Happy Free-Thinking Friday!! Here is a piece I wrote called “Coping Mechanisms”. I think we often downplay the importance of establishing healthy coping mechanisms and in the end that can be extremely harmful. This piece is reminiscent with an underlining tone of annoyance. It reminds me that I know more than anyone else in the world what is best for me. Today, take a step back and reevaluate how you handle the stresses of life. Ignore those who aren’t equipped or available to support you in your pursuit of growth and learning.
During one of my sessions with a counselor (I refuse to refer to this person as “my counselor” because taking ownership of them would mean, to me, that I regard them highly, which I do not)…anyways back to my story. During one of my sessions with a counselor they asked me why I was still in choir even though it caused me a lot of stress. My response was “I use singing as a coping mechanism”. They responded in a way I would’ve never expected. With an aggressive intensity they asked “coping for what?”
I wanted to say : coping for the moments I no longer want to be here. Coping for the nights when I’m left alone and I shouldn’t be alone. Coping for the days when I don’t feel good enough. Coping for the times when I convince myself I am undeserving of love and kindness.
I wanted to say: other methods never did me any good. I think singing is better than drinking. I choose not to smoke so this is my way of releasing myself from thoughts that weigh me down. Years of sports has given me bad knees so I can’t run 10 miles every time my thoughts are too loud anymore.
I wanted to say: I drag myself to rehearsal three times a week so I don’t pull my hair out. I drag myself to rehearsal three times a week so I have to leave the four walls of my bedroom. I drag myself to rehearsal three times a week so my depression feels less like a toxic bestfriend and more like an absent older sister… I can keep it at a distance when I go to rehearsal, when I smile during performances, when I pray for peace weekly.
I wanted to say: I wish you’d choke.
But I took a deep breath, tightened my fist and said “life”.