Bluebird Rising

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

The Night The Rain Came May 11, 2011

Sometimes is starts so minor; a tiny, frail secret that you hold tightly in your sweaty palm, unsure of where else to put it. You think of the damage it could do. The small wave of pain in your words that, by speaking them aloud, would radiate out beyond your control. How these waves would create tides of unfaithfulness in the mind of the person whose secret you hold, and tsunamis in the hearts of others. And so, from your sweaty palm, you shove the words deep in your throat.

Unreachable by the throes of anger, or the looseness created by alcohol, and no doubt well past the radar of common sense. You become so scared to speak about it that you, for the sake of sanity, finally forget you even had the knowledge to begin with.

It seeps from your throat to your mindlessness, from your mindlessness to your subconsciousness, and from your subconscious to a place of nearly never existing. Until something forces you remember. And then, the clarity of the night shakes you to your core.

And you wonder what you could have done differently. And you cry because you know that the best words you could have come up with, even straight out of a fucking poetic novel, would not have been enough. And you wonder why you were ever considered a friend at all, when you were really nothing more than a soundboard for decisions already made.

And you don’t know what to say to comfort others who are seeking you out for that very purpose. Comfort, you feel, is not really yours to give after you have learned that you will never sleep another truly peaceful night. Not after knowing what the world can come to while under your naive, unassuming watch.

And then you find the moment has passed. And you only call it a moment for writing purposes, because more accurately, it was weeks, months, even the better half of a year. All passing in a blur, no more definable than a period of time trudging along in shades of gray.

And regardless, you find that you are continuing to do exactly what you have been doing all along. In spite of criticism and in spite of praise, for the mere reason that it’s simply what you know how to do best. And because probably, deep down, you believe that it’s the only thing that people will ever expect of you.

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May is National Mental Health Month. Over my life I have watched too many of my friends struggle with the various elements that encompass this daunting issue. If you feel the same, or if you need help for yourself, I encourage you to start here.

Because here’s how far we have to go.

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