fucking finally

You better believe I’ve posted a picture of a pineapple perched on top of an ocean rock. It’s been that kind of week.

The past six months have been nothing short of horrible, and I finally feel as if I’m climbing out from under the rubble. When I moved to Los Angeles, I had no idea that I’d have to confront all of my losses, which had been slowly mounting. I hadn’t realized that I was approaching the middle of my life and I needed a change, a new course of direction. Instead, I spent the past year myopic, driven toward a single goal: leave New York, and it hadn’t occurred to me that I’d arrive here and have to sit with my losses spread out in front me, alone, confused, in complete quiet. It’s kind of like sitting naked in a room surrounded by mirrors and you’re forced to confront your most raw, unattractive, and frightened self. And you look at the person rising up in front you and the one behind and beside you, and for the first time you look around and haven’t a clue as to what to do.

And then depression. And then the realization that some friendships can’t survive geography. And then the fear that I will always, in some way, define myself in the context of my mother.

Last week a friend warned me about what I choose to share online. He came from a kind and concerned place and said that some hands are worth holding close simply for the reason that people don’t know how to handle discomfort. They don’t want the burden of one’s sadness. And I considered what my friend said and told him that while it appears that I share a great deal online, I don’t. I’m surgical about what I share and do so because if words have the propensity to make someone feel less alone, then I’ll keep writing them until all the pens run out. I don’t care if people don’t like me or what I say, rather I care more about people who’ve been forced to suffer privately or feel the stigma that accompanies addiction or mental illness. Over the past six months, I’ve been a voyeur in other people’s lives–reading blog posts documenting their constant struggle or scrolling through their photos as they try to survive their day without screaming into pillows. I drew comfort from this because it reminded me that there are others. And while this is captain obvious, you’d be surprised how swiftly and often we forget. How we believe that our pain is an anomaly, that our suffering is singular and acute.

One night last month I wrote a post that I subsequently deleted–one where I shared that I no longer feared death, and wouldn’t it be easier if I took my own life? I then went to bed, oblivious to the panic I’d created amongst my closest friends, and I woke the next morning to a slew of messages. My oldest friend called me from work and I could hear the pain in her voice and the difficulty she had in assembling her words. Listening to her, I tried to arrange my face in the shape of fine but the shape wouldn’t take and my voice shook, and I promised to return to therapy because I loved her and it killed me that I was hurting her. When I hung up I wanted the love I had for her to eventually become a love I would reserve for myself.

Whenever you think life doesn’t get better, it does. Eventually. I can’t go on, I’ll go on.

Last night I spent an evening with old and new friends and I was comforted by how freely we spoke about politics, mental illness, familial anguish and discord, and addiction. There was no shame, only laughter between people who had gone through war and sometimes knew they’d have to dress their wounds. We are the bandages that we wrap around our hurt selves. We are our urgent care.

Then I thought about my friend who told me to play my cards close and now I shake my head. No. Fuck no. If someone reads what I write here and judges me for being human, for trying to take my life back and live it–that’s not someone whom I want to know. I’m finally, slowly (snail’s pace, people) getting back on track. I’m in the contract phase for a new project, with a list of good leads coming in. I’m hosting my first dinner party next week for old and new friends in Los Angeles. I’m volunteering at Kitty Bungalow, helping feral kittens get adopted. I’m reading and writing. I’m more present for my new friends, and I’m doing everything I can to help those who are struggling since I’ve been humbled by those (strangers and close friends) who’ve extended me their heart, compassion, and care.

And when have I ever played a straight hand? I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I feel good. I have hope.

If your words have the capacity to shake someone, to comfort someone, use them. Keep writing, keep talking, keep texting, keep caring because we all walk quietly through this world bearing varying degrees of struggle. Why not be empathetic? Why not pause and care and not immediately judge or dismiss? Why not say: What can I do? How can I help?

Because I’ve been there. Or simply, because I care.


30 thoughts on “finally!

  1. Nicely written. Your feelings are commendable in the sense one need to get into the depth of one’s pain. It’s quite difficult though, but when ensured, provides a new lease of life. Wishing a great weekend and grand success for your dinner party.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So glad to hear things are brighter! And I agree – we shouldn’t be silent just because we are suffering. You’ve been brave to share your life and struggles on here. I think being real and reaching are necessary for getting to the other side.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Please, keep sharing. The good, the bad, the ugly. Life is like that, and it’s great to know you are feeling better. Best of luck with the contract and the dinner party!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When you decide, I hope you’ll write about your menu, as well as the fun you’ll have with friends. I don’t entertain, so I live vicariously… Can’t wait to read all about it! 🙂


  4. Thank you for your honesty. You are inspiring to me for the same reasons! And I don’t even know you….
    I am so glad things are looking better in your world. I wish all the best for you. You are working so hard and really deserve a break!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with Gail. It has been great following you these past months. I’ve been there as well and began writing about my pain. But it was a pain my daughter couldn’t bear and she dumped me. I’ve been suffering the pain of losing her these past three months but I’ve finally moved on to work on my own healing. Bravo Felicia. I’m sure your process will help many going through their own pain. Have a wonderful dinner party and don’t ever stop sharing your gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are absolutely right! Everyone has some struggle in life and to be open helps the healing process. I struggle with depression and anxiety on a near daily basis since I was about 19 and hope to, one day, show people that you can crawl out from behind that rock of safety and continue to live. Keep writing! It is more freeing to yourself and helpful to others than anyone could ever understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing. Sharing takes courage. For everyone who does choose to show their vulnerability to others, there’s too many others reading in silence. But the sharing gives us hope and solidarity and community, which is what we need more of always. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I applaud you for hanging in there and hopefully the sun will keep shining on you. I also applaud you for sharing and being open about who your are. I chose to do my blog with my identity secret so that no one would know who I truly was. I can share what I want without repercussions on my personal life. And it is nice to see Captain Obvious from time to time going through the same struggles. I wish you the best and keep sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I greatly appreciate that you write your truth. I have been struggling mightily with this, and it’s kept me from blogging at all. I would like to think I would take the same stance as you did when confronted by someone who warns you about how much you are sharing, but that is pretty much my worst fear that I haven’t been able to get over – someone calling me out for sharing too much on the internet. Ugh. Anyway, I’m happy to see you are doing a bit better – are you still leaving California or maybe staying for a while longer? I have loved living vicariously through your photos and stories of SoCal, which is where I want to end up eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to hear that! From what I’ve read on your blog you seemed very happy there these last few months, despite what has been happening. I bet it has something to do with all that sunshine and those palm trees 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so good; I know I’m a complete stranger to you (as opposed to any other kind of stranger…) but it is so good to hear you’re getting life together. What you write is so positive, so real and so raw. Thank you for sharing. We all need authentic humans and authentic voices; it’s hard to breathe sometimes when folk expect perfection from forms constructed from dust

    I particularly love that you finish with:

    ‘If your words have the capacity to shake someone, to comfort someone, use them. Keep writing, keep talking, keep texting, keep caring because we all walk quietly through this world bearing varying degrees of struggle. Why not be empathetic? Why not pause and care and not immediately judge or dismiss? Why not say: What can I do? How can I help?

    Because I’ve been there. Or simply, because I care.’

    From someone who struggles with depression and has had suicidal thoughts in the past: thank you. You are a breathe of fresh air. Thank you. We all need an ear that hears and to know that someone else is also singing the song of those who are broken yet surviving and getting their shit together. So, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, Felicia. Do you know how inspirational you are? I wish we knew each other in real life because I would give you a hug and buy you a donut and tell you thank you. I’ve always thought of you as someone who never held back, who put her truths out there not for herself, but to show others that you can make it through their personal darkness. Thanks for being you and speaking/writing your truths.


  12. Huh, I must have missed that other post…
    While from what you’ve written it seem like your friend was giving you advice from a place of good intention, I think you’re right not to stop expressing what you feel. Sometime the only path to working through something involves taking a thorough look at it, and writing about it can help do that. You’ve got to do what it takes to keep moving forward, whatever that is.


  13. oh, I love this post. came across this at random. so beautifully written and just what i needed to read right now.


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