But I'm Here, Bitch!

I almost did it the other day.

Another rejection letter plagued my inbox. Another week gone by without writing. Another day of questioning if people really loved being around me or if they felt they just had to.

The demons in my head came out to play, boisterously moving about like school-aged children during recess.

Just as they played, I did, too. I played around with the idea of truly making my transition just as well as I played around with the pills in my pink coin purse. It's not the best feeling in the world, wanting to end your life. Of course, I promised myself that if it got that bad again, I would do all I could to climb out of that dark hole; however, as those who've struggled with mental health disorders will proudly tell you, it's never that damn easy. That dark hole is more like a vortex. With every instance of self-doubt and anxiety, my nails are clawing at the entrance of my depression's portal. My eyes are wide open. I'm screaming for help without a sound leaving my lips.

Recently, I decided to disclose to those closest to me about my struggle. I'm usually met with a "I would have never known that", "you're such a light", "Britney, you're gonna make me cry". It's to be expected. The mask I put on certain days even surprises me. It's never been something I purposely kept a secret. Nothing in my life is. True to the cliché, I'm an open book. I'm very cavalier with sharing my story in coping with depression. With age, however, I'm learning just how detrimental being super open can be. Yes, I want to be #GOALS for any and every black girl like me, every fat girl like me, every woman period. I want to detail every aspect of my growth with any soul walking this planet because it helps make the process beautiful. But, it should never compromise my own safety.

Safe spaces aren't just physical spaces that I sage down once a week in an effort to remove all toxic energies from. My mind, body, and soul need to get their daily purge of negativity. Fortifying my intangible spaces: that's a major key. Accompanying me on this wild ass ride called life should be a privilege bestowed only to those who treat it as an honor, not every Jane Doe or TomDickandHarry who I assume I'm cool with because we vibed at a kickback with the help of Hennessy.

In this crucial age where my black life seems to hang in the balance whenever I leave the house (or stay IN the house, given recent events), the amount of self-care I spoil myself should be on a grand scale. Part of actively taking care of Bee, the "queen bitch, supreme bitch ... by any means bitch" that I aim to be, is by valuing my life. It's taking the time to pamper myself. It's allowing an occasional spirit scraping to occur. It's maintaining healthy, substantial relationships with people who believe in reciprocity. It's understanding that all those nicks and bruises build character. It builds strength. It builds Bee to be the best Bee she can be, you see?

Now, two weeks later, I lay sprawled across my bed with CDs all around me à la Corey Hawkins in "Straight Outta Compton", I smile. I let Van Morrison's "Caravan" blast through my speakers and tears stream down my face. I'm here. What a fucking phenomenal feeling that is.

Bee Pollard