Hi, Little Bird,
I wanted to try something. We’ve started diaries and journals countless times before, with the idea of cataloging how we feel, to memorialize the intensity of what’s happening and looking back at it later. And it usually ends after a few entries. But the thing is, we don’t need to catalog any of it. We remember. All the heartbreak and that endless abyss of loneliness that crawled down our throats and clutched our hearts. Those mornings and nights of sobbing. That feeling of wondering if you were going to be in that cold void forever or if the pain ever ends. We remember.
It’s hard to forget.
We remember the bad so easily. It’s like burn marks on our skin, easily trackable and so visible to our eyes. Our skin is mottled with our history. Why is it so easy for the bad to leaves marks but not the good?
Right now our skin is covered black and I’m wondering if I’ll ever see the warm brown of it again. Things are hard. So hard. You’ll remember. On our mood calendar the entire month of January is a mix of orange and yellow and black. Anxiety, anger, depressed. There are maybe a handful of bright robin’s egg blue squares. Happy. It’s hard to be happy. Your heart is racing constantly, thoughts are an endless stream. We’ve imagined 20 worst case scenarios by lunch. Your head feels like it’s going to burst from pressure and it’s hard to breathe all the time past the stone in your chest. It’s not great.
Ruminating. That’s what WebMD says it is. We have a problem ruminating, staying fixated on our worst thoughts and worst possibilities and cycling them over and over and over again. It’s the Anxiety, the Depression. A perfect storm. We’ve always done this but it’s gotten worse as the other two get worse. We’re a mess. We read more self-help books now than we have our entire life.
Right now your heart is broken and things keep getting worse, one after another. Every time you think things will be better, you take a step and the floor falls out from beneath you. One step after another and now we’re so deep down the light is a pin-prick. We’re tired of climbing. Does that get better? I hope it does. Does life ever stop punching us down every time we try to get up? How long does it go on? How far is the climb?
Hell, was Captain Marvel fantastic? Of course it was. Dumb question.
We’ve written about the past so much. I’m tired. Tired of my list of traumas being a page long and all across the board. Nothing has ever been easy and it’s made me into a pessimistic person. I try to be a better, more optimistic person but I don’t think that’s me. My past has made me into a person focused on survival. Optimism means you aren’t prepared for the worst because the worst can happen at any moment.
I’m tired. So tired. I want to write about the future, hope there is a future. I worry that I’ll never be you. I want to. I try. Everyone thinks I’m not, which feels awful. I hear it constantly. But I try so hard that when there’s so little progress I want to scream. It’s molasses. Quicksand. I’m trying so hard. I never stop so why aren’t I higher in my climb? My mind is a dark maze and my heart is filled with needles and I’m having to navigate both to make any progress. It hurts. Hopelessness and confusion and continuous tiny pricks of pain and blood with every step.
We’ve been through a lot. Heartaches. Trauma. Deaths. Mental illness. Stagnation. Loneliness. Abandonment. We have experience in it all. Does this make us stronger in the future?
I hope you’re a steel sword, made of fire and resolve and determination. A fiery beacon of strength and endurance. That you demand what you want and you get it because god, you fucking deserve it. That you care a little less about others and more about yourself because caring too much hurts and we’ve laid on the ground for others to walk on for too long. I hope the fact that we are worth more than that is a fact in your brain and heart and you accept no less. That you are strong on your own, even with little support and nothing phases you. You’ve learned to adapt. We’ve always been bad at control, letting go. I hope you are water, adaptable and strong no matter how much the situation around you shakes.
I hope you have people, any people. People that can take your weight when you can’t be steel and forcibly grab your hand when you’re drowning instead of waiting for you to grab them. Sometimes people like us can’t grab, we can only wave frantically. People that reach out just because they want to hear from you and be around you and will make the effort for you. People that know you are more than your art and what you can make and will stick around even if you do nothing at all.
I hope you got therapy and drugs to calm your soul and mind. It’s scary and expensive, but our brain is mush and sadness and trauma and we both know we can’t ignore that anymore. We can’t fix ourselves and sometimes you need help. It’s scary to think that we are actually broken. Our mind doesn’t work properly, isn’t doing what it needs to do. That we have to rely on something to be some sort of normal. But there’s no more choice because we can’t keep doing this. If it helps us get happy, we have to.
I hope you’re submerged in paint and art and words and stories. I can feel them like a distant ache but I can’t reach them. They’ve always been there. Our imagination was our escape when things were bad and I want to escape there so badly right now but it’s like grasping for air. I hope you feel them again, can get lost in them again. When we had no one, we had our stories. It’s who we are.
I hope the animals are all okay and happy and healthy. They all feel the off-ness and our trying their best and I hope we are in a place where we are giving them the life they deserve. They get us up in the morning and are there when we are a shattered mess, too tired to do much of anything. They know. And they deserve the whole world. I hope that you have money to take care of them and buy them all the treats and toys and whatever they want. I hope Almond and Leon are both fat and happy and wanting for nothing and the cats play and run and snuggle you constantly.
I hope you have money to get clothes that fit you. It’s funny how our weight and how we looked was such a huge part of our lives. Now it doesn’t even matter. Feeding ourselves enough matters, enough to keep our brain working and fighting and our body running. We’ve lost too much weight, probably. At least it feels like it. No matter how much we eat it doesn’t gain back and there’s a sad sort of irony there, considering how hard we worked just a year ago and saw no progress. We lost our happiness weight. That’s all it took. It doesn’t seem to matter anymore. But we can get clothes that fit and make you look nice and take care of that clawing ache in your stomach. Our brain needs nourishment to function properly and I hope you’ve worked on that.
I hope you have money to get whatever you want. We’ve never been good at money, but we don’t ask for much. Books, video games, paints, music. We don’t really want things, but experiences. New stories, new sounds, new creations. I hope you have money for it all, to travel and see new things and take adventures.
I hope you have food in your fridge and you’re eating regularly and you’re getting sleep. We sleep so much but we’re always tired. It’s a restless sleep, waking up ever few hours and thinking non-stop before going back under. I hope there’s no overwhelming pressure on your chest at night, that you don’t wake up feeling like you went to war when your eyes were shut.
I hope you find love. It seems almost impossible right now like getting struck by lightning. But I want that hope to be there. I hope you find someone warm and caring, that sees you and what you do and chooses you. You never have to chase them. I hope they love your art, support you in whatever project you do, and don’t care if you rant about Marvel movies and feminism and ethics in the video game and comic book industry. I hope they listen to you and when you share things that you love, they watch or read or listen to it for you. Because they want to know you. I hope they love the animals so much and understand how important they are to you. I hope they listen when you’re sad or in a mood or when you have problems and are open with how they feel about you. I hope they are gentle with you, are gentle with your past and trauma and reservations because you’re so afraid. I hope they don’t ever take you for granted, that they shower you in affection and appreciation, and realize how completely special you are. That they are lucky to be with you. You love so completely and unabashedly, it is a gift, and I hope whoever they are sees that.
Most of all, I hope you are so, so happy. I hope you are healed, that you laugh and smile and it’s not fake. That when you think on all that has happened there’s no longer a clawing ache in your chest. That you are you again. We’ve faced so much darkness and grown in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We’re in a dark, dark hole and I want to hope you are in the light, that you gritted your teeth and clawed and climbed out because I know that’s who we are.
We will never be truly, perfectly okay. I don’t expect you to be. We have a lot of demons and our skin is covered in scars. We don’t forget. But we’ve learned to keep going in spite of that, to use that to make us stronger. Our scars are badges of what we’ve survived and what hasn’t killed us. Right now this pain and sadness seems never ending. You know how long it lasts, but I don’t. It seems like eternity. But the wheel of the world is turning and I have to believe it’ll change eventually. This is the down slide, there has to be upward momentum too.
I hope to be you someday. Whoever you are. I miss you and want to meet you all at once.
You are hope, Little Bird. You, beautiful future you. You are the hope that keeps me going. We’re small with broken wings right now, kicked out too early and unprepared, but we have to learn to fly now. And it’s hard and there’s no one to guide us or tell us if we’ll make it, but we have to survive. So I can be you.
You are my hope.
I love you.