Finding Eryka

Well… I went to see a professional about the woes of my mind. Turns out, I have been suffering from PTSD.

“I know there’s a name for it, but I don’t know what to call it.” – Kevin Gates

The days of not knowing are over. There is a title for this thing that takes over me every couple of days, sometimes more often. There’s finally an explanation, but I don’t feel encouraged. It’s not like I had a weird mole and the doctor diagnosed it as a Beauty Mark. This is Mental Illness I’m battling.

Depression is common these days. So many battle with moments of down moods and feelings of disinterest. Depression has become sort of a popular trend in American culture. I’m not at all minimizing the effects of depression, but I’m simply stating that depression is more common and recognized than PTSD.

Like what is PTSD? Basically, at times, it’s like I’m stuck in the moment of trauma. Many traumatic things have happened to me in my less than 30 years of life and though I’ve achieved much and seemingly moved passed a lot of it, there are still parts of the traumatic events that haunt me. They follow me around like an invisible stalker and at the most surprising times, old sounds and visions bombard my mind and all I see is what hurt me and essentially changed me forever.

Pretending is easy. Anybody can wear a mask and speak lines. Acting isn’t as specialized and extravagant as Hollywood has sold it. Most humans are pretending to be happy. They pretend to be the best at their job because they pretend to love it. They pretend to love certain groups that offer social status. We find so many hats and labels to wear, but how many of us are truly willing to face and wear the face of ourself?

The face of myself is rarely without smile. So much so, that I hardly recognize myself without a smile. I decided to stop smiling when I simply didn’t feel it. Others began noticing. They say things like, “you’re not yourself today.” I laugh on the inside, because in those moments I am the most myself. I don’t always want to smile. I don’t always feel like the world is a happy place and pretending only hurts me. People see my smile, pull from the vibrations and go on with their day. When I’m alone at the end of a long, smiling day with memories and fears and voices that won’t hush, none of those folk who depend on my smile are there to shine a light on my darkness.

Trauma is relative. What’s no big deal to you may literally stop someone else in their tracks and leave them struggling to breathe again. Abuse, Rape and Miseducation took my breath away. So many people forced their opinions and ideas inside my heart and brain before I could accept or reject them for myself. It’s like I was programmed, but suddenly I decided to malfunction. I choose to malfunction over and over because what’s the use of continuing on broken?

Let’s say I design a clothing line, publish books and build the home of my dreams – if I have to share it with depression and traumatic memories, I’ll pass. It’s imperative to me that I get well. Mom and Dad won’t live on Earth with me forever. Their expiration date is set, just as mine is.

I am facing myself. It’s emotional. It’s painful. It’s confusing. It’s crazy…. but I’m excited to see what’s on the other side. Who am I apart from the trauma that has happened to me? Who was I before I became a survivor? Who was I meant to be before I was victimized? There’s still room for her in this world. I believe in her. With God, I will find her.

I am Eryka. 👑

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