“I’ve come up for air. And I’m not going back down to the depths. I have the strength I need behind me and soon enough I’ll make it to shore.”

I’m reblogging this piece with the author’s permission. A Girl Divided opens a window giving each of us the opportunity to experience mental illness from the personal side, the good days and the bad days. People like A Girl Divided continue to challenge us to throw away the stigma of mental illness and to understand what it really does to people, and how we can help.

A Girl Divided is so eloquent in her use of swimming as a metaphor to describe what it feels like when life drags us below the surface. When it’s trying to drown us in our own despair, and how sometimes others feel like we’re pulling them under with us, so they abandon us as they save themselves.

A Girl Divided shows us that we can still swim to the surface, we can still survive, we can make it to shore. All we have to do is swim. But sometimes, even the best swimmers need a life preserver.

Are you a life preserver kind of friend when the going gets rough or are you a fair weather only type of friend?
or Dare…
Be a friend to someone in need today, even if it’s a bit rough.
You’re allowed to choose both.

A Girl Divided

I come up for air and my head breaks the water. I’m nine years old and I wipe the salty sea out of my eyes as I stand up, feet sinking into the muddy bottom of the Mississippi Sound. I squint into the sun, looking out to Cat Island in the distance. The water comes up to my belly and I sink back under the water, unimpeded by the gentle waves of the Sound. You’re not supposed to open your eyes under water, but I do anyway. In this moment I break the rules and open my eyes under the warm brown water. You can’t tell from the beach, but under the water I see that it is brown, like the mud mixed with the sand at the bottom, but lighter. The sun makes it in through the surface, illuminating the brown gulf. There’s not much to see under there…

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