Day 5 Of My 2 Week Mental Institution Stay

May is Mental Health Awareness month and after coming across the journal I kept while being a resident of Compass Behavioral Health, almost three years ago, I’ve decided to share something.

I’ve never been hesitant to talk about me being in that place but I have been hesitant about talking about what went on in that place. The things I, as well as others experienced was just something I didn’t want to talk about. I used to think places like this were for the betterment of people like me-and while not everyone was horrible-I just don’t think that anymore.

This is a picture of my day 5 journal entry. ✍🏾

Here’s an excerpt,

“Speaking of writing, I was given the task of writing an inspiration quote on the whiteboard every morning. That gave me sooo much joy. Did they know I loved to write?”

I was still the new kid.
But for a moment I was on top of the world because even when I was at my lowest, people still wanted to hear what I had to say.

And I had written down quotes I thought of in preparation of writing them on the board every morning. Because ya know being prepared on a three meals a day/ forced interaction/ cigarette breaks kept me sane type schedule got me a fresh pair of socks 😉

And there was this one particular quote I created which was, “choosing to display your art even when it’s messy and colored outside the lines is such a beautiful thing to do. Replace the word “art” with “self” and I’d feel the exact same way.”

And when I went to erase it one of the other patients (who I by the way butted heads with on like my 2nd day there) asked me to wait a second and I looked down at what he was doing and why he wanted me to wait— well folks, he was writing my quote down. He wanted to remember my words.

Now he checked out of there before I did and I have no clue where he is or if he still carries around that piece of paper he wrote my words down on— BUT in that moment I told myself, “WRITING IS WHAT YOU WERE MEANT TO DO”

I’ve become okay with not being okay.
Because it is in fact okay to not be okay..
I just want people to know that when you find what you are passionate about-LET NO ONE try and convince you otherwise.
I don’t give a damn about popularity and likes and yadda yadda blah 😑
If it makes you happy, keep doing it.
People who truly love and support you will see the way you smile when you do the things you love and in return they’ll be all you ever need to just keep swimming.

Just keep swimming friends.
Until next time-keep writing ✍🏾🥀🖤

I see you, little one

With my son, I learned how to love.
But with my daughter, I am learning how to love myself.
.
.
I see how you look at me, little one
I see you studying my smile wondering just what it is that makes my cheeks crinkle
I see you stand there, little version of me—and I want to be better
So I am learning to
Crave my curves
Serenade my scars
And long for the lines that lay across my thighs
When I see you seeing me, I want my self love to scream out, “I am worthy no matter how I look”
I see how you look at me, little one
Your eyes house a sparkle you’d never find among the stars
And I will do whatever I can, to keep them sparkling forever.
.
.
.

the words i wrote for myself but not to myself

The end of the day can be such a bittersweet feeling, can’t it? You can feel relieved that the day is over, you AND your children have survived, and the house is finally quiet.

However, even with victory coursing through your veins it is almost impossible not to think about all the things you got wrong. Well, at least for me it is. You’d think I’d take the little time I do have where I can actually hear my own thoughts and actually revel in what could only be described as a win. I should be able to fall asleep effortlessly and dream nothing but magnificent dreams…

And when that happens, I’ll be sure to write a blog describing how I’ve transformed into an all mighty and powerful being who shits cupcakes and rainbows.

At this very moment, both of my kids are asleep in bed, I have a Friends episode playing in the background because it is my favorite type of white noise (no pun intended). You’d think I’d have nothing else to do other than sigh the joyous sighs of relief that no one is asking me where the other purple polka dotted sock that grandma got as a gift last Christmas is. While I am pretty damn happy no one is asking me that question…anymore, my mind still seems to run a mile a minute and I seem incapable of being able to stop and enjoy the stillness that embraces me.

I am my own worst enemy, and critic. I can’t help it. At the end of the day when I go over all the things I forgot to do, or better yet the things I did but failed at doing, it is no one else’s face that is looking back at me in the mirror. Instead, it is only mine. My face looking at all my failures and they all look the same, they all look like me. In these moments there are no words I could utter quietly to myself that could lift the weight from off my shoulders. It seems giving myself advice is the equivalent to my son actually listening to me when I tell him to clean his room, it just does not happen.

So because desperate times text for desperate measure (I know most people say desperate times call for desperate measures, however I actively avoid telephone calls so I went for what works for me) I decided to pretend a loved one came to me with this problem. See with me, I severely lack in the self love department, but tend to kick ass in being able to lend advice to those I love. To see those I love be able to thrive in the awesomeness that is them, keeps me going on days when I have nothing else.

My hope is in doing this or approaching it from this perspective, is that I am able to create something beautiful. Words I will be able to look back on when I need to remind myself that the love I pour out onto others, first needs to be poured onto myself. With that being said, here goes nothing…

To you who I love,

Think not about what you didn’t do or how you didn’t do it as good as you could have. Don’t think about how all you had to give your son for lunch was a pb&j but instead focus on how he told you that you were the best mom ever for fixing his pb&j the very specific way he liked it. Don’t let it discourage and stress you out thinking about how your toddler fought with all she had to go to sleep but instead think about how she rubbed your cheek gently when she finally decided to wave the white flag in defeat and closed her big beautiful eyes. Don’t focus on the plants that didn’t grow today, but instead replay the memories you made planting seeds with the people you love. My love, focusing on how hard the rain falls from the sky will cause you to miss out on the opportunity to dance freely in the rain, so freely you don’t even notice the tears falling from your eyes releasing all that once held you down.

So today sucked. Well, I hate to be the one to tell you my dear but odds are that tomorrow will suck too and it is because it may suck just as bad as today that it is necessary to forgive yourself for whatever went wrong. Let your failures be your success story. Let your doubts be the reassurance that you care deeply. Stop giving yourself such crazy expectations attached with even crazier limitations. Your soul has to rest before the next race and even then prepare to be extremely proud of yourself even if all you walk away with is a third place ribbon. Let those ribbons be the stepping stones to your gold medal.

So you failed today, just promise yourself that tomorrow you will fail even better. Before you know it your heart will be heavy no more.

Love Always,

candice.