Gratitude

22/365

Private places to cry.


Safe spaces.


Andrew, Mason, and my parents.

Autobiography · Mental Health

Mile Markers

I try hard to find events I need to attend. Milestones I want to see. Thanksgiving, the birth of my best friend’s baby, a trip to Minneapolis. I search for anything that is too important to miss. My three-year sober anniversary, teaching winter term, moving in with Andrew. There is always beauty to anticipate. I just have to find it. And like Sage Francis said, “If you snoop around long enough for something in particular you’re guaranteed to find it.”

So I keep looking. And I keep hushing down the part of me who says I’ll never find them.

Photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder.

Autobiography · Mental Health

Backward

We get coffee while it’s dark out. Our reflections bouncing off the window back at us. The barista plays a Dashboard Confessional album I haven’t listened to since about 2004. He hadn’t either. Something in the air made him want to put it on. Something about the mood. Like we are all going backward.

I remember what it felt like to be in high school. Remember the growing pains. Journal after journal filled with questions about how to survive, but no answers. Just postpone. Always just postpone.

My sister tells me that suicide does not put an end to pain, it just transfers it. And that’s the only thing that has ever really sunk in. I can’t imagine making someone feel the way I feel.

But there are also moments. While we share our warm drinks. While I answer customer questions at work. While I walk with music blasting through headphones. While we drive home at 3 AM singing loud to pop songs. Andrew’s head resting on my lap while I write this.

There is still goodness out there. There is still goodness in here. We haven’t lost it all yet. Maybe we never will.

Photo courtesy of Alex Wong.