So I fucked up recently, and I called someone a slur – not a racial slur, but a slur none the less. I admitted to it on Twitter, but it got me to thinking about the privilege that I have that others do not.
I realized as I was watching Madam Secretary, that there are people in this world hiding in dank, wet and stinky caves, who are trying to save the world.
There are men and women going off to war to protect our freedoms from those who want to kill us for existing with the freedoms we do.
There are men and women around the globe who have lost legs and arms fighting for our freedoms. Whether you agree with the wars or not, you cannot deny that these people enter into some of the most heinous situations for our protections.
I met a man last summer who had lost a leg. I can’t tell you anything about him, but I will say that it had a profound impact on me. Not just because I grew up wanting to be a Soldier, but because he had followed his dreams and had no regrets.
It got me thinking about the importance of Bloggers, and even Social Justice Warriors in the world. I am not trying to be an SJW, but as per usual with my life, the Universe doesn’t always give me what I want. It always and forever provides what I need.
Earlier tonight my friend Michelle Guido said she was on Twitter to empower women, and I thought “that’s amazing…you know what you’re doing with my life.”
I realize now that the reason I lashed out at a complete stranger was that he had been right. I used to work in a Shelter, and that work felt important and empowered me in ways I didn’t appreciate back then. Now I am a Blogger and a published author, and that doesn’t seem as important.
I know it sounds strange coming from me, a person who’s almost always wanted to be a writer, but it’s how I felt for the longest time. And it’s not because I don’t think that being a writer matters, it’s because I don’t think “me” being a writer matters.
It wasn’t until today I realized just how low and powerless I’ve been feeling all this past year and it’s largely because I have Doctors and Psych Nurses who don’t really know me making judgments about my life based on one-hour conversations once a month.
I’m not allowed to leave the Province without permission and even though I’ve written a book, at any time I can be dragged back to the hospital for any reason.
That’s really frustrating because it feels like the world doesn’t believe in me. Today I had a migraine and I felt completely at a loss. I don’t take medication if I can avoid it except weed. Taking pills is a huge trigger for me, so I try to avoid them as much as possible.
I avoid a lot of things out of fear of triggers, cleaning is another big one for me though I don’t know why. There’s something about moving stuff that doesn’t need to be moved that really gets under my nerves.
I haven’t been working on my triggers, because I didn’t know I had them until I took the time to unpack them and every time I think I’ve dealt with one, I’ve found another.
That’s why I realized that being a Blogger, matters, because somewhere in the world there is a girl whose experiencing issues with their mental health, and they need to know they aren’t alone.
I am still looking for someone whose been declared psychotic after coming forward about gang rape, but I keep hoping that maybe if I keep talking about it, it’ll get better.
I wrote a book, and I don’t think I’ve taken time to really appreciate what an accomplishment that is, largely because until today I didn’t see my life as one having worth.
Even as I have been proclaiming from the rooftops that every life matters. So again I am reminded of men and women of war, who are doing everything they can to protect us in awesome amazing ways that we’ll only ever dream about by watching films or reading books.
I admire them and their sacrifices, even if I don’t necessarily agree with the finer points of their missions. And I realize that the part of me that wanted to be a Soldier who didn’t even get the opportunity to train, feels like she no longer matters because she didn’t fight for a living.
The thing is I survived more than twenty years of sexual abuse, and I need to keep telling myself that. I am a fucking warrior, even on days like today when I don’t fucking feel like being a Warrior. When I am tired and brought low by a migraine, and when PTSD is too strong, and when anxiety is too high…I am still a fucking warrior.
I fought my battles, not always cleanly and not always fairly, but I fought them none the less, and my life, my voice and my job as a Mental Health Blogger absolutely and utterly matter.
It is so important that we refuse to stop having these conversations with ourselves, that we take time to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come and I forgot that.
I am really proud I learned the lesson, but I really hate that in learning the lesson I hurt someone who used to have faith in me.
I don’t think I am being too hard on myself when I say that I am going to do better. I don’t think I am being too hard on myself when I say I should have learned this lesson a long time ago, I will be carrying it with me for the rest of my life.
Frustration comes with being someone who is anxious and tired all the time like me, but that doesn’t give us the excuse to lash out and hurt others. Your life matters not because you can hurt others, but because you can help lift others up. Your weapons may have changed over the years as you’ve gotten older and wiser, but they matter none the less.
My weapon is my voice, and today I used it to hurt an innocent. Tomorrow I will use it to help lift up others…and at the earliest opportunity, I will apologize to the person that I hurt, because that’s a part of being accountable, and that’s sort of my thing right now.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall