CONCEPTS is an effort to document my mental healing journey. It is a desire to understand why I felt like crying every single day when I moved back to Louisville, KY after living in Brooklyn for three years. It is an effort to understand why my relationships with my mother and my father were rapidly deteriorating; to understand why I struggled to stay employed; to understand self-sabotage and self-love and self-hate and how fucking amazing it feels when you remind yourself to just breathe.
CONCEPTS is an effort to examine what I’ve done to improve my relationship with myself, with my friends, with peers, and my fiancé. CONCEPTS asks what is there to gain?
This space will hopefully identify why I felt nauseous at the thought of getting into a car to travel twenty-five miles to see my family. Why I felt so distant from the humans who gave me milk and water and bread and a very convoluted understanding of Christianity and of goodness and evil. CONCEPTS will, ideally, pry into blame and anger and feeling shame for your body and the shame of your grandmother’s. This prying a way to heal my mental state.
CONCEPTS is a way to remind myself to stop helping and protecting others when it puts their needs before me. Because for so long I’ve centered myself as a mediator and have accommodated situations that were harmful to me and my well-being. Like, when I told my father he was allowed to be angry at his son for being a drug addict but in seeing that anger I was reminded of when he choked me up against a wall because I’d scratched some boy’s initials in my hand.
I hope to document my thoughts, opinions, and observations in this space. I have long struggled with the need to please others and to be the caretaker of other’s emotions. Because I tend to put others before myself, which has taken me on strange path of self-sabotage and self-hate. I’ve learned that my guilt neural nets run real deep – so deep, that even when I have an “a-ha” moment, I feel stupid for not seeing it sooner and then I feel bad for feeling stupid. It’s wild and definitely unhealthy.
But, I’m working on this, much in the same way that I’m working on accepting and loving and learning from these “a-ha” moments. It’s crucial that we practice self-love first. It is necessary that we practice patience with our minds and our bodies. Which reminds me of the airplane safety guides and how they urge you to put on your breathing mask first before helping a child. I really, like seriously, did not understand why you would do this until about five months ago. It just seemed so selfish to me. (This is speaking to my issues with self-care so, listen up, Sam!)
I finally understand that the child’s mask should be worried about after yours because if the adult passes out before the child, the adult has, in a way, abandoned the child. The child now is left to fend for itself. The child must be strong enough to seek help alone or to persevere alone. If your mask goes on first then you are less likely to pass out, you are more likely to be fit and able to help the child. You take on that responsibility of being there for others by being there for yourself first.
So, that’s what CONCEPTS will be about: Me being there for me first. And I hope you’ll join me in this discovery.