art by me. Pastel on Kraft paper

I’m not okay. Not all the time.

Kylin Vandermeer
Nov 29, 2018 · 3 min read

Yesterday I got some bad news about a friend whose had a long battle with mental health. She has twice cut ties with me as a result of severe downward turns. There are few things I would like more in the world then to be able to help her. But I do not know where she lives, I don’t know her full name. Those were never important details. We bonded over writing, art, and a shared love of puns. What started as enjoyable interactions between critique partners became something stronger and deeper. There was a time I counted her among my closest friends.

And I know she’s in a bad way, and there is fuck all I can do about it.

Yesterday I convinced myself I was fine. That I was okay. That everything was okay. Today, I didn’t manage that lie. I teared up at work while listening to “Always listen to the bright side, a sorta autobiography of Erick Idle” he was talking about his reaction to the death of Robin Williams. And it resonated. Far more then I was prepared to deal with at work.

Today, on getting home from work I flipped the pad of Kraft paper, opened my box of pastels, turned on Zeo Keating, and tried very hard to stop thinking. To stop, stopping the emotion. After twenty minutes or so it was done, and I sat down on the floor and wept.

I was grieving. It’s a special kind of grief when the person, or some variation of them, is still a living breathing person. But grief isn’t just about death. It’s about how this wonderful person, this person you cherished, who you would do anything for if it could help, is gone. And it hurts.

But, ideally, if such a word can be used in any situation grief is a part of, grief does more then cause emotional exhaustion. It has made me appreciate the people who are here. Who have helped me though this so far. They are numerous, because a support network is just that.

So sometimes I’m okay. Sometimes I’m amazing. Sometimes, sometimes, I’m lurking in that uncomfortable space between numb, anger and anguish.

Right now as I’m typing this, I’m okay. I needed a good cry, and I had one. Now there’s space for some other emotions.

If you’d like another glimpse into my mental health, consider these

Much as I talk about the rough days, know I laugh more then I cry. There are more good days then bad. I know I’m loved and cherished by those around me.

In short, please don’t worry about me.

Kylin Vandermeer

Written by

Writer, artist, occasional philosopher, student and reader. Seeking escape from the mundane through art, knowledge and deeper thinking.

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