My talented and amazing sister has given me permission to post some of her innermost thoughts to share with others. I am sure there are others that will be able to relate. Hopefully, see is willing to share more of her work with us. Thank you Kia!!

Healing From a Turtle’s Perspective

When I was small, I had dreams and goals. Like most kids back then, I believed I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up even if it changed over time. I was more brave and determined back then. I wanted to be somebody. I was going to be somebody. Nothing was going to stop me.

But I am not small anymore. Those dreams that this child had back then seems like memories from a stranger now. Memories of a time so long ago that it no longer feels real to me anymore. I don’t know this child anymore.

It is hard because most of the time I forget who I was then. That was me, but it doesn’t feel like me.

This is what mental illness does to you. This is what almost twenty years of severe depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts do to you. No one who has never suffered from any form of mental illness will ever understand what it feels like. What it feels like to have a shitty memory. All those childhood memories you made stole from you. You wanting to cry because you don’t remember faces of those you loved and cared about.

No one will ever understand what it is like to want to die but being too scared to die. No one will understand what it is like to watch yourself fade away. You wanting to sleep but never wake up because you don’t want to face the fact that your life is shit.

Your health starts to fall apart and there you are just looking at your house of cards fall.

This is my life. My daily existence.

This is what hell feels like for me. When your body is your prison and you can’t escape.

In two weeks, it will be my birthday. A day of celebration. A day to celebrating surviving and existing. A day when I came to exist in this world.

I already know it is going to be hard for me. I will be reminded of my past and an uncertain future. I will have to face the elephant in the room. I will have to accept things that I could not control. I will have to forgive myself for the mistakes I made and time lost. I will cry. I will be angry. I want to scream at the top of my lungs and unleash all the trauma of my life. I will feel like I have been hit by a bus after all the feelings rise and go. I will have to pick up the broken pieces of me.

But I made a promise to myself and only to myself. My promise was to face the trauma and choose healing. I chose healing for myself. Anyone that has ever hurt me will not matter because I am more important.

I want to make it to 30. That will be a big age for me.

I am not in denial about my mental state. To be honest, I believe everyone around me are in denial of it. But just because I smile doesn’t mean I am happy. Sometimes it is the only way I can make it through. But I no longer will fake it. Instead I will have to make people uncomfortable by showing what it looks like.

Ableism, Mental Illnesses, Racism, Capitalism, Ageism. These things have been trying to kill me constantly in these years. It makes it hard to navigate this thing called life. They make it hard to be honest about my needs and healing. Being mentally ill can be ugly. Really ugly. It is not pretty or fun. It makes me feel small. It makes me feel like a freak at times.

This past full moon, I made a list of intentions for this year. I try to look at this list as much as I can so I can remember what I need and want out of this life. Remaining focus on a goal or two is my way of taking control of my life. I remain optimistic that I will be able to be better for me.

So I will be turn 27 years old soon. It has been a journey.

If someone was ask me where do you see yourself in five years, I would say I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball nor can I see the future. I can only see today. Tomorrow is never promised.

What do you want to be when I grow up? Don’t know. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter anyway. What matters is navigating life at the best of your ability.

I just started to heal at 25. I am learning new things about myself everyday. It feels like I am a teenager again. I am being the teenager that I never got to be. This teenager is angry, stubborn and determined. I have to calm them sometimes. But I love it.

My personality is finally starting to form and that beautiful, broken mind is starting to shine. I am feeling emotions I never allow myself to feel. I am thinking and saying things I would always hold in or hide.

Depression stole my memories and emotions from me. But I am slowly taking them back. Little by little. I will probably never recover all that I lost. But that is okay. What matters is that I am choosing to fight back. I am doing my best right now.

This week was bad for me. But I survived it. I hope to continue to for years to come.

Healing will take my whole lifetime. It will not be quick. I will not be ready for everything all at once.

Instead, I have to take my time and focus on one thing at a time.

At the moment, I am a turtle surrounded by hares. But I can only go at my own pace.

So to anyone suffering like me, you are not alone. I am here for you. Take all the time you need.

I love you.

Kiara Ford- Writer, Poet, Artist


Kiara Illustrations

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