I know a girl who shares my face; in my opinion, a more beautiful version of my face. When she was young, she had these wide searching eyes, and would snuggle up to me in the most endearing way. Even as a kid, she was one of the most hilarious people I knew. She would also go through these incredible bouts of sadness. She would bang her head on the wall, and perpetually had black and blue marks on her forehead. Barely able to talk, she learned to articulate her problem, “I’m ‘pressed.” She first spoke of contemplating suicide at 10. When her parents were notified, they turned to church. When you’re black and southern, you don’t get therapy. You get Jesus.
At 22, when her suicidal ideation became too real, she sought help. At 22, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II.
I love this girl like she is my own child. I do what I can to make sure she is focused on her own wellness, and let her know how worthy and necessary she is in our lives. I applaud her bravery in seeking and sticking with her treatment. If she were gone, our unit would be incomplete. She is bright, hardworking and driven. I love that girl who shares my face.
We all have reasons that we support good causes. My love for this girl and her face is my reason for supporting The Siwe Project, a mental health non-profit organization headed by my favorite poet and mental health advocate, Bassey Ikpi, tonight at Tabaq Bistro at 9 pm. For any of you in the DC area, I would love for you to join and show your support. A small $10 donation is requested.