I have a question for you, Dear Reader. Do you know how a plant grows? A seed, cast off and discarded from its dead and barren home, falls to the … Continue reading How Plants Grow
At 6:58 am, my phone rang. I could tell by the Mariachi music that it was my not-biological-but-pretty-much brother. I’ve curated a family that is no kin to me to make up for the one genetics left me with. I promise you, the Build Your Own Family Adventure is totally worth it.
I was wrist deep in biscuit dough and drowning in breakfast prep so I had to let his call go to voicemail. When I was able I shot him a text to ask what was up. During the waiting between my text and him returning my call, I found out that Chris Cornell had died. When we got on the phone finally, that was the reason for the call.
It was by accident that I found Soundgarden in middle school. I think it was swapping CDs on the band bus when Superunknown found it’s way into my ears. It quickly became one of my frequently played albums. Even when I bounced around, experimenting with genres of music (yeah, I was totally into nu-metal for a long while) Soundgarden and their grunge brethren were with me. When Audioslave hit, I was instantly in love. There were many, many time Chris Cornell and his four-octave vocals held my hand, iced my burns, and sang me to sleep.
It seemed like the news that it was suicide hit as fast and as hard as his death did. Reports seem split on if he had exhibited signs of depression or not. The trouble with depression is that for a lot of us, the “signs” have been around so long they’ve just become who we are. So often we hide behind a mask so thick, it hides our struggle from even those closest to us.
I can’t speak for Chris, I only know my own story. But I know that hiding your true struggles becomes an art form. We live in a world where mental illness is constantly second guessed and made light of. There’s still this stigma that hangs over us. Tell someone you broke your arm and they say go to the doctor. Tell them you feel depressed and they ask if you’ve tried just feeling better. As if it was that simple.
If you’re fighting that fight, please know you aren’t alone. It’s easy to feel that way. At times it’s comforting.But these are not battles you have to wage alone. There are people there to help you. National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day online and on the phone (1-800-273-8255). Here is a link from PsychCentral with numbers for hotlines that specialize various issues.
You are not alone in this. Needing help is not weakness. Asking for help is one of the strongest things you can do. Let’s support each other.
Now please excuse me while I damage my hearing by blasting some Soundgarden/Audioslave/Temple of the Dog.
The internet is a weird thing.
At it’s core, its a bunch of zeros and ones, arranged together in sequence, making something out of nothing. I can’t really explain how it all works. It’s all way beyond my realm of understanding. What I do know about the internet though, is that it can bring people together.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Half a million years ago, you know when Myspace was popular, I was a brand new adult discovering the world of body acceptance. I had always been the “ugly fat” girl. My mother started me on the path and the kids at school picked it up and ran. I never had good feelings about my body or my looks. So after marrying my husband and having my first child, I realized, maybe that’s not who I was. Maybe , you know, I actually might be pretty. Somehow, I stumbled upon the world of online modeling. There was a site that was for plus size pin ups. I knew as soon as I saw the website and the ladies featured I wanted to be part of it. Luckily enough, after applying, I was accepted. And it was so much fun. It help bolstered my self love and helped me unveil my sexuality. More importantly, it gave me a wonderful group of lady friends. The type of friends I never really knew existed.
Friendships never were my strong point. When you’re raised by a paranoid narcissistic, you learn that the basic set up of the world is “Us vs THEM”. If you weren’t genetically related to us (and sometimes if you were), if you disagreed with us (and sometimes if you didn’t), if you did better than us (or if you did worse) you were in the THEM camp. This fucked up mentality stuck with me until I clicked with these wonder women online. We were all different, but we were all the same too. We disagreed on somethings, and agreed on others. We walked different paths with different steps, but were still able to hold hands. The feelings of love and support was new and amazing and, I’m not shitting you here, changed my life.
As it does, time moved on. We all did our own thing and Myspace died at the murderous hands of Facebook. Our group of friends faced real life challenges and adventures. Marriages, divorces, births, deaths, relocations, and stagnations. We drifted then found each other. We lived our lives. We shared our stories. We loved each other.
Recently, one of my close lady friends from that group passed away. We were never able to met in person and, as the good ole Southern phrase goes, hug each others neck. But we were close. She watched my babies become kids, I watched her kids become men. We laughed, we cried, we lived. We exchanged letters and stories, gifts for the kids. We swapped clothes. We were sisters. And it was and will forever be on the of most important relationships of my life.
So here’s to my favorite pirate mama. Way the wind always blow you to where you need to go. We’re going to meet again and when we do, I’m going to hug you for a good long while. Thank you for showing me and my scallawags a love we didnt know existed. You helped teach me that a true family is the one you make for yourself. You were a beautiful radiant star that blessed us all. You helped make me a better person. I will always hold you in my heart and take you with me on my travels.
Rest easy, beautiful. You are so loved.