SUPPORT OF COMMUNITY
Music is one way most people struggling with mental health use as a tool to help navigate through dark times. With #covid19 nearly putting an end to touring the only way musicians get recognized is through word or mouth and social media. Please support the music community by purchasing new music and subscribing to their social media and channels. You can also show your support by following their music on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music or wherever music is streaming.
What’s in a name? I often wonder why or how people received unique and unusual names. The stories behind nicknames or birth names have always been interesting. I get questioned a lot about both. I’m ready to share how I acquired the nickname of Sunny Larue. Larue is my birth middle name. Yes I know it means “the street” in French but Sunny that’s a story. When asked about my nickname, I give that perfect I’m okay with you being so intrusive smile but really I’m very uncomfortable with your inquiry then my reply “It’s because of my smile”. Truthfully honest I hated both names because both names overtime have become identified with “my chum” aka bipolar. However in time with a lot of therapy and hard work I learned to accept what is giving to me. In this acceptance I taught myself the one rule that prevents the painful outside world into my head space. A rule I recently broke.
Hello all you rockers and rollers of words, today’s blog is inspired in part by the transparency of these beautiful women bloggers Catherine @irishgirl692, Latisha @renew_lporter08, Kristian @KristianWeigman and Brie @BrieCayne. Each has bravely put into words of their own struggles with self-discovery and identity. Because of these women empowerment they inspired the title of today’s blog Name, Identity and One Rule. I know this sounds a bit um Lord Of The Rings-ish but I want to share how these three things can affect someone who is struggling with a mental disorder. Twenty-twenty was the year of many first with a worldwide pandemic that forced many of us to be isolated cut off from the outside world trapped within ourselves learning to cope. For many of us this swim in the deep part of the ocean has become very difficult because we lack the ability to stay afloat. A constant image emerges trying to figure out who you really are. In the confusion you turn to social media for intimacy and human contact depending on strangers to fill the void of loneliness. Thinking that within this social media bubble you created you have found self identity. While doing this not only did I found my identity, I broke the one rule I build my entire identity on and that is not to expect anything from anyone.
STRUGGLES IN STEPS
Trying to articulate the rants and ramblings of a person struggling with mental health are usually overlooked or misunderstood as something else. These rants and rambles often are what people see before seeing any signs of trouble. By the time the words compute it’s too late. I promised myself to expose my chum and his merry bandmates only revealing my struggles in steps. Now two years into this I feel I revealed too less. I’m realizing that my reflection is only half the person I put into words. I also realize the more I put up this image of happy-go-lucky Sunny Larue the smile the less people will see the real me, the doubtful, depressive, fearful, vulnerable person.
BIRTH OF SUNNY SMILE
Five, four, three, two, one “Clap” your on, cue smile and go! As of late that’s how I feel like my life is one big show and I’m just going through the emotion of living. Inside my head is exploding. My heart is shattered into trillions pieces and my body aches from all the pain of struggling with depression and “My Chum”. My sunny dispersion “my smile” is masking a soul that is torture and torn. My heart is always trying to find something to quiet a torn soul. My heart is trying to find something to believe in, not soul searching but more like spirituality. To believe in the spiritual world hoping to find some kind of ease, peace and quiet to all the noise. However my smile will always be identified as “well-put-together-tough-as-nails” Sunny Larue. It will be like this for over two decades.
Common Types of Depression:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
If you or you know someone having thoughts of suicide or self harm contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. Staffers are there waiting to help you get back on track.
I recently found an old VHS tape of myself and an ex-friend attending a talk show in the early nineties “The Mo Show” on Fox. The topic was The Spiritual World mediums and readings real or fake. This “friend” wanted to be on TV so she submitted this idea of a mentally sick, depressed homeless friend outcast from family as she is the friend her only savior. When she was called upon revealing this revelation to my horror she was speaking about me. I thought is this what people see when I’m uncomfortably smiling? Is this my new identity? I had no idea she planned this nor did I have any control as to what happened next. The host Mo Gaffney, a sceptic pulled me up on stage having my palm read in front of the studio audience and TV. I stood there with my arms intertwined with Mo as Mo pointed the mic in my face asking me dumb questions trying to get a reaction other than the uncomfortable smile. Yes that awkward uncomfortable smile I am now known for. Born to Sunny Larue the smile that hides it all.
Although it looked like I was okay because of the dumb grin ear to ear, I was really horrified. Everything this friend said wasn’t true. The reading I got was of nothing but doom, gloom and death. What makes this whole experience worse is that at this time I was introduced to the spiritual world by another friend, my best friend who has come to my emotional rescue many times. Thanks to her kindness I’m now a spiritual person with purpose. But back then I was in an awkward place. Back then I was an introverted confused twenty something kid trying to cope with all the noise in my head. I did a lot of physical damage like cutting myself or burning myself with cigarettes. My friend was the only person who knew the truth. I did every damaging thing shy of attempting suicide.
However on this day a big piece of my all ready shattered armor was ripped off. Afterwards driving home all I kept thinking about is that gun in my lap with my finger on the trigger. You guys know I speak about a few in my blogs. On this day I was ready to put it to my head and pull the trigger. I didn’t think or care about leaving those who loved me behind. I didn’t know what else to do. That night at home I sat in front of my hand mirror looking at this face I didn’t know. With two razors blades I started to cut into my skin getting closer and closer to that edge. Lucky for me my best friend called just to see how the taping went. After our conversation she picked me up and took me to the Gypsies for a reading. I walked out of that reading in tears but with a new sense of hope and one rule to live by.
I know how this all sounds so whimsical and Lord Of The Rings-ish but it’s true and this ordeal is a part of myself discovery of my identity. After the reading I’m back home licking my wombs. I spent an entire month licking my wombs trying to navigate through this misery. I learned that words are a powerful thing. Right now in this moment is a testament to that. I had to make a choice to allow someone to own my feelings and die or take back what was mine and live. My decision lead me to develop the one rule which is don’t expect anything from anyone because when you open yourself to this you get hurt and disappointed. In some cases the hurt and disappointment is so great that most people struggling with mental illness never comes back from. The fact of the matter is I was never afraid of death. I embraced death like an old comfort quilt. My problem has been and is I’m afraid of living. This revelation is something I deal with on a day to day. In my lifetime I have seen the horrors and cruelty of humanity. The stuff made of nightmares. I also see the kindness people have in their hearts. Even now as I share this I still don’t expecting anything.
Until next time…..