Thursday, 15 May 2014

Everything Must Change.

Today is exactly seven months since my brother killed himself. The fifteenth of anything will always be another month further away from him. The pain has been unrelenting, excruciating. I don't get out much, anymore.

Last night me and a whole bunch of people read out their work at the Carrington Ballroom for the Blue Fringe Arts Literary Awards. These awards celebrate the creativity of people with a lived experience of mental illness. Before I read my story I talked about my brothers suicide note and how he wrote that he just couldn't be "that guy" who needed help, that he didn't want the stigma. I guess I'll just scoop up his stigma and dump it in with mine, because I have plenty anyway who'll even notice?

Delicious, delicious stigma. It's lumpy on the way down and tastes best with maple syrup. I sat next to a woman in a knitted rainbow jumper and she kept talking to me. I liked her. We had a huge chat about dealing with mental illness. She really wants to decrease her meds one day, she was sad that she never got to have children. She asked if I had a house and I pointed to Dave and said yes, he's a builder and he builds houses so I'm lucky. The woman in the knitted rainbow jumper and I both agreed that everybody in the world has mental illness anyway. We laughed. She clapped hard when I received the Most Inspirational Award. Dave clapped hard too, his eyes welled up with tears.

It's important to let the stigma out for a run, every now and then. The death of Cam has left me with so many unanswerable questions that break my heart every day. The grief has cracked me wide open and everything must change. Some pretty amazing stories and poems were read out last night, by people who are on the outskirts of a lot of things. We shared our stories like cavemen, to prove we were not alone.

My brother died alone. He died all, all alone.

This morning Dave and the boys and I all got up early for no reason. I cleaned the kitchen while they rumbled on the couch. Dave told me I HAD to listen to this song so he put it on loud, and we danced like New Years Eve/from sheer relief. I haven't danced in over a year.

I danced for a woman in a knitted rainbow jumper and I danced for my brother who never could. But most of all I danced for me.

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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