To smile at people. awkwardly

It took me 8-or-so years to finish undergrad.
I was in-and-out of university numerous times.

Over that period,
I experienced multiple:

  • bouts of depression —if it ever really let up—
  • a few suicide attempts
  • counselors (one of whom fell asleep as I was talking) Um.  #YESway
  • doctors, shrinks, medication (I couldn’t tell you what all of them were, off-hand)
  • quick starts-and-ends of relationships
  • friendships in limbo

…packing in and out of dorms, apartments, houses, Fairfax Hospital in-patient, a house on fire, stranger’s beds.

In that time, I cut my wrist with a Cutco knife while fighting with an ex.
My words didn’t feel like they were able to carry what I was feeling.
I was a #fRacturedGirl. living with a dizzying head on still shoulders.

I clawed through most days;   barely surviving,

just:

to open my eyes.

to get up.

to go outside.

to be normal.

to do work.

to smile at people.       awkwardly

to act unafraid.

It took me 8-or-so years to finish undergrad.
I was in-and-out of university numerous times.


And, now?

I’m trying to figure out where to hang my framed diploma from Antioch University Seattle for a master’s degree in Psychology. I couldn’t be more proud of me.


If you’re struggling and the future seems hopeless.
If you feel like there is no end to the excruciating battle.

I beg of you, please. DO NOT GIVE UP.

Reach out. You’re worth it. People love you. People care. I care!

All of those things that the trickster voice in your head tries to get you to believe – they’re lies.

You, my friend, are a fucking warrior.


This freewrite was inspired by a post that popped up in my Instagram feed:

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 1.41.25 PM
Image source: @Instagram screenshot of a repost by @mentalillnessquotesinfo

Note: Links to mental health resources are within text, i.e. “depression” hyperlinks to the 24-Hours Crisis Clinic site.


Bonus:  13 Mental Health Resources That Are Absolutely Free (Huffpost)

4 Replies to “To smile at people. awkwardly”

  1. Thanks you for your inspiring story. You are a blessing to those who struggle. I am so glad to hear of your achievement. Your words are a true encouragement for me to keep fighting.

    1. Odawni AJ Palmer says: Reply

      Amazing. Thank you for your kind words. ❤️ Yes! Keep fighting. If it gets tough, you know where to find me. 😉

  2. Na-layad ay Ina says: Reply

    Congratulations for all the good harvest! for being so strong and determine to making it there. we are all extremely proud of you.Yes, keep up the good fight! You are sunshine and an inspiration to many.o many! Am extremely proud of you for being you.
    Na-layad ay Ina

    1. Odawni AJ Palmer says: Reply

      Thank you, Ina! I couldn’t have gotten here without your support. Lay lay dek sika!! ❤️✨

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