Okay so we all know I have been working super hard this year and last on this blog and on my mental health, we also know that I am the one CONSTANTLY telling y’all to take time for yourself and relax.
I know that it is absolutely imperative for our mental health for us to have time when we can just take time away from the world and you know what my favorite thing in the world to do?
Okay my second favorite thing after masturbation? It’s sleep. I love a good sleep, and not because the dream fairies come and take me to far away worlds and show me the majick in all the various dimensions and universes.
It’s because when I am asleep I am completely shut down. My brain isn’t thinking (usually) about trauma, or abuse, I am not emotional or angry, I am just “at rest,” and when I wake up from those times when I deliberately choose to sleep, I feel so refreshed and healthy and I need more of that.
Which is to say that I need better quality sleep. Part of that comes from taking the time to clean all the junk out of my room and recreate the sanctuary space I had a few years ago, but part of it is also just telling the darkness to shut the hell up.
For those of you who deal with traumatic memories, you know damned well – no matter where your trauma comes from – that your memories can be all consuming sometimes. Whether it’s a war zone or a kitchen floor, if you’ve been deeply and truly traumatized by an event in your life, those moments of peace can often be incredibly rare, and that can cause other issues in your life.
You don’t sleep well, you don’t eat well, you’re not taking care of yourself, and often times we’re afraid to go to sleep, because it’s in those moments when we’re trying to be quiet, calm, and deliberately relaxed, our memories can sometimes intrude on our space.
It’s our brain trying to tell us that we need to focus on the darkness, in order to exorcise it, but sometimes just because our brain wants something, it doesn’t mean that our hearts do.
Well today I said fuck that, last night I stayed up drawing until I passed out in bed, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t let my brain think about anything important, I didn’t answer my brain every time I heard “what are you drawing,” I just stayed quiet and drew and ended up drawing an image that looks a bit like dead pool smoking a pipe, why? because I fucking felt like it.
Drawing is something that I wasn’t able to do when I was younger, I even had a professional tattoo artist try to teach me to draw once, a couple of them actually, and I just couldn’t get into it.
For years I wanted to pick up a pencil and draw something, anything, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and lately it’s been a skill that I’ve been trying to develop, if only because honestly? It feels good.
I am afraid of a lot of things because of how I was raised and the things that I have seen from this planet, but for the first time in my life not only am I drawing, but I am sharing the drawings with the world through my Instagram account.
This isn’t because I am bragging, because I assure you, I am not the world’s best artist, it’s because what I am trying to say is, “look at what I’m doing,” and for some people like who cares right? Oh my God, it’s a bad drawing of Dead Pool, but for me? It’s an accomplishment because it’s something that I have always wanted to do, but never could.
For you it might jumping out of an plane, or climbing a mountain but for me, it’s drawing Dead Pool smoking a joint.
Some artists want to travel the world and to make art their number one focus, but for me it’s a tool in my toolbox of mental health skills.
There is a lot that I do not talk about through my writing, or my time on social media, a lot that I hold to my chest, but the more that I come out of my shell the more that I am becoming comfortable with letting myself, be my “self.”
I am hearing the story of Minerva, Minerva is a tree that is growing sideways from the ground, instead of up. It’s a willow tree near Trout Lake Vancouver. It’s a beautiful two hundred old tree, that blew over in a windstorm and kept blowing.
I’ve seen that tree exactly once in person and didn’t pay much attention at the time, but to see it on the television I am reminded that I am like a sideways growing tree.
One day I’ll be tall and giant and beautiful, but for today I am still just big sized, today I am just learning that some of the stuff that I am carrying isn’t mine to carry, isn’t mine to hold, and isn’t mine to suffer from.
It’s like when you go on a trip – you want to help your friends carry their luggage, but sometimes they show up with a hundred pounds when you’re only going away for a couple of days, plus you have your own thirty bag pound of luggage to carry.
When it happens once that’s no big deal, but when it happens more and more and more, eventually you’re carrying your own bags with a hop skip and a jump while your friend struggles, because eventually you start to realize you can’t keeping helping your friends out all the damned time.
This isn’t selfish, it’s fucking necessary, people need to learn to decide what’s worth bringing on their journey and what’s worth leaving at home, and honestly? I am one of those people who brings thirty pounds of luggage when I only need ten, but that being said I try my best, to carry my own shit, so to speak.
Sleeping in today was both a gift, and a necessary skill. I need to remind myself that no matter how heavy or strong this brand becomes, I still have to take time for myself to make sure that if I want it to be the best mental health brand on the planet, I am doing what I need to do, to show others that I am doing the work as well, not just talking about it.
Yes sometimes doing the work means cleaning the house taking out the garbage and taking care of the cats, and other times it means sitting on your ass watching Chris Pratt fight demons from outter space whose faces look like vagina’s in the middle of mensa season.
Whatever it is you are doing for your mental health, as long as you are making sure that you’re doing what you do need to do in order to feel good about yourself, so that you can be the best version of yourself, for those you love, damned well do it!
I used to turn up my nose at people who did yoga, because they have time to relax, and for years I didn’t, but I recognize that the reason they do yoga isn’t just because it’s a cool thing to do, it’s because they are intentionally taking the time to do what they need to do in order to reset their bodies, minds, and souls.
We often believe that sleeping in is lazy or selfish, especially if you are someone who has kids, or a person in your life who expects that you’re always going to be there to make breakfast or lunch or dinner. But what if you weren’t? What will they do when you’re not there?
Each of us are born to this planet with the expectation that we teach each other how to be the best version of ourselves, so from here on out I hereby challenge you to sleep in, whatever that looks like for you.
Maybe “Sleeping in,” looks like yoga, working out, reading, masturbating, whatever it is, take that time, enjoy that time, and do NOT give yourself permission to feel guilty for taking time for yourself to chill out and decompress from the world. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve it.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall