A Brief(ish) Word on my Voices of the Year Reading

Standing on stage, reading those words, is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done.

My Voices of the Year Piece

Ever.

I mean, I acknowledge it’s a well-written piece, one I am immensely proud of having written, having pressed published, having shared, having submitted for VOTY, having won.

But.

Sending the girl with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and bouts of depression up on stage to talk about suicide seems like a recipe for disaster. Because I would rather talk about anything that suicide. I would rather talk about menstrual cycles and puberty with boys and Calculus and the weird orange mold spores that grew on our back deck than stand in front of a group of my peers and colleagues and talk about the things I struggle with mental health wise. To talk about the times I’ve felt worthless and hopeless. To talk about the times I wanted to die.

On Stage

But there’s a reason it wasn’t my happy posts that were picked. Not a piece about mothering the heck out of my beloved boys. Not a piece about the grief and loss that come with being a birth mother involved in an open adoption. Not a piece about writing or running or marriage or love or anything in between.

It was this piece.

Because it needs to be read. Out loud. We need to talk about the bridge that is any bridge, the space that is any space, those feelings that we’re told to keep quiet, keep silent, keep hidden. When I arrived at the Grand Ballroom, nearly in tears and having been sick with nerves for an hour and a half prior, Elisa Camahort Page took me aside and told me that my piece, well-written, had been picked because just as people needed to read it, people needed to hear it. Out loud. And then I tried not to cry some more.

And so it is my honor to have stood before you and shared those words with you tonight. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your tweets, your photos, your Facebook statuses. Thank you for coming up to me and saying, “Well done.” But mostly, thank you for sharing your stories. We are not alone in this. We are never alone in this.

With My Piece

It is also my duty to tell you that if you are struggling with suicidal feelings, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone. And, like we’ve seen plastered on our mirrors here this week: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You Are Enough

 

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with See Ya Later

See Ya Later!

I dropped the boys off at camp on Thursday.

They’re staying there, with my family, while I’m in San Jose for BlogHer ’14 with my husband. It’s really a treat for everyone. They play, have a blast, get to stay up late and eat all the ice cream, spend time with family, and make new friends. My husband and I get a mini-vacation, even if I work the whole thing.

Saying goodbye to them doesn’t get any easier.

When we stopped in on Sunday to check on them, they didn’t care that we had been gone since Thursday. As we said goodbye until the following Monday, BigBrother simply gave me a hug and ran out the door to go find his friends, the screen door slamming behind him.

LittleBrother looked up at me. “Eight days,” he mumbled. His eyes were wide.

“Yes, but then we’ll be home. You’ll have a good time with your brother and your other friends.”

“Yeah, you’re right. See ya later!” He shrugged as he kissed me and ran out the door, chasing after his brother.

I miss them so much right now, but I am not worried about them nor do I feel guilty. They’re having a blast. They’re safe. They’re happy. The same can be said of us here in California. Not too shabby at all.