Fragility - Alexa Ace / World Mental Health Day x
It feels like years since the tips of my fingers wrote with fragility;
I have a habit of showing the polished, rather than the truth.
As I compact a years thoughts into one small piece of writing, I'd like you as the reader to first make yourself comfortable. I'd recommend a shower and cinnamon tea. Let it be a habit for us both- a recessed habit to show that we are not alone. We are never alone, though I often feel like I am. I'm sure you do, too. Together.
I was a different person this time last year. I had bare skin begging for ink, and a fervor for love- I was optimistic. I had never been someone to cry often, in fact I can recall nearly three years of my life where the only thing I cried over was death; an unusual truth. Though within this past year, there were two very specific months where a dry eye was nearly impossible. Reason being, I had just been deceived by one of the most significant people in my life- someone I loved and trusted most.
I remember looking to the ceiling and feeling so empty not even death was amusing. I wondered who else was lying to me, who genuinely cared, and questioning with every sunrise if any of this truly mattered. My darkest memory resides in the heart of summer, coming home from work and being physically incapable of movement due to crippling sadness- for the first time I saw my mother tearful with fright of my future. No one knew what to say or how to fix me. Only I could fix me. I was barefoot, treading across my own broken ribs. I did not wake up to light. This lasted four months in total.
It's now June,
and I was hardly making any attempt to see or be seen. It's important to me to not publicly speak out of extreme emotion. So, publicly I remained positive. I had created a perfect facade of the person I wanted to be perceived as, faking the truth out of my own teeth, talking to avoid silence, and watching hours pass upon remaining motionless. Through rare moments of positive upbringing, I'd document my shared creative energy. Whether that be social media, or my own personal journal. I wanted to have light written in stone. I wanted light so bad, I began to feel nothing. I was losing hope entirely. I don't remember much of this month.
I was so desperate to feel love again. I wanted to recognize the person in the mirror. I wanted to surround myself with honesty, ambition, and optimism.
So, I did.
(Please keep in mind this is merely a synopsis, it wasn't as if I woke up and decided to change. This change took months).
Nearly four months to date after my darkest moment, I deleted half of my contact list. I unfollowed over 200 people, and for the first time in a long time when I stared at myself in the mirror- I knew her. I liked her. I loved her. I woke up, washed my face, bought new coffee, read Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar and came to terms with "this is life." I finally disposed of everyone who had wronged me. I subjected myself to whole purity. I looked at my acne scars, growing scars, and internal scars. I am scarred, but I'm still here. Throughout my depression I never felt suicidal. More simply put, I just "wanted to go away."
I knew this wasn't an option without suicide, in fact, I knew suicide wasn't an option at all. And I can't just "poof" myself away. So I must accept what I can not change.
I fly out to New York City, and this time I was sought out to photograph one of our most favorite musicians to date, Marika Hackman. I didn't go with friends, and merely met up with my cool cousin for a quick coffee. Effortlessly, I was alone in New York. I brought myself to New York City to photograph one of my favorite artists, for one of my favorite labels. Meanwhile four months ago I lay contemplating my entire existence.
And while I can't say I know the reason for my existence other than to love and support my family, and I can say that I saw light that night.
I was alone when I felt whole again. My lonesomeness turned into an email that brought me to the big apple.
It took me a while to catch my breath. I was alive. I did this on my own.
I am alive. Although I feel I'll be softly recovering for a good majority of my young adult life, I can openly say that I am openly doing so much better. In fact, I feel light every morning even before opening my windows.The point of this post is to bring awareness to the fragility of every person you come in contact with.
I am lucky to see optimism again, where many do not.
According to the World Health Organization, over 1 in 5 American adults each year are diagnosed with some form of depression- 6.7% of 18-22 year olds experience at least one major depressive episode in their early adults years, and 14.5 million of those are diagnosed with major depressive disorders.
50% of American's diagnosed with depression don't seek help.
Coming from a position of debilitating weakness to standing on my own again, I hope that whoever's reading this knows that my inbox is open.
What you have to say is important, it's not silly, misleading, embarrassing- nor will it just "go away". You are so important.
a couple of other quick things I do when feeling suddenly depressive:
-breathe / in for 8 and out for 7
-drink peppermint tea
-feel fresh air on my skin
-let a friend know how I'm feeling just in case it gets worse
-cry really really hard and then look in the mirror and laugh at how pathetic you look (this sounds really bad written out.. maybe it's just me.......)
Disclaimer: I'm on a daily anti-depressant called Welbutrin. I highly recommend it as I have found it's helped me significantly.
Shout out to my momma and vegas for getting me through the past couple of months <3
love is important. just make sure to love yourself first.
send me your thoughts <3