Being Human is a constant learning endeavour. One of which the awareness in our culture is damn near instinct. But some remember, and many more are remembering to remember. This piece was written the second week of April, 2018.
“it is in the nature of humans to forget how to be one sometimes” – Stephen Jenkinson
I forget sometimes, it is less and less that I forget as I continue my path; but sometimes it still arises. Sometimes my mental state takes me over and I forget everything about why I go on; I lose myself in “the nowhere place”.
“The Nowhere place” is a place that devours my humanness, a place that tries to convince me I am nothing but food.
This was my experience during the month of March. This past lunar cycle I felt as if I was drowning, and yet everyone around me could breath just fine. I lost my voice, and even if I had it I didn’t know how to communicate what was wrong, or what I needed. I needed something, but I had no idea what.
The nothing place whispered to me:
“Just let yourself die, your weakness is a burden. Do not let them be poisoned by the vacancy where your heart should be” and to this I nearly listened.
I felt myself fading each day, and my face becoming a plasticine mask, a twisted and posed version of myself.
My perception of what “fine” looks like.
I have a mental illness, this will never go away. It is the shadow to my passion, my artistry, my quirkiness, my inspiration, my magic. Sometimes I will go 10 years without a deep depression, sometimes it will be just a few months a part. But this is part of me, and loving me means loving me when I am ill. I’m not saying this for you to hear, I am proclaiming it so I can read it over and over again. I am not broken, I am just a little scribbly sometimes.
Two Fridays ago I hit a rock bottom, I say “A” rock bottom because I am clever enough to know that every rock bottom as a trapdoor where you can fall further. But I had spent a month falling, descending into this particular rock bottom. Alone, and imprisoned by my own thoughts; for the first time in 6 years I felt as if I was watching myself from the ceiling, in shock by whomever had taken the wheel of my body. This was it, the crescendo of my manic breakdown, and I had little to no control over it. Those of you that know me well know that control is my favourite thing to have, and the thing I often need to let go of the most.
That evening for the first time in 6 years I went what I would describe as “crazy”. My conscious voice became the voice in the back of me head, and the voices of disesteem took front and centre. I hurt myself in ways both physical and mental that I am not fully comfortable talking about in detail here. I relapsed into a place of self loathing of which I thought was long gone from my grasp. A desolate place where all that exists is me, and the wolves that I set upon myself. “Everything that is wrong with your life, and those close to you is your fault. You are a disgusting, horrible failure of a person” Those are the kind of words that exist there. Kind of a mixture of narcissism and self destruction. I don’t recommend the visit, although I imagine many of you have frequented there at some point in your life.
My voice of reason finally dug it’s way out of the hole it had fallen into and went from a murmur to a fierce scream. I stopped myself before doing anything too damaging, and while I came out physically a little more broken, mentally I had a clarity that I had not had in at least 6 weeks.
I had been possessed by the ghost of who I used to be, perhaps because I never allow anyone to hear the stories of the things that happened to her. I have buried my stories of trauma and pain from the fear of being burdensome, finally the ghost of past me snapped. She wanted to be heard, to be seen, and she still does. What happened to her was not okay. This mixed with the recent deaths in my chosen family, the impending homelessness, and the chronic pain broke my walls down and allowed her to come crashing through.
“Travel far enough you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell
You know that meme of the cartoon dog drinking tea while his house burns down proclaiming everything is fine? Yeah that has been me as of late.
Although strangely enough once I reached that rock bottom, that dark night of the soul which called forth that clarity, things started to be actually okay externally. A beautiful (but not perfect) housing opportunity presented it’s self, my chronic pain subsided, and I started being able to write and make music again. My fear was this was a mania, that I dropped so hard that I spiked right back up. That suddenly everything was beautiful because it had to be for me to be able to survive it. It seems that is not the case though, I am present in mind and heart, I am aware that I need to speak more to close friends, and very much a counsellor who is well knowledgeable in breaking lose past traumatic events, I need to take better care of myself, and I need to allow myself to be aware that sometimes the shit hits the fan and it’s fucking okay to ask for help, even if I don’t know what that help looks like.
If I could set the words “burden”, “selfish”, and “failure” on fire I would. and I wouldn’t do it alone, I would allow everyone that has ever been hurt by those wounds of mine to also set these mother fuckers aflame. These things are ghosts, they only exist because I allow them to.
This is my underworld, last time I spent a lot of time here I wasn’t much. But now? I am a Queen in my own right. That evening was not my day to be devoured.
So I came out, alive, nearly well, and a hell of a lot more Human. The evening following this breaking I went and I performed at a good friends birthday party. Many of my old mechanisms told me I was too broken to do as such, but funnily enough another mechanism kicked in harder when i realized how horrible I would feel if I let said birthday gathering down. At my core though I wanted to be with them, through them I saw beauty, and through them I saw mirrors of myself that I couldn’t see alone. How could these amazing people love someone that wasn’t worthy of it?
Being Human it is a constant process of trial and error, humanness is an end goal that only comes with the knowing that you’ve lived a fine life and are ready to die well – dying well does not mean alone, in self loathing, and hiding from all the beautiful things that you’re able to achieve in this world. Being Human is it not something we are born with, it is something we are constantly being taught, and should we be so lucky; eventually we be able to teach. I teach on occasion, and more often I learn.
Sometimes I learn from the process of forgetting. Funny thing isn’t it?
“You’ve met me at a very strange time in my life” – Fight Club
I am a scholar of my own and other’s often clumsy humanness. I am dedicated to making mistakes, and getting back up again, I am ready to go on if even I cannot, I am cultivating the worthiness that goes far beyond my lifelines sight, but doesn’t exclude it. I don’t need to be remembered, I just want people to live in our collective wake and to continue remembering.
When we live knowingly in the wake of those that loved us enough to go on, we step into being a conscious rippling wake, or rather we become awake one could say.
Someone loved me enough to go on, and I love myself, my chosen family, my vision, and those that will come after me enough to also go on.
I am not the first, nor am I the last to struggle. But that doesn’t make my story one that shouldn’t be spoken to. So what does Mya need now? I don’t really know. To be heard, I guess that is what I am doing by sending this rock skipping into the digital ether of the internets shores.
What else? I like hugs, I like patience, I thrive on words of affirmation, and creative collaboration. I am moving to an alien to me island in two weeks and I would really like if sometimes people came to visit me, I fear my tendency to fall into my own head. I love it when people poke me to respond to messages and phone calls, but even more so when the pokes come with an understanding that my lack of response is not personal. Patience, diligence, and a love of my shadow. That is what I need. And ironically enough I am pretty sure I already have that on most parts.
I don’t know where I am going from here, but I know it’s going to be fucking harrowing, absolutely gorgeous, gratifyingly difficult, and ever curious. I have shit to do, and external/internal shifts to catalyze, I have a world to change and a me to mend. And I know for sure that I cannot do that alone.
I know that it’s speaking out like this directly after the thing has happened that will bridge the gap of my self exile.
Speaking now of my experience instead of speaking a year from now. A year from now when the story perhaps inspires and benefits you, but really doesn’t really do a whole lot for me in the realms of present me’s vulnerability. Because by then I will have already externalized it and processed it myself, and I’ll tell you holy hell am I good at doing that.
Sure it’s scary exposing your past self, but being open and honest about your present state is even more terrifying.
I am not looking for pity or attention, I am looking to be transparent and cultivate accountability with the people I care about.
I am looking to shatter the stigma that on whatever level this type of rock bottom doesn’t effect absolutely everyone.
This is me speaking, this is actually what I look like when I feel actually fine, taking the space to retrieve the pieces of myself. Kind of like when you have to clean up after a flipped board game. I won’t always be this fine, often I will be much better; and sometimes I’ll tumble as I have this past month. But if anything at all I become more and more human every damn day. With you, my fellow humans in the making.
With Deep Bows,