When you actually stop to comprehend everything you’ve been through the way I have been doing, you develop a thick outter shell against the darkness and the voices in your head that tell you that you don’t deserve to be happy.

That doesn’t mean that the days are always easy, that life is fucking happy go lucky and I am thrilled to be here all the time…I’ve just learned to accept that I chose this reality because it was the best option at the time.

I will say, going through all of the trauma that I’ve experienced over the last twenty years has saved me from ever wanting to commit suicide.

If you survive while you learn what it takes to debrief yourself on everything you survived and you’ve gotten over the shame of doing all the things you had to do in order to survive, you can fucking survive anything.

I’ve been sitting here all day, in quiet contemplation about it all, and the truth is I don’t regret a single thing I did to get where I am. I got a message from one of my rapists today, telling me if I didn’t keep his name out of my mouth I’d get knocked out.

Okay whatever. You already raped me in the worst possible way while threatening to do the same to the same friends you claim as your back up and their children, so go ahead have me knocked out.

Nothing could be worse than what you put me through, nothing could be worse than taking time to decompress from it all only to realize that was still not my most humiliating moment.

Having to pretend that I didn’t know, having to debase myself to convince them to let me go, having to lower myself to the worst possible version of who I am so they would finally cut me loose….that was worse.

Letting myself have the nervous break down I deserved cost me a lot of friendships, but if they’d been true friends they would have been there when I needed the most without judgement. Some of them were…some wonderful truly great people are still a part of my life.

But cutting lose the people that didn’t need to be a part of my journey hurt a lot. It was like a hot knife cutting into my side, leaving a scar I’ll never be able to cover.

I have a lot of scars that I’ll never be able to cover, a lot of tattoos I wish I hadn’t gotten…a lot that I am really grateful for.

But today was fucking rough, and it’s going to continue to be rough for a couple of days, because that’s what happens when you have an emotional disorder. That’s what it means to deal with mental health, some days are really good and other days are really, really bad.

Yesterday I was really proud of myself because I started building a network of Authors, Publishers and Teachers that I want to work with. That I want to help promote, all of whom are Black women, all of whom are killing it in their fields and learning how to do better.

Yesterday I was riding a work a holic high, because I had gotten a lot done and made a lot of really great connections. Today I am tired and withdrawn and all I want to do is sleep.

Because that’s what it means to deal with mental health on a regular basis. I suspect part of my mood has to do with the weather, it started raining last night and that always brings my mood down a little bit.

Anti-triggers don’t work when I am like this, I kind of just have to ride it out and hope that it gets better, it does eventually, but this is the first time I’ve really felt comfortable writing about it, so I am taking that as progress.

Even little steps forward can be considered big steps in the long run. Life I am learning is a marathon, not a sprint and not a race. We each come to the places we are meant to arrive, when it’s time for us to be there. I try to find solace in the knowledge that even if I am not feeling one hundred percent like myself right now I will eventually.

Some days I find it hard to know who I am, but I am reminded by my mentor and teacher Dr. Jen, that even Loud Mouth Brown Girl’s need tender times as well. That helps. It feels like sometimes I need permission to just be in the moment, to just not feel okay.

I forget that I am actually allowed to be the one who gives me that permission, because sometimes I forget that I don’t have to take orders or pretend to be something I am not anymore. I can just be Devon…I don’t even have to be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl all the time, I can take a break from that when I need to.

I can stop feeling guilty when I need to take breaks. Last night before going to bed I remember thinking that these twelve to fifteen hour days that I am putting into this website are long and grueling, but I also remember telling myself it was going to be worth it one day.

And it will be, but if I don’t teach myself to take breaks now and then, than I won’t do it in the future, and that will make for a toxic and cranky Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and I don’t want to be like that. I want to remember that in this time I made some memories while I could, learned what I could and move forward in a positive and healthy way.

Today was rough, but with a goodnight sleep tomorrow will be better. I have to keep believing that.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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