i just spent the weekend in nyc. i hadn’t been Home since sometime last summer. it’s been a while since i had spent time with family. and i got to do just that this weekend. i spent time with my cousins (who happen to be my brothers and sisters as well). we talked. a lot. caught up. reminisced (like we always do). laughed. a lot. and just enjoyed being in each other’s light and Love.

in conversation, we learned about certain things that are happening in our family. challenges that individuals and families are facing. among them alcoholism, depression, domestic violence and drug addiction (to name a few). i said to them that if we don’t talk about this as a family, we will continue to perpetuate the behavior. we will continue to sit around this big elephant in the room and not address the problem.

history will repeat itself in the womb of our children.

we need to talk.

we need to talk about the issues that are hard to talk about in order to grow stronger as individuals and as a family. we need to talk to each other past the point of being uncomfortable. it is in that space that we can truly evolve.

we need to talk because the silence is hurting all of us.

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reflection: the D word

December 26, 2011

recently a friend of mine posted something to the effect of how LGBT POC’s needed to speak up about the realities of depression in our lives. i’ve been thinking about it for the last few weeks, as i have been battling my own “demons.” the season doesn’t help either; short and cold days mixed in with holidays that are suppose to be “the most wonderful time of the year” only throw me deeper into this state of “wtf?”

i’m a positive person. and for many in my circle of family and friends, i’m considered “the life of the party.” when i have shared with people that i suffer from depression their first reaction is “really?” which has often left me to keep silent about it because i don’t want to be seen as anything but that “happy self.” god forbid i should say that sometimes it gets bad enough that i have to take medication to “level me out.” and when you add that piece to the mix you are then seen as unstable to many and if it’s on your life “record” and you decide to apply to certain jobs, your ass is shit outta’ luck ’cause well… “you just might GO crazy.” it is after all, the thinnest line.

culturally, it’s a taboo. as Dominicans and Puerto Ricans immediately will categorize you as “crazy.” they don’t necessarily believe in going to talk to someone about your problems either. and don’t you dare mention medication. i mean, that just puts you on the sidelines for good. my behavior changes when i’m feeling this way. i find myself sleeping more and disconnecting myself from loved one because i don’t want them to see me like this. because i don’t want to “change the image” they have of me

i’m a happy person. it’s just that sometimes i’m not.

i would be the first to encourage a loved one to seek help, to trust that things will get better, to believe that whatever it is they are going through is “momentarily.” and when i am going through it myself, i keep repeating those same words. intellectually, i understand that “this too shall pass.”

but it’s in the moment that this shit is toughest.

it’s in the moment where your thoughts take over. in the night time when the silence is loudest, all you can feel and hear and see is a fucking desire to just disappear. because you believe that in the absence of you, the rest of the shit that weighs you down will somehow disappear as well. that maybe, you become free of the shit that you carry if you’re no longer around.

and you look for places to find encouragement. reading quotes. quoting scripture. talking to a friend. finding ways to find ways out of your own self is a conscious fight we must make.

i can’t tell you what the root of my depression is. i can tell you the many places in my life where i feel unaccomplished. alone. sad. hopeless. helpless. i don’t know if this shit is nature or nurture. i just know it is. i have dealt with it throughout my lifetime. and yes, there have been days when i didn’t want to deal with it and i thought about other options. it is difficult to wake up to our respective realities some times.

yes, i know that there are people who have it worst. but i compare myself to no one. i am carrying my own weight.

i agree with my friend that we must speak out more about this. it helps to know that we are not alone. it helps to talk it out with others in similar situations.

i know that this will pass.

but for the moment… it sits with me. breathes with me. sleeps with me. and weighs on me. and i walk with it.

antidote

December 22, 2011

i hate you.

i hate how you creep
up on me.
like a hold-up,
pressing the cold barrel
of your gun against
the small of my back.

my spine cracks.

the ground, frozen
makes a figure eight
out of my five senses.

i can no longer feel.

numbed hands
clasped together
against my chest
i hold on to my Self.

that Self.

brilliant
excited
passionate

now, swallows
pills that turns
stomach inside out.
the toxins
of your presence…
make me absent from my Self.