This post is dedicated to my new friend and follower @SavvyWroteThat on Twitter. Long may you Reign.

I posted this question today and my friend Savannah responded and honestly that’s what 2021 was about for me. I was surviving, and in 2022 I want to thrive.

I Need to dance my loves, I need to sing at the top of my lungs and be around people again, I have fucking had it with this stupid ass pandemic. I’ve been patient, I’ve been mostly kind, and I am done. The powers that be need to take their stupid ass diseases and put them back in the fucking ground. And while we’re at it, if archeologists could stop pulling this crap out of the earth that’d be great too.

There are days when we think we can’t take anymore, and then ten years go by and we see something amazing that we did, or someone tells us something, and it reminds us that we’re on the exact right path. That happened last night when someone named C reached out to me. They needed to speak on some stuff, and we talked and as much as this person tells me that I was able to help them, they helped me even more, because I had LITERALLY said “no one gives a shit about me,” just a few hours before.

This was someone I got to watch grow into a really cool person, but we hadn’t spoken in a few years, and they with their struggles, reminded me, that I have a purpose on this planet, and while I hope I was able to help them, they saved my life last night.

I’m not saying I was suicidal, for the record, but what I am saying is that I will remember yesterday’s conversation for the rest of my life, it’s a building block, a reminder, “you are wanted here, you are needed here, this is proof because this person needed you.

This coming year, I am going to release some of the pressure that I’ve been putting on myself. My house is STILL A MESS, going into 2022, but today I am going to make a concentrated effort to clean up some of it because I want to go into the new year with a little less mess this one than I had last year.

Abundance is a funny thing, I asked for abundance last year, but I APPARENTLY wasn’t clear. I want to make money this year, and not because I need to validate my work, but because I want to expand what it is that I am doing.

I want to take an addiction and recovery course because I know that I have 18 years of experience, but I also want to learn whatever it is they are teaching those who work with those who have addictions. I want to be able to combat what they are teaching with my own experience and knowledge, and in order to do that, I have to go back to school.

By knowing what they are teaching, I will be better able to help those who are struggling, because I know from personal experience that while addiction may not be a choice, the first act of picking up a drug you know can and will destroy your life is. If I can come up with better solutions, then I can help more people.

There are days when we think “okay well it’s just one,” but then one turns into a thousand, and a thousand turns into being in places we don’t want to be. The wake-up call often comes when we’ve burned all our bridges, and made all the same mistakes we promised we’d never make again.

These issues are things that I know precisely how to deal with because I’m living with them myself. The inability to invite anyone into my life because I am afraid of what they’ll say or what they will do if I give them a tiny amount of power in my life is an addiction trauma response. Too many times my life has intersected with people who struggle with addictions, for me not to see that my place is in this world. In this planet, helping those who are still struggling, but before I can do any of that, I have to help myself first.

Too many times I’ve seen people try to help others before they are ready, and before they know it, the same people trying to help are the ones needing help, and so that’s why this year I am absolutely going to give myself grace.

In the last four years, my focus has been on building a brand SPECIFICALLY to prove that I am fine, that everything is okay, and that my life isn’t on fire. In 2022, I am going to focus on actually healing.

I want to get back into dancing, if only for myself. I want to get back into walking and hiking, and maybe even put down a few more cigarettes than I smoke. This year I am going to stop stressing about what other people think about my mental health and I am going to get really fucking honest.

This whole year people have been praising athletes for coming out and talking about their mental health while the rest of us are shaking our heads in disgust because when WE the AVERAGE say we need mental health time, we’re often ignored, isolated, and left on our own to figure out how not to drown.

I am going to get louder about mental health, for those who do not have the world watching, because those are the people who need more help – not the most help, but more.

We, the average, under-educated, under-protected, and served, of our communities, need more help because they aren’t getting the help they need to begin with. Too many people are focused on the rich and pretty and as much as I want to be both of those things, it’s more important to me that when I get wherever it is I am headed, I allow myself the ability to remember where I started.

These days it’s too easy to say “I’m stressed,” when what you really mean is “I’m dealing with complex PTSD due to childhood trauma and abuse that I am only just now beginning to discover.

And even when you do say that often times people don’t understand that you are and were, literally fighting a battle that everyone watched you fight from the outside, but did nothing to help you fight.

So now we have a society of people who think they are broken when in reality too many of us are far more normal than we have any real right to be.

Baby, you aren’t broken. You are evolving, into something bigger, stronger, and more powerful than you can imagine. You are forging your own path, building a weapon out of everything you were, are, and could be. You are Michael’s flaming sword. – Devon J Hall

I am for all my bravado, for all my loudness, am not that original. I am not the first person to dissect their own mental health for the public to watch and witness, but I am the first to do it under THIS banner, the first to encourage others to get seriously loud, about all the stuff that humanity expects us to remain silent about.

There are things in my past that I’ve done that I really want to do again, like Pretty Panties – which was an art project I did at New West Pride several years ago. Everyone got a single pair of brand new panties, and they painted them. They came up with some really cool designs, and it was a fun way to get to know my neighbors. I want to do that kind of stuff, and in order for that to happen, I have to stop expecting that the rest of the world is going to validate me and get honest about the fact that for too long, that’s precisely what I’ve been looking for.

2022 is less than 24 hours away, and this year I am not looking for anyone to validate me or my journey. I validate myself.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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