Let’s Talk About Mental Health - logo Let’s Talk About Mental Health - handheld logo Eye

A note to a friend last week: The anniversary of one of the more "profound" traumas I've experienced is tomorrow. My body holds these memories with an unbreakable, barely bearable, grip. Winter is nothing short of war. Hours, days, weeks, are spent in and out of paralysis - fear, anxiety, overwhelming, deafening, internal noise, can lead me to become afraid of my own breath. My body cringes and clinches and my mood and soul follow. My face...well, the scar in the middle of my forehead that wasn't there 15 years ago seems to grow deeper and from time to time I take on a nice black and blue tint, armed with stories, or the anger to just say bluntly to people, "I have PTSD and punch myself repeatedly in an episode"... no biggie, right, life does carry on...and strangely, it does. This year has been different, though. I have recoiled at times, but resisted my urge to go fully into myself or out of this world and sought connection with the nature, primarily, and only those who I felt reflected something back to me, of myself, that could resonate in the present. I became fearless about the idea that I can "start over" as many times as I need. There can be a million prototypes of Amanda...and that's okay, there is a story in that, a thread, that ties me together. I have found that there is some Self in there, after all and that my pure awe of this world is what has inspired me to fight so hard to stay. The marvel of my mind and body, its ability for the parts to connect, disconnect, leave this world as so many know it, only to come back again. It's like falling into water, straight backwards and as you sink, the layers of things become distorted, but even more disjointed, into so many tiny little bits, it's easy for them to mix up and then incredibly difficult to get them back into a coherent order...I digress. All of the various reasons I've been able to approach things differently, and the ways I've been working through it, deserve to be explicated- I feel the responsibility here, to understand and share whatever path I find to wellness through all of this. You and your little family are one of the great reasons for the difference this year. It's important for me to say that - and I wanted to say it tonight - and probably will focus for the next day or so on an outpouring of gratitude to those who have helped me find some sort of place here <- here, being the present moment or whatever this space is we're sharing. My body is so wrought with confusion about what time and where it actually exists in that the people who give me some sense of place, something to stick to, are profoundly important to me. Thank you for this. I know I've found a dear friend and comrade in you. I hope these words can resonate with you as the pure love that has ushered them out. Love, Amanda