The last time I said I was magic, I was wearing stoplight red lipstick, black eye makeup, hair ignited as the suited doctor sat across from me and calmly asked
“April do you believe you are magic?”
“Yes,” I said as I smiled wide, put my fingers out to the sides and wiggled them
Well, who knew magic could cause so much trouble
That was my first time locked away.
And guess what, I found out quickly I was not magic
High above the city, I couldn’t Houdini myself out of that glass box ward that took my breath away
Now I know science is a thing
And I’m glad it is because science/medicine helped fix my brain… somewhat.
However, lulled on lorazepam to take the delusional magic away.
I leaned on the large glass window; barren face pressed to the coolness my hands trembling. I looked over the city, the beautiful living city, with snow falling so perfectly I felt that was true magic.
It was falling
It wasn’t crashing
The snow danced down onto solid ground.
A place I now wanted to be.
Wanting to live became my new magic….
It has been 8 years since that moment.
Five and some years to get back up
Different hospitals, different pills, a wee bit shock therapy
But the biggest change happened when I changed my perspective of this world.
I get up early now, enjoying the solitude now that it is a choice. I listen to music that sounds like falling snow, the dreamy kind that dances, mimicking the melody as I type.
I didn’t use to like the quiet/aloneness because my treacherous thoughts were so loud
but over these trying years
I have listened when I couldn’t speak and I hear and see so much wisdom and grace.
I know as you read this your thoughts may be loud, you may hurt, you may be where I was and still go sometimes….but please read on
Let’s start with you are beautiful.
So fabulously beautiful!
Not the frivolous smoke and mirrors kind, but your heart. Even if you don’t think it’s working
Place your hand on your chest …do you feel it? That is your life, your life to change, mend, to strive to do something powerful.
You are not your illness.
It is just genetic, tragedies, an accident that created it, but you get to create you, isn’t that amazing!?
You didn’t get a choice of the other things, but you get to choose what you make of yourself. It took me awhile to understand this, because who was I without the tragedy, bipolar, OCD, epilepsy, and chronic pain? Because while being treated for those I lost track of who I was. Appointments took over my life, so I began to make appointments to find myself again. I went to coffee alone, I read, I took long needed showers and baths; I walked with my face in the sun. I walked in the snow. I wrote, I painted
I created me.
And you can too.
You will hear lots of things like “you just have to try harder,” “you should smile,” “you should get out more,”
Let me say this.
You are trying, even when you open your eyes, so start from there and build on that.
Not everyone is going to “get “how hard it is just to get up.
For years, I was so angry with people and I held onto that and guess what anger and healing do not go hand in hand. So I began explaining myself and if people understood great, if they did not, it was not my responsibility.
I had to leave behind those that did not validate my recovery, as wellness of spirit became my full-time job. I surrounded myself with people who loved me through everything, people of integrity, kindness, and honesty.
You need to make goals achievable. At first, I made these grandiose goals while housed in a hospital room, it’s only natural to dream that big when feeling so small but I was sabotaging my health and wellness.
I started small, showering, makeup, walking. Then those actions, goals snowballed and somewhere in-between trying my hardest just to live, living became automatic and I began achieving bigger goals.
Now I still stumble, sometimes my brain and heart say “oh no not today” so I go back into that automatic mode and try again.
Always try again.
Because inside of me somewhere (that has yet to be found on any scan)
There is the belief that the impossible is possible.
Last week before I entered the place that housed me and my depression, now the place I teach art (that was an unexpected goal) .
I stopped before I entered
As the snow fell immaculately
Fell slowly enough I could catch it.
Fell as though it were not coming from the sky
But from a place of wonderment
With my hair half wild, half pinned back
I smiled wide
And thought today, tomorrow and all the days I have left I will ignite them with purpose
Even if it is simple as smiling at a stranger, getting up on hard days
I will strive to create the magic that is
Fingers out to the sides
(I just won’t get caught this time.)