the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

Uninterrupted. (With thanks to Jenny Lawson)

Bee ButlerComment

I told everyone I wasn't doing well, and I was being honest. And now I'm going to be very, very honest because people don't talk about this enough, mental health stigma is horrific, and absolutely no one on this earth should ever have to feel alone when they're feeling how I am right now.

I told you it was bad and I meant it. The good thing is that I'm sane enough to know that this is not okay and that dying is not a good thing. I'm sane enough to ask for help and not to just try and do it. Everyone who loves me is lucky enough (while millions are not) that I've got the tiniest shred of sanity left in this war-torn brain of mine, past all the depression, anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, and PTSD that realizes that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and I'm actively getting help.

No, I am not going to hurt myself.
No, I am not in danger. 
No, I am not alone, nor am I being left alone, nor does my doctor believe I need to be hospitalized at this time (because he is incredible and is working with me in real time via text and phone calls and an incredible employee of his).

Yes, I am on medication.
Yes, I have tried essential oils (and still use them).
Yes, I have/am/always will be praying about it.
Yes, I am physically safe.

I am hurting, hurting like hell and brokenness and emptiness and all of the most horrible things you can think of all swirling in my head and at the same time I feel absolutely nothing at all, which is somehow worse.

You can't really explain it to someone who has never experienced it, but I swear, I'm trying to get close.

Right now I'm not okay, and I'm not going to be okay tomorrow or the next day or the day after that, and I know and understand that. I will be better eventually, and I will get meds sorted out that work for me, and I will continue to put food in my mouth and keep it in my stomach and swallow my pills but only the right amount and listen to my parents/friends/family/doctor/God/inner voice when they/it tells me that things are not going to be this way forever. I will continue to do all of these things with the hope that someday I will put my toes back in the sand at the beach in Santa Monica, that I will stand onstage at the Whisky again and sing with all of my heart with someone I love playing guitar alongside me, that I'll go to a concert and be so blown away that I won't be able to hold back the tears and the dancing, and that I will make new and beautiful memories so incredible and unimaginably happy that I cannot even fathom them right now.

Right now I am sick. I am a kind of sick that a thermometer doesn't measure, and you can't get a culture of it in a lab, and there's no surgical scar (although there are many others) or visible sign or brace or chair to indicate that I am unwell. This kind of sick is a sick that lasts forever, unfortunately. This is a chronic diagnosis. I will never wake up one day without it, and barring a miracle cure (which I pray for every day, God bless it) I will keep having to fight this battle every day for the rest of my life. But tonight, like in February of 2014 and January of 2008, the rest of my life is a lot longer than it might have been, and thankfully, this time I get to be at home surrounded by my support system while I fight instead of in a hospital.

If you feel this way, I BEG you, PLEASE, reach out to someone. Honestly, I am not someone who is able to help right now, so please do not reach out to me personally for help, but reach out to someone. If you haven't got someone you feel you can reach out to, you can call 
1-800-273-8255 and reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or you can call 1-866-488-7386 to reach the Trevor Project if you are LGBTQIA+ and in crisis. If you don't feel you can talk on the phone, you can text HOME to 741-741 and someone will connect with you from the Crisis Text Line. If you suffer from an eating disorder and feel you might also be in danger of harming yourself, call 1-800-442-4673 for the Hopeline Network and someone will talk with you immediately.

No matter who you are, where you are, what you are, or what you've done, you deserve to live. So do I, and tonight, despite this illness I've been battling for seventeen years, I'm going to continue to do so.

I love you all and I appreciate the prayers, vibes, healing, hope, quotes, book recommendations, karmic energy, etc. from all of you. Please keep them coming. ą„

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Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Text Crisis Line: HOME to 741-741
Hopeline Network: 1-800-442-4673