I am surviving major depression interrelated with a severe anxiety disorder. I recognize when I'm in panic now, and even though fear drives itself to the front of my brain during these spells; there's an authority that breathes me safely to the other side. I've tested the weight of my condition through some of the ugliest days of my life, and I know with ease that they
CAN'T kill me. They WON'T. I smiled when I wrote that last sentence.
Butterscotch Blossom was written carefully, and sometimes reluctantly, by me pulling out accounts that were hiding in my mind. I needed these truths to safely land in a place where I feel like they will be the most helpful. Writing this book gave me new, fresh feelings about things that happened in my life, even things that were awful. My prayer is that through my own revealing of mental health conditions, and personal sufferings, that someone else is gifted with the courage to talk about their own stories so that there is a wave of mental relief, and so the healing journey keeps going.
I know from day-to-day living how it feels to try to process a mental illness with present events, the political agenda and tone, all while trying to look "normal" to the world around you with there being so many untrue stigmas attached to people with mental health difficulties. This feeling is overpowering. It's scary. But in these words, I write to provide you with hope, that even in the most life shaking circumstances and feelings, you are in every moment a warrior. You ARE lovely while you manage your ailment, and you are not crazy.
I'm constantly changing the channel in my mind and altering the negative stories I voice into something positive. I do this as many times as I need to. Through social interaction with my family and acquaintances; I know a great deal of people don't understand severe anxiety, or how it leads to a mental forecast in favor of depression, sporadic behavior, and suicidal thoughts.
I've been able to get to a place where I don't feel like my anxiety and depression are my enemy any more, but they're not my friends either. So, I call them my neighbors. I walk around sometimes, and I can feel my "neighbors" resting in my hands when I can't keep them still. Sometimes I can sense my neighbor on the top of my tongue waiting to reveal itself violently through very harsh speaking towards people I love. I know when my condition is standing on my eyelids on the days where I feel so heavy I don't want to get out of bed at all.
Butterscotch Blossom is a true story. Here you'll read poetry entries that will describe some of the most beautiful, and most traumatic things that have happened to me. This piece of work is not a guide to how you should treat your own condition, as I am very much still managing my own the best way I know how; changing when I need to. I still have ups and downs. View this if you would instead as me relating to my sisters and brothers who have a mental illness, and as a great piece of information to those who seek to understand us better.
Writing saved me. It flourished the life in me.
When I couldn't find my voice, my pen and journal were my only audience. They offered me a microphone, on paper.
Writing has allowed me to release many waves of sorrow, shame, lessons of joy, and victory.
My journals, notebooks, and scrap sheets of paper received my heart's song so beautifully. In and under these words I found a safe place; a place full of purpose, and divine transparency.
In and through every written message, journal, or thought that I share; I pray a world of people will heal, laugh, and blossom with me.
-Til the moon beams
"No one can take you out of this life, not even yourself. I have a plan for you, and you will live and not die."