Val: What was your favorite part?
The first time I started crying. I wanted to apologize to Val, I could feel my voice loosing strength as it quivered trying to explain…
When Rupi Kaur started talking about mental illnesses it hit home. She compared this mental damage to that of a broken leg. Why is it, that when we see someone with crutches, we hold the door open, or help them in any way we can; but when their mind is fractured we don't do the same?
Now that I pulled myself out of the hole, it's easy to see how depressed I was this past winter. I've felt so guilty for the past month, because I was so ashamed and embarrassed of my sadness. During Val's 21st birthday, I was so sad I stayed home and cried myself to sleep, and the next day I lied to everyone and said that I accidentally fell asleep. I will forever be upset with myself, because I missed my friends only 21st birthday. I missed out because I couldn't even ask for help, I was just locking myself in my room, hoping the pain would go away, while distancing anyone that cared about me. During that time, I had stopped drinking, because one time during a social event I was drinking, and suddenly had a mental breakdown. Middle of the party, I was just so sad I started crying as I was dancing! Abbey was with me, and she helped me get an uber home, but that's when I knew, that something wasn't right.
Val: I had no idea it was that bad…
Well, that's because I'm really good at faking it. When I am the saddest, I try so hard to keep it together. Those are the times, when I put more makeup, and try harder to make it look like I'm okay. Truth is, this summer really helped me. For the first time I was considering moving back home. I am no longer ashamed of leaving Chicago. For so long, I was so worried of what people would think if I came back home. I would be so embarrassed that I made such a big deal out of leaving (Florida), just to come right back. What would I tell people? That I couldn't handle a big city because I was too nice? That people walked all over me, and therefor came home broken? What would I tell them?
It all started after I came back to school from Colombia. When I was home in Colombia, I realized how wrong Chicago felt. In Colombia I was constantly surrounded by love, so if anything I blame my family for spoiling me with love. They've always supported me with everything I do, and I was surrounded by positivity. I would wake up with my grandparents kissing me, and cuddling with my grandparents before going to sleep, just like they did when I was little. My dad would bring candy home, like he always did after work. I realized that I didn't have that love and support in Chicago, and it sucked.
When I came back to Chicago, I also liked a guy that played me the worse I've ever been played. I usually prepare myself mentally before talking to a guy. This time I didn't; I was trying to be honest, trying to be myself. Not only was I not ready for the mind games, but the girl was someone I was starting to be friends with. It was so awkward. Our friends chose sides, and we still can't be in the same room without feeling awkward. It's always weird when you confide in someone that you have a crush and they go behind your back and hook up with them. I couldn't understand how or why people were so mean to me....You can talk a lot of shit about me, but the one thing you can't say is that I'm a bad friend.
Can you imagine spending 3 years in a city, trying so hard to make friends and plant your roots, just to realize that all the hard work you've put into relationships and friendships, don't actually mean anything? I saw what real happiness felt like, not just drinking and going out, and occasionally getting brunch with people, but support and real caring. I came back to Chicago and I realized that I didn't really like the people I was hanging out with. And that's when the sadness started, uncontrollable pouring of sadness.
I was so used to fake support, that it came down to two options: either continue on this path of fake friends, or get the fuck out and find real support.
I dropped my sorority, and I embarked on the pursuit of happiness. I studied abroad in Italy, and met people that reassured my sorority decision. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for, or what it's supposed to look like, but I know what it feels like. It feels like home, and the love my parents have so generously spoiled me with. It feels like saying anything and not being judge. It feels like you can be yourself and people will try their hardest to grow with you. It feels like all the brokenness in you is worth being broken for, because you find others that help you put the pieces back together. It feels like you can fall off the abyss, and you are not the only one jumping. Thank you Rupi Kaur, for reminding me that these thoughts that consume me, are not crazy, and are in fact, part of realizing that sometimes you just cycle through highs and lows.
The chaos in my mind, is nothing but the struggle of becoming an aware person. A person that is not in a bubble, I just didn't know how much discovering myself was going to hurt, specially when the people I surrounded myself with aren't on the same journey.
The sisters I had for a year where the nicest, and goofiest, they just weren't my people. There's nothing worse than having 100 sisters, but feeling like you can't reach out (for support) to any of them. I was so worried about my other friends, and making sure they were okay, making sure they weren't going to drop, that I was not taking care of myself. It's usually the people that smile the most, who are hurting the most. I was caring for this sorority for all the wrong reasons. I wanted everyone to feel loved and supported, just so that I could receive a little bit of that love back. I poured the little hope I had left in me into my sorority, so when it wasn't reciprocated it shattered me.
I needed more, and it's not fair to anyone for me to ask for more of them. It's not anyone's fault I am this broken, so I knew I was the problem. I had to start over, but this time it was different, because unlike before, I knew what I was looking for.
Val and I have never been to a poetry reading, and we chose to have (probably) the best first experience. Val had never even read Milk & Honey, or the Sun and Her Flowers; needless to say that will no longer be the case. Val is on a sober journey, and I am an on a awareness journey, which overlap. We don't really know where we are going, but we're on our way, and Rupi Kaur has helped us set the foundation for it. To say that it was one of the best nights of our lives is an understatement.