Ivy from New Jersey on the US east coast has been a voice of HOPE in this community since she #Emerged Proud in the film last year. When invited to share her story for the Kinda Proud book series, she said; “I feel like I could write for all of them”, and I guess her voice resonates with the majority; we just can’t fit ourselves or our experiences into labels or book titles. Here’s an artistically portrayed snippet of her journey, which will feature in Kelly’s book #Emerging Proud through suicide…
I’ve been killing myself since my first birthday. So I’ve been told, I screamed my head off until everyone who came to greet me left the house, and only my mom was there. Happy birthday Ivy.
Not really suicidal, just shy and deep into my soul, harboring something. I remember sitting at the table as a toddler, learning to write my name. It was like I was re-learning who I was, or learning who I was for the first time.
At some point the good memories were overlapped by all the painful ones. My mind became a labyrinth of dark, sad, lonely memories. But one way or another someone(s) or something(s) within or without helped me get by. So what could be described as manic depression, could also be divine intervention.
Losing people I love… losing the connections that held me… that’s when I became lost. That’s when life seemed ‘un-livable’…
I remember praying and hearing nothing, and crying out for my parents in bed. I remember sharing a bed with my siblings, and the fear… we’d keep the blankets around our whole head and only leave a hole big enough to breathe through and see. I remember all the times I swallowed bottles of tylenol, aspirin and other medication to see if I could stop the suffering. It never killed me, it just poisoned Ivy. Funny how that nickname took on new meaning.
Even my art ‘poisoned’ me, as I touched the solvents with bare hands and held multiple brushes between my teeth. But it also set me free. The chemicals I’ve absorbed, the toxicity, the soup my brain rests in… the antibiotics, the pills, the birth control, the SSRI’s, the Antipsychotics, did I miss any? Yes… the morphine when I lost my first born to miscarriage. I have been separated from my body, almost quite literally “beside myself” for years… quite possibly longer than I know myself.
Have I tried to kill myself? Yes. So many times. Did I want to? No. But I was going through a spiritual process… I was dying of heartache, I was dying to be reborn, and I needed a connection that wasn’t being provided.
Now my body and mind and spirit are a trine. I feel so much and sense so much that I can only hope to slow down enough to remember to breathe. And yet, I am here! I am present. I have not been decapitated. I have not been psychically castrated. I have not had my voice stolen. I have been reborn and I am finding that my family is nearly limitless. Family is a unit and a cluster and extends beyond what I could have ever imagined.
What do I mean by “family?” I mean that consciousness has changed and I love humanity. I would sacrifice myself for the all, but the lesson learned was I am loved and this sacrifice is neither necessary nor possible.
We are strong together.
I hear we are louder together, yes?
We are not alone.
We will not be broken.
I love you.
And now I love me too ❤
Connect with Ivy here: Ivy’s Facebook Art Page