Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

Fading fast.

I was going to begin my entry with poetry from Rainer Maria Rilke, but my ability to focus on anything for more than 2.5 seconds is nearly impossible. But, the truth is, I do want to rediscover poetry. I want to read it, hear it, write it.

Art is so amazing, so cathartic.

I was going to write about other things tonight, but two topics rose up toward the end of the day, and instead I'm going to focus on those.

A friend of mine is taking a class right now - the title of the class I couldn't tell you. She had an exercise to prepare for tonight. Her task was to deliver a monologue about either the best day of her life of the worst day of her life. Immediately, her mind began fighting to bring forth the worst of the worst. We chatted about what she had decided to do today, and she mentioned she was going to talk about the best day.

That made me happy, but it also made me think: I'm much more reluctant to talk about worst days, but I'm able to be more honest and raw when discussing them, too. With our best days, and our most sacred moments, I'd think those would be even harder, for me, at least, to talk about without resorting to humor or lightness. I think of my best days as delicate glass, as a baby animal tucked in the palm of my hand, of something that could be hurt. The bad stuff hurts already, but the best stuff is pure from a different perspective. I don't want those memories broken, or tarnished, or not given the gravity of what they are. And what they are is the best parts of who I am. So, I'm going to start writing about my best days first, and work my way backwards.

I can't pinpoint just one now, but I will soon.

The other topic I wanted to mention was this: One of my best friends in the whole world lost someone to suicide last night. When he called and left me a voicemail, I was unprepared for the news. I don't know if I knew him - chances are I did. But it sucked all of the air out of my lungs. I'm going to become a crisis counselor. I have to. I need to do it, not only for the people who feel they're beyond hope, but for those left behind with no wind in their chest and a feeling of absolutely helplessness and loss. As much as I talk about my ups and downs, I've been blessed with the knowing that I'm not, nor ever have been, suicidal. It can get absolutely awful, but I know in my heart I have people I can go to for help. They won't judge me, or think less of me, or minimize my feelings. They're unconditional people. I love them.

It reminds me of the letter Chris Gethard wrote to an anonymous fan who admitted to being suicidal. It's a lengthy read, but absolutely worth it. You can find it here.

The bravest act is one of reaching out. Everyone wants to help, so let us help you.

And, tonight, as I reflect on the loss of my friend Chris, I'll post the last song I ever saw him sing. The fact that Neil Diamond makes me cry makes it all the more unique to Chris.

Love you, always.

Shopping therapy.