We now pause for some real talk.

I am a depression survivor.

I witnessed an extraordinary moment on Okayplayer today and thought that i would share with you…what I shared with them.
—————————

I sat in the bed as the clock struck 2002 with my 9 day old son in my arms and laboring under the clear realization that either my marriage was going to have to end or someone (probably me) would end up getting physically hurt or (my sons, 3 and 9 days) mentally scarred.

Sure enough…by President’s Day I was driving to the Red Roof Inn around the corner from what used to be my apartment.

By my birthday in June I had moved my soon to be ex and sons into a luxury apartment I barely could have afforded if we were still together.

By July Fourth after a brief vacation with a good friend, I came home and logged onto the internet..and never logged off.

I stopped sleeping at night
I stopped socializing with anyone other than the occasional visits with my sons
My work attendance was spotty except on the weekends when i waited tables for cash while 80% of my check was still deposited in my joint account with the ex.

By Labor Day I had contracted Scarlet Fever (think a potentially fatal version of Strep Throat that is almost unheard of in civilized society)

By Columbus Day I was unemployed.

By Thanksgiving I was staring homelessness in the face

By Christmas I was in My mother’s Basement.

It took Three years for me to conquer those demons…

And they STILL lurk in my subconscious…

I needed to go through what i went through..but I didnt need to fall that far, that hard, for that long, to get where I needed to be.

We all got stories…thats the short and fairly bland version of mine.

I need to come back to this one day…But since I took the time to tell them…I couldn’t very well cheat you guys.

If enough of you ask..Ill go into more details.

If you don’t ask..you will have to wait for the book. and who knows WHEN that will come around.

3 comments

  1. Bibliodiva

    I am pleased and proud of how much you’ve grown since I’ve known you. You’re a good man, InkogNegro and it’s a pleasure seeing you become an even better one.

  2. Christina Springer

    Hey Ink, You’ve done a brave thing. I was just thinking about that poor boy who committed suicide on a live internet feed. The follow up articles began discussing how depression is such a taboo in our culture. It stated that so many of us don’t seek the help we need.

    I’ve just gone back into therapy because my daughter has plum lost her mind. One day, I looked at the therapist (who was her short-lived therapist) and said, “remember when she had to live with my mother for a year?” She said “yeah.” I said, “That was the year she plum lost her mind and I decided I’d rather be dead than be her mother.” She said, “Oh, I’m so glad we don’t have to do that work now. The work we have to do is so much easier.” And we laughed.

    Anyway, I just wrote all that craziness so you’d know you are not alone. And it is time for Black folks to start discussing our relationship to mental health and these issues. In that respect, I call to mind two obscure authors. Af-Am surrealist playwright, Adrienne Kennedy and Af-Am lesbian poet, Pat Parker who both dealt with these issues in their work. Pat Parker’s book, “Jonestown & Other Madness” was awesome. Kennedy’s plays “Funnyhouse Of the Negro” and “The Owl Answers” address race identity as a surreal experience and incorporates depression / madness into her character.

    I dunno what I’m trying to say. Just, proud of your bravery.

  3. Jonzee

    Well… I was wondering when you would let it out. I’m proud of you in so many ways…but you already know that.

    One day, I am going to talk about the 7 years out loud too. I’m just not ready to go there yet.

    Love ya, fool.

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