You cannot have my sanity.
As I sit here with an empty bank account, surmounting debt, and a Master’s Degree that does not guarantee me a career, you may think you have defeated me. As I lay awake each evening plagued by insomnia, my mind is working on it’s escape from your grasp.
There have been times when it seemed I’d fallen completely victim of your trickery. The adolescent version of myself would etch carvings into her skin as reminder of her mortality. You kept her company and gave her comfort; but, please don’t mistake the union as something that was welcome. She fought you everyday and drowned out your persuasive whispers with every drag of the blade.
You see, the scars left behind remind me that I am still here despite the pain I’ve let others bring me – despite the control you may believe you had over me.
Make no mistake that your companionship is unwelcome. Though I may allow you to envelope me in your embrace, I am not yours. Despite the lulling sound of your melancholy melody, the song of my ambition crescendos over you.
There are things you cannot take from me for they are not tangible and you can never poison them with your touch. I love myself, my mind, and my child. I shield him from your presence and mask the pain that you bring so that you may never seep into his soul. I am not feigning happiness when I smile at him; you can never have my smile.
I look forward to the day that you finally leave me. Until then, I will persevere with every breath left inside of me. It’s not just about me anymore and I refuse to let you steal any remaining joy. So, I hang on to each day’s silver lining until those moments outweigh anything you can place on my heart.
I am stronger than you. My continuing existence attests to my strength.
Mental health is IMPORTANT! It's okay not to feel okay, but do not stay there. Seek help. Talk to someone you trust. Find an outlet for your pain so you can identify the source of the issue and eradicate it. Better days are ahead for all of us. You have to believe that and search for positivity and happiness in everything you encounter. We may not can choose what happens to us but we can choose how we respond.
By Jasmine Hernandez via EIC Regina Burris