Toward the end of last year, there was a call for submissions for an anthology that was going to be about fury, telling "stories of women who know their anger is real and justified and who are using it today — in small and big ways — as tools of resistance. . ." Oh boy, I thought. I've got something to say about that! Everyone I know who has interacted with the mental healthcare system has something to say about fury.
Anyway, I got to thinking about the complexities of the system and of institutions in general, which led me (as it usually does) to thinking about organized religion and a specific moment from our journey when the two collided. "Cleaved" was born from my desire to reflect on the events of that time in the larger context of today. What has changed, what hasn't. How I've changed. The work I must do to continue forward in a healthy way. And not least of all, dealing with my feelings around the current administration to stay energized for the long haul.
After I submitted the essay, the editors announced that the anthology was scrapped. I wanted the piece to have a home and contacted my friends at iPinion, who were nice enough to read it and eagerly publish it. Thank you to them.
You can read "Cleaved," HERE.
Layers of this story are still coming to light. My relationship with anger has changed, but anger is a sneaky bastard. Pops up sometimes when you least expect it. Writing about my feelings helps me focus, and forces me (in a good way) to continue to look at underlying fears that stoke anger's flames. I have further to go and more work to do, but I'm making progress.
If anyone wants to communicate about anger–its consequences and its pleasures–leave a comment below or send me a private message.
And please, if you or someone you know needs help with a mental health crisis reach out. The system is imperfect, for sure, but most of the professionals we met during our journey had a sincere desire to help and guidance to offer.
Mental Health Resource List HERE.
Mental Health Resources for Adolescents and Young Adults HERE.
Lifeline Crisis Support HERE.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline HERE.