The creative person is vulnerable in that we want to experience everything fully, by fully I mean being present in all ways- emotional, mental, and physical availability. Artists tend to remain fully present even when situations become toxic or harmful. Self-preservation becomes an afterthought.Read More
I’ve been writing about my mental health since I was a little girl, I needed a way to make peace with it. My first depressive episode happened a few years before hitting puberty, but I had no idea what to make of it so I never spoke about it with anyone. There were times when I felt I literally couldn't speak, that I couldn't open my mouth to talk or sing or yell- it was as if my jaw was nailed shut. I would write the most during those times. I would record, in my third-grade vocabulary, my excessive worrying, fatigue, and irritability in colorful spiral notebooks covered in Spice Girls stickers. To grow up in this society -which is run by racists, sexists, capitalists, and scammers- as a black female can be a lonely experience. To grow up as a black female living with a mental illness is nothing short of isolating, but I intuitively found a companion in writing, a confidant I could trust.
There have been so many essays, none of them good enough for me. My latest attempt at writing a cohesive and in-depth essay turned into ten pages of me rambling. Poetically, of course. I jumped from one subject to another in each paragraph. I read every paragraph written at least nine times in a row, in a subconscious search for perfection, I meticulously combed through every sentence. I needed my intentions to be clear so I obsessed over the words and phrases used. To write this, whatever it is, is to escape. To run from myself, to forget memories I don't care to relive, to feel lighter. While editing and writing I continuously think to myself, this is it, writing this is gonna free me. It’s gonna solve all of my problems, I’m gonna come out of this as the person I’ve been dreaming of.
Poetry by Kimberly Bowen: In this piece, Kimberly lets us listen in on a conversation with Self. It's the conversation you have during Self reflection, asking questions and giving answers. Remembering sweet moments and the sour ones, too. Remembering the old You. This conversation reminds You that the journey to loving Self can be messy, painful and gradual, but the girl You once were did the best she could with what she had. Forgive her. She deserves a second chance, too.