It’s 7pm and the orange September sun is on the verge of setting. I lower myself into the pool quickly. Georgia is still hot but the water is chilly enough to goosebump my skin.

No one else is here. Most people lounge during the day, letting their bodies go limp in the beating sun, heads tilted back. Sometimes they drink beer and then dip themselves in the water, but only up to their belly buttons. Lazily, leisurely. This is the South.

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A Story About Release

“You’re an earth person,” said Farrah as she pushed one, two, three needles into the back of my neck.

The areas she selected were tender; my body recoiled as she pushed her fingers into the knots before inserting the needles. The twists of tension my back created made the connecting muscles jump, even as I silently pleaded with them to let her in. It hurts less when you relax, they always told me. Doctors with their vaccines, gynecologists with their speculums, and now acupuncturists with their needles. Just relax — let it in.

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Looking to the Moon

I am not here to advise how to heal from a loss. I don’t know how to do that. I do know it is one step forward and two steps back. I do know the pain can be so unbearable that I want to claw my skin off. I paw at my arms and chest and stomach, seeking relief. I can’t stand being in my own body when the agony rips through. There is nothing that will mollify it; I just have to ride out the wave.

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What Do Anthony Bourdain And Kate Spade’s Deaths Mean For The Rest Of Us?

Last week was heavy. Triggering. Confusing.

Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade – two celebrated, admired, and successful people – took their lives. What the news isn’t covering are the hundreds of other Americans who also took their lives last week. But it’s not stats that shift the tides; it’s stories.

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Remember: It Will All Be Okay

Somehow a whole year passed without her, the strangest year of my life. As the first anniversary of her death approached, I decided I needed know the official date, so I could at least try to channel my grief into a specific timeframe.

By that point, too much time had passed for me to feel okay asking anyone, so I Googled it, my hands shaking as I typed her clean and classic name into the search bar. I wondered if this time I would be hit with sharp, crashing pain, but as usual it only felt surreal, a dream I couldn’t seem to shake off.

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Learning to Sit With It

You know it—not the third-person, singular, neuter pronoun but the really terrible “it.”

The “it” that is soul-cracking pain.

The “it” that is despair as deep and vast as the ocean.

The “it” that is guilt strolling hand in hand with its close friend shame.

The “it” that’s always manifesting itself differently, but at the core is the same.

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