I don’t have a friggen wellness board to tell me how I am feeling or break down my emotions for me. I figure it out on my own, and maybe that’s the more difficult route, but it’s the route that makes sense to my brain.

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, and people all over the world use today to come out and share their survivor stories, offer hope, help, and inspiration, and give people the chance at a safe space if that’s possible. It can be a beautiful celebration of mental health, it’s also a bunch of bullshit because let’s be honest, Bell doesn’t really care.

It’s great advertising, that aside, today got me thinking about all of the people speaking out, all the ones who’ve waited all year to use THIS day, to share their thoughts, and feelings, with the world.

There are women out there who cannot speak out. Women out there who can’t just pack up and leave, either because they have no money, they are isolated from family, friends, and support systems, or because they are too afraid, there are millions of reasons that staying is better than leaving, and for you, I am so sorry.

I wish I could be the girl with the truck who could come and pick you up, pack up your stuff, and find you a new place to be. I wish I could help you grow from the hole that you’re living in so that you can find the solid footing you deserve to have.

I know what it feels like to be surrounded by abusive men and even abusive women, who push you down instead of lifting you up, and I know what it feels like to feel as if you’ll never escape.

I know what it feels like to watch my men friends hide their faces in embarrassment when their loved ones become abusive and cruel, and I know what it feels like to believe that no one will believe you.

Writing is my escape from the trauma of trying to survive it all. Putting it on the blog helps me to heal, and to escape from the fact that I can’t physically pack up and move to a new life and a new opportunity.

The responsibilities that tie me down are ignored when I am writing, and when I feel like I’ve written something someone else can understand and commiserate with, I feel like my work for the day is finished, so everything else feels easier.

Art helped me to find an escape that I didn’t know that I needed, I could say things when I was painting, that I didn’t know how to say in English. I cut myself off from that because it felt too vulnerable.

Looking at all the paintings, sitting them up around my living room, and finding space for them all was work. It was like looking at the inside of my mind and I got scared because I didn’t understand what I was seeing.

We’ve come a long way when it comes to conversations about mental health, and to all of you out there who are still struggling, I just want you to know I hear you. I may not always see you, but I hear you because I feel it too.

There is a very special river of grief that rolls through this planet, above the ground, beyond what we can see, that those of us who are suffering are all keenly attuned to. Our own natural empathic abilities keep us attuned, and because they do often life is overwhelming because we’re feeling our pain and the pain of those around us.

It can be too much for us to focus on healing when we know the pain, the tears, the misery, aren’t really ours, but feel like they are ours. I have -nothing- to be sad about, but because I’m so physically tired and tied down, my body is exhibiting feelings of sadness, as a way to explain that I’m tired.

Understanding where your emotions come from, why you’re feeling the way you feel, is a complete and total game-changer.

Understanding what words to use;

Trauma, Mental health, Rape, Torture, Trauma Bond, these words, in particular, have power that comes with them when you know how to use them. Rape is a form of torture, in itself, no is a full sentence. It’s empowering to know that.

Setting yourself free isn’t easy, it’s a mission, it’s a video game, it’s life or death for some folk, and I wish more people understood that without having to experience it or have it explained.

There are underground railroads even today designed to help women, children, and even some men, escape abuse, and they are super-secret specifically to keep people safe.

Life. or Death.

When we say mental health issues, that is what we mean, and if that’s you’re experiencing, I am so sorry and I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could do more than send love today, but just know, I’m thinking of you. I’m praying and hoping that it all works out and that you get the life you deserve to live at long last.

Devon J Hall

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