Today I listened to a song by the band Sublime. Many of you may be too young to remember them, but they were a great ska band from the 90s, most people slept on them, but those that refused to were obsessed.

The song was called The Date Rape Song, and it reminds me of a time when I was being abused. I don’t know why but that summer I heard the song more than a dozen times. And it reminded me that even in my funniest moments, music, scent, sound, any tiny thing, can drag me screaming right back to where I used to be, in the worst way.

I’m doing the work alone, like many people my age. We’re just starting to figure out the connection between what happened back then, and the effects that whatever we went through, might have had on our current existence.

It can be exhausting to remember to feel it all, to feel like you’re being drowned by darkness while all those who can do something, either don’t know how to help you or are too afraid to try.

I say this because I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I want you to help me fix it.

The mental health community as an “industry,” is failing just as hard as the cannabis industry or any other industry on the planet, but that’s because for too long we slept on the ideas that would have changed lives and allowed us all to heal safely.

Children, in particular, are susceptible to adults who aren’t safe, and so we need to ensure that they have the tools they need to vocalize what they are feeling.

An organization called NACoA has a list of 12 steps for children who grow up with an issue of addiction in their lives – either because of themselves or the others in their world. This is a really great start in explaining to youth and to teaching them that they have choices and power even when they feel they don’t.

The steps in this list are all about keeping a list of what is controllable and what is not, and even as adults, this is a really great way to remind ourselves there are things that we can control while teaching us what we need help with.

Writing it down helps us focus on what needs to get done vs what’s already done, and it makes it easier to function when we have something in paper and ink or desktop and code that helps us move forward and past the things holding us back.

Here are some questions to ask yourself each day to help you figure out where you are on your own journey:

  1. How are you feeling today?
  2. What are you struggling with?
  3. What can you absolutely do on your own?
  4. Will five minutes of doing it yourself make a difference? Even a small one?
  5. Would 15 minutes working with someone else help?
  6. How can they help?
  7. What if they start in one corner and you start in the other?

These are simple reminders that if we make a list and tackle one thing at a time it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it seems, but yes I know this is coming from someone who is frustrated because they can’t clean their room, but that’s why I’m writing this.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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