“i had to learn the reality of loving myself unconditionally… for better or worse. through the calamity and/or happy ‘me.’ i was forced to love all of me, entirely, regardless of all the reasons why someone else couldn’t. regardless of every flaw that i allowed to have power over me.”
— An excerpt from i love my love by Reyna Biddy.
At some point in time, life has thrown us all for a loop. The most fascinating part? We all deal with turbulence differently. A life event that may seem large to one person, may seem small to another and while there really is no rule book on how to cope with the curveballs that life inevitably throws at you, there are methods you can use to avoid daily strikeouts.
Hearts get broken — and while it seems that trial and error gets way too old, way too quick, I’ve learned that sometimes you have to just read between the lines of life. I was 23 when I experienced the most tragic loss that, so far in my lifetime, has been the hardest for me to deal with. The loss of a loved one is never by any means an easy thing to experience, but for me, losing my only sister was, well, earth shattering.
My earth was shattered in an instant. I was 600 miles away on vacation and on bad terms with my sister, my best friend and my mentor, when I got the phone call. Instant shatter.
No matter what you hear in forums and psychology textbooks, life doesn’t just simply “go on.” It’s not something you just “get over” and for me, there is no chart that my therapist could casually just place me on without it resulting in me telling him to “F*ck off.” So, how do you do for your mental health what others can’t do for you?
It’s a question that can never have a right or wrong answer, but a question that I am going to invest in answering to the best of my ability – and not from the mentality of the guy you’re paying $140 an hour to evaluate ‘why’ you’re crazy.
Reading is healing.
I discovered something I was never really too sure of before; you don’t have to be you when you’re reading. When you read something — no matter what it is — you’ve suddenly jumped into the mind of another, into the heart of another, and potentially (depending how spiritual you are), even into the soul of another.
I came across a poet named Reyna Biddy, who’s spoken word poetry I first heard on Soundcloud. I eventually purchased her book, “i love my love,” filled with prose poems and sonnets to temporarily take me out of my reality.
The best part, to me, about poetry is that it’s open to interpretation. The way a person envisions and interprets a certain line can (and usually is) completely different than the way that you or I may view it. Don’t prefer poetry? That’s fine, you don’t have to. Step into a library or bookstore and go wild, you never know what healing you might read into that day.
Time brings healing, and while the scars never truly go away, passing time will help make them fade – even if it’s just a little. Take the time out of your day to remove yourself from you. Take the time to read something that interests you, something that intrigues you, something that motivates you – and just because you’re re-learning how to be you, doesn’t mean that you can’t take some soul searching breaks in between.
Column by Samantha Guy