And so the darkness comes

The wind is blowing winter in and the days are getting darker.  Fall is hard for me.  Six of my seven inpatient stays have been between Labor Day and Christmas.  I love the winter, but the winter doesn’t always love me.  I can sometimes feel the darkness creeping into my soul and making space there.  I know I have to up the ante on self care.  Most days it’s the small things.  A mug of warm apple cider or an extra blanket on the bed.

Something to make the darkness a little softer: a little more kind.

There are times I am struck by how dark the world we live in is.  How it seems there is a bad person on every corner.  There are days I walk with my hand curled around the mace in my pocket willing it to be safe for me to exist.

It isn’t always safe for someone like me to exist.

And then there are glimmers of hope.  Moments of sunshine which peek their way through the darkness and settle.  PRISM was last night and I am always left with a ray of hope after PRISM.  These youth rallying around each other and supporting one another as they navigate this world which was not created with them in mind is one of the brightest things out there.

When I think about why I take the time to write, the time to travel to present and educate on LGBT issues, to do what I do; I think of these kids.

Because there may be darkness on the horizon.  Things might get worse before they get better, but I see my teenagers and I have hope.  I see the kids I work with and I have hope.  I see people banding together to help their neighbors and I have hope.

I am fighting to have hope.

But if hope is not enough, I will keep on speaking.  I will keep on writing.  I will keep on living an authentic life.

What are you doing?