the mirror wishing she was a stranger. but she is me. this broken shell of a woman is me. this woman who can’t get it right. this woman who repeatedly fails. this woman who wears a happy face but cries daily. this woman who has no one. she. is. me. the voice starts to come around. say what you want…this deed is done. they will be happier when their problem is gone. everyone. the release is jolting. the pressure disappears. expectations diminished. freedom with every gasping breath.
“Today is the end, seriously the fucking end. One shot to the temple will finally be the end. End of…” (Because my handwriting is atrocious.)
Before I explain the beginning of what I was writing, I’ll give you a little brief history of how I got to that point. I had been stressing over finances for probably a good two months. Trying to figure out how I was going to pay this bill and that, while training for a new job (non paid training, mind you), and literally waking up to each day something being turned off and taking away the money that I was saving. Every time I thought I was okay, something else would come up. This particular week was my hardest. I had finally opened up and asked for help from “friends” and received nothing…not even phone calls. So, I did what I always do. Break down and pull myself back up. I woke up that morning convincing myself I was going to have a positive day. Yes, I had something due that next day and had no idea how it was going to get taken care of. Yes, I was finally working but had no idea what I was doing and had several technical issues. But these were things I couldn’t control. I was not going to let them defeat me that day. I was ready to have a great day…until I sat down at my computer, preparing to clock in and realized my cable was off. That was it. Nothing could stop the tears and onset of panic attacks. If I didn’t work, I would get fired. If I got fired, I would lose my place. If I lost my place, I would be homeless again. Hence, my breakdown. I was done. There was no money saved up to take care of this situation. No money to get on the bus and try to reach my mother. No way I could contact her. I had nothing. So, I laid in the bed and did nothing. Several conversations played around in my head. Some voices cursed me out, others comforted me. Finally, one said to end it all. This was the loudest. I grabbed a pen and paper and began to write. As you can see, I didn’t finish because when I wrote the second line (which took a good 5 minutes to actually put on paper), my phone rang. Yes, my phone that was off rang. It was her…my mother. The only one who could get me back to where I needed to be. The only one who could reach me on a phone that had no service.
Now, let me state this and be very clear about it. I am a writer. I was writing, “The End,” to get my thoughts out. I would never do harm to myself. Let me say it again. I WOULD NEVER DO HARM TO MYSELF! Not that I haven’t thought about it because it’s a thought I have often, but I am far too chicken to do anything. I will cry for days if someone playfully punched me in the arm, so harming myself has never been an option. “The End” was basically me saying that I was done. I was done with everything. I was done with people. I was done with believing. I was done with trying. It was the end of me trying to remain faithful and a believer. It was the end of me trying to do something with my life. I was done in every aspect. My kids would be fine. They have my mother, who they probably like more because she has juice and candy lol. My lack of career would be fine because who really is buying my stuff anyway. What most would say are accomplishments, 3 books published and a production company, I say are failures because what revenue are they bringing in? This is what I meant by “The End.” I normally am able to talk myself out of getting to that moment. I am always able to bring myself out of it and continue to fight on. But that voice was dead(hence the bullet to the temple line). But God understood that voice was gone and sent me another. The one voice that has always been there. Even when I don’t want it, it’s there. That miracle brought me back. Yes, I was still depressed and upset for that day, but I recognized the sign and was able to bounce back the next day.
My main reason for writing this is not to tell someone how to feel. When it comes to mental health issues, that’s the worst thing you can do. I just want to let others know that they are not alone. In the “perfect” world of social media, it can be paralyzing to watch so many people seem so happy and successful. While majority, if not all, of it is fake, it is still hard to find someone who can relate to what you are feeling. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE BLACK. Depression or mental health issues and the Black community don’t mix. It is one of those things we sweep under the rug until it blows up in our face. Writing for me is therapeutic and you never know who you are reaching or what impact it has. That is why I am so open about things in my life. There has been times where I have been at my worst and think no one else feels how I feel and I’ll read something that shows otherwise. I just want people to know that they are not the only ones. Giving up is not the answer, but I can understand why someone would. I can understand and sympathize with that person for feeling that way. No one can tell you to keep going. It is something you have to find within yourself, but I can tell you that you are not the only one feeling this way. Some times you have to step away from social media and people in general and get a better grasp on reality. And for those who have no faith or believe in God, I’m sure you will come up with some scientific reason as to how my mother was able to call me on that phone. But, for me, I know exactly what that was and who it was and that’s all that matters to me. We all have our “The End” moments, but it is up to us to come out of it and know that even though you may end up there again, it is okay. You. Are. Not. Alone. It will be okay, even if it is not today. 🙂