// i’m just a man, i’m not a hero //

x

may is mental health awareness month, which i actually didn’t know until gracie asked me to write a post about it. i’m supposed to ask two other bloggers to write a post, and i’d like to ask den mother and eva. and i’m supposed to include some helplines. you can search “helplines (name of your country)” if you need help immediately.

so. here’s my post. :)


“my partner has a mental illness,” you sigh, massaging the bridge of your nose.

there’s pity in the other person’s eyes. they place their hand on top of yours. “i’m so sorry. that must exhausting for you,” they murmur.

you nod. “it’s tough. but i love them anyway.”

applause fills the room. confetti is cascading from the ceiling. two women in heels and glitzy dresses prance toward you, carrying a glittering sign: i love someone with a mental illness! it reads. i’m a great person! the women pose with you as cameras flash all around.

hey. guys. you’re not a hero for loving someone with a mental illness.

they’re crying in their room because they don’t know why they’re alive? they can’t go to the store because being around people makes them incredibly nervous? they refuse to eat the dinner you made for them because there’s a voice in their head telling them they don’t deserve it? i guarantee that constantly fighting their mental illness is harder to do than it is for you to love them.

people are not badges. you can’t say that you’ve loved someone of color, someone with a disability, with a mental illness, etc. and get special treatment. you didn’t choose to fall in love with that person, right? it just happened. and your partner didn’t choose to have their mental illness.

if you truly love  that person, it shouldn’t matter that they have a mental illness.

some of my friends have mental illnesses, and it hurts to know that i can’t love their problems away. saying “i love you” will not fix everything. i can’t make their mental illnesses go away. i know that. but i can do my best to help them and i can give them hugs and listen to them and stick  with them when things are bad.

if they have depression, they might look sad and lost a lot of the time. but when they smile, it feels like you just got the greatest gift in the whole freaking world. if they have anxiety, they might ask often if you hate them, or if you actually love them. you can assure them that you love them no matter what. if they have an eating disorder, it might be hard for them to eat anything at all. but when they do eat something, no matter how small it is, you’ll get an incredible rush of pride that they managed to shut off the voice in their head long enough to eat.

the person you love is fighting and they are a hero for staying alive.

xo

loren

// playing cards //

i’m sitting in the tree house that my father made for me when i was a kid. leaning against the sturdy tree trunk — one that’s been growing and thriving and alive for longer than i’ve existed — i feel the dips of the bark pressing against my spine. it’s God’s fingerprint on his creation. an artist mark.

k is on the floor, her legs crossed. she has a pack of playing cards with her and is laying them out on the mossy slats of wood. “this one is q,” she announces, setting the king of diamonds next to the queen of the same suit. she shoots a smug smile at b, who is hugging herself and staring into space. “the queen is you.”

b blinks. “really?” she laughs, her pale cheeks flushing red. then she points at the king and queen of hearts and suggests, “then these are you and t.”

a smile breaks out on k’s face. one flickers over my lips, as well. there’s something about seeing my friends happy over simple things that makes me think the world isn’t all bad.

k sticks her tongue out at b. with mischief sparkling in those clear cerulean eyes of hers, she settles her gaze on me. a joker card is pinched between her fingers. “this one is you, loren.” she casts it off to the side. “sorry, but your love isn’t coming back.” she laughs and gives me a sympathetic look.

i know she’s joking.

and i know that i’m a joke.

of course i’m the joker, and everyone else are the queens.

jokes always have a bit of truth to them. that’s why i’m the most fun to tease. everything about me can be turned into something for others to laugh at, and i won’t stand up for myself. why should i? it’s just a joke.

my friends are singing softly, smiling at their hands as the words leave their mouths and spiral through the air.

cause all of me loves all of you. love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections”

they don’t sound perfect. but they sound real. real and deeply in love and daydreaming of someone that makes them feel something sought after by the whole world. the memories playing through their heads and the names written on their hearts may be different, but the feeling they’re pouring into the song is the same.

once they finish, a breeze rushes through the delicate leaves of the tree. it sounds like the earth is applauding.

with a faraway expression one k’s pixie-esque features, she tilts her head up at me. “come on, loren, won’t you sing something for us?” she asks.

a hundred songs race through my head, filling me with a sea of notes and favorite lyrics. but they feel too secret to share, as if opening my mouth will unleash all the memories and feelings and ideas attached to each song. the music is woven into my soul.

“i can’t think of a song. sorry.”

my friends shrug and pick a new song to sing.

the sun is going down. pastel shades of pink and orange and yellow creep along the horizon. it’s warm and the crickets are joining the melody and the stars i hung on the tree’s branches are beginning to glow.

it’s a perfect moment. but i wish you were here.

 my friends are in love and the sky is a masterpiece and i am lonely.

xo

loren

p.s. b/den mother and k/pup have both started blogs: “dear universe” and “north to south.” make sure to check those out. :)

♥ ♥ ♥

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not exactly a fan of this holiday. If you love someone, you should make them feel special and important on every day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.

dsc_0531

Anyway, Den Mother, one of my beautiful best friends, bought roses for me! They’ve wilted a little since I received them (I was gone all weekend on a retreat with one of my other best friends, so I wasn’t able to photograph the flowers until today), but they’re still wonderful. I really love Den Mother. :)

dsc_0533

dsc_0538

dsc_0545

dsc_0542

My mom made some adorable heart-shaped pancakes this morning. :)

Image result for song of solomon 2:7

via

For anyone who is sad about being single on Valentine’s Day, remember this:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” -Song of Songs 2:7

Image result for you are what you love not who loves you

via

And if that verse doesn’t mean anything to you because you’re not Christian, there are always the wise words of Fall Out Boy, from the song Save Rock and Roll:

“You are what you love, not who loves you.”

Aromantic asexual in ur shops, eatin ur discount chocolate on Feb 15th:

via

Shout out to all the aromantics and asexuals who are confused by this weird, lovey-dovey holiday. You guys are great. :)

I hope everyone has had a good day. If not, just remember: you can start over every morning. You’re going to be OK, even if it takes awhile. Hang in there.

winter-sig