For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide

For my fellow survivors on World Suicide Prevention Day.

The first year after my suicide attempt, I felt unstoppable. It was a Phoenix Year from which I emerged deeply in love with life, with my goals, with a man who looked at me like the sun rose and set in my eyes, and with my resilience. I’d looked death in the eye and emerged victorious. I wasn’t a victim. I was a warrior, capable of surviving whatever storm life brought my way.

As the years went by, that power slowly became more difficult to access. The life I’d envisioned in my recovery, the future that kept me moving toward the light, crashed and burned. The relationship exploded. Making myself vulnerable to public critique via writing became exhausting. My adrenaline-fueled go-getter attitude dissolved and my natural tendencies toward introversion resurfaced. Things went dark and I was once again confronted with the same demons whose graves I’d happily danced over two years prior.

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For Colored Girls Driven Crazy by Their Attempts to Stay Sane

Talking about darkness and intensity is easy.

I can come here and intellectualize my difficulties, long after they’ve ended. I can make beauty out of rage, anxiety, lust, and compulsion. When I write about it, I’m the observer; detached from the chaos. I’m the reporter.

Who I’m not is the person who cries herself to sleep because the thought of facing the day ahead terrifies me. I’m not the person who spends hours talking myself down from the cliffs created in my head. I’m not the girl desperately hiding her phone to turn off frantic analysis of text messages and Instagram posts. Writing the words, staring at my computer screen keeps me from venturing into the dirty kitchen I’m two to three weeks behind on cleaning. With my fingers on the keyboard, I am in control.

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