I am yours and you are mine (A letter to my unborn child)

I thought I had discovered all the different forms of love until you. I thought I had felt the purest form of joy until you. I thought I knew what life was about until you. You're nothing more than a seed tossing and turning making your mama sick and yet you already mean the world to me. We were never ready for you but we are over moon now that we know you're coming. Never in my life have I felt the need to be better then the way I do now. I'm already in love you and you're not even a person yet.

I am yours and you are mine.

I don't know why but deep down I know that you're a girl, maybe I'm just hoping but it doesn't mean I'd be any less excited if you were a boy. I hope you have your mama's eyes, nose and forehead. I hope you laugh, give and share just like her. I hope that as I look at you grow as a small bump on her I'm able to appreciate that it's our love that has been conceived. I swear my heart skipped so many beats I thought it stopped when I first heard yours.

I am yours and you are mine.

I've been talking to God about you everyday since we found out about you. I'm terrified by you, I'm afraid that I may not be the best father as I may lack the example and so I've been praying; asking God to teach me patience, resilience, understanding but above all things to teach me love. I pray that you're okay, that you're healthy and I pray for your mama too. I pray that you may inherit both our graces and that the Lord's angels may never leave your side. And as you grow inside the womb so does the love I have for you. 9 months is too long, I wish you were here now.

I am yours and you are mine.

I've been talking to your mama about you, we discuss what your name will be, who you'll look like more and all the things we need to get for you. We discuss how much we love you and how we can't wait for you. She still makes fun of me for crying the day she told me we'd be expecting you. She's a little jealous because we both agree on how much like me you are, all her new cravings are my general cravings and I laugh at the fact that all of a sudden she cannot eat what I don't eat without throwing up. She's feeling a little self-conscious though because you're making her gain weight but she loves you, sometimes I think even more than I do. To be honest I'm a little jealous that she gets to spend her every moment with you, even with the morning sickness and cramps, I'd give anything for that.

I am yours and you are mine.

I talk to you everyday which is funny because you're still but a cell growing in your mama's womb. Everyday I tell you that I love you. I can't wait for you to show me who I am, I can't wait to hold you, I can't wait to look into your perfect eyes and discover the meaning of life. You are my blessing, my gift and I'm already so in love with you. I can't wait for you to wrap your fingers around my thumb and change the person I am forever. I can't wait to have you fall asleep on my chest, I can't wait to be woken up by you at 3 in the morning. I can't wait for you to cry for me. I can't wait to see God every time I look at you.

I am yours and you are mine.

CONVERSATIONS

I had a conversation with an old friend. The more we spoke the weirder it felt as we realized how close we once were. She once knew everything there is to know about me, I was an open book with her, I shared all of me never doubting or second guessing myself. Never in my life had I felt so free, so real, so safe and so naked. She knew me better than I knew myself, she understood my fears, guarded my dreams and kept my insecurities secret. She was my safe space and my escape.

As I stood there remembering all of the things she once meant to me I just couldn’t recall why we had drifted apart so much, it couldn’t be distant. I couldn’t recall why we spoke less and less, it couldn’t be that we ran out of things to say. I couldn’t understand why we both had our guards up, I couldn’t understand why I felt the need to protect myself from someone I once considered my protector. What had happen to us? Who did this to us?

As I questioned her, she paused in confusion wondering why I couldn’t remember. They did, she said, they broke us; first into 2 pieces than 4, then 8, then 16 etc. They lied to us, they used us, they abused us, they cheated on us, they manipulated us, they disappointed us time and time again. And we allowed them, we allowed them because we wanted so badly to see the best in them, we allowed them because they made us believe that we couldn’t be without them. We allowed them even though we knew better. They broke us and when they tried putting us back together the pieces just never fit quite right. What made it worse was that after every shatter, pieces of us got lost and no matter how hard they tried they just never managed to recover it all.

We haven’t been together since and that’s why you haven’t been yourself. Look how doubtful you’ve become, listen to how paranoid you now sound, this isn’t you and it was never intended to be. The saddest part isn’t that you no longer believe in them but you’ve also stopped believing in you. You’ve stop believing in what you could bring to the table, in what you could achieve, in what you could become. Even though I hadn’t seen her in awhile she made so much sense and provided a clarity I didn’t even know I needed. I asked her could we be together again? how we could be us again?

She told me that I needed to realize that it is more about me than it is about them. They can’t heal us not even with their effort or honesty, only I could heal us. Although there’s no secret formula to finding my way back to her. Forgiving them and more importantly forgiving myself for allowing it to happen, learning to prioritize and take better care of myself would be a good start. This will take time and effort. I would need to step out of my newly found comfort zone. I would need to stop using her as a protective mechanism, stop using her as an excuse to hold back. For as long as I have human interactions we will be tested, we will be stretched and maybe even broken again, I will be hurt and disappointed but I need to learn how to differentiate between who’s worth us and who isn’t. Find faith, find insanity and find courage then I can come find her.

“It isn’t unfixable, yes it is going to hurt and yes it is going to be feel uncomfortable. I know that she hurt you and she hurt you and he hurt you and she hurt you again but she came back and he apologized. She begged you and he tried making it right. Life will hurt and disappoint you but it doesn’t mean you should stop believing in the journey. Humanity is flawed but no man is an island, find me my friend, find me.”

My friend’s name is TRUST and I didn’t realize I had lost her. I needed to trust Trust before I could learn to trust anyone else.

TRUST | FIN

my pain is no more

You won’t understand why, you’ll think I was selfish. You’ll say I had so much to live for. You’ll say you never knew but the signs were there. I didn’t become withdrawn because I was mad at you, I didn’t start covering myself because I was cold. I didn’t stop eating because I was on a diet, I didn’t stop talking because I had nothing to say. I just got tired of not being heard, I got tired of screaming but feeling as though I was simultaneously put on mute. I got tired hurting, I got tired of crying myself to sleep every night. I got tired of pretending I was coping. I got tired of trying and that I did, I tried, I really did but I’m sorry I failed. You won’t know how to mourn me because you’re hurting and you’re angry but you’re also confused. It was never my intentions to cause you any hurt and I’m sorry that my liberation has become the source of your pain. Maybe now you’ll understand why I hugged you longer and tighter than usual the last time I saw you, maybe now you’ll understand why I felt the need to keep telling you that “I loved you” over the last few days. Maybe now you’ll understand.

My name is Yannick Leyka*, I’m 25 years old and I’ve suffered with depression for as long as I can remember. It was my secret and I guarded it with my life, the very life it has now taken. I guarded it because depression is weak and how dare I as a black man ever portray weakness. It was my secret until it wasn’t, it became too big to keep. I thought that maybe if I spoke about it, it would make a difference but no one understood. So often it was brushed off with comments like “it’s just a phase, you’ll be fine”  or “stop mopping around and be a man about it.” You just didn’t understand but I don’t blame you. From the outside looking in, I had no reasons to be sad, to be demotivated or to feel broken or empty. My life showed so much promise and being unhappy always made me feel as though I was being ungrateful. It didn’t help that I just never learnt how to express myself effectively so I shut the world out because words always escaped me, in a similar way to how they’re escaping you right now. It isn’t your fault and I don’t ever want you to think that it was.

I tried, I really did but to feel sadness without cause and to try fill the void to a black hole created a paralyzing frustration. I remember sitting alone in my room staring at the wall for hours on end, wondering what life would be like for you if I was no longer around. I cried everyday because I was in pain. Sleep was my only escape and even that was taken away from me, as I’d lay in bed for hours before eventually dozing off, sometimes dawn would come without me shutting my eyes at all and wondering off to my perfect world; to the world where my pain was null and void, the world where I didn’t have to hide myself, the world where I was free. Maybe if the sleep was permanent, I’d finally know peace, I’d finally know happiness.

Every 1 in 10 persons you meet are suffering from depression, you may have missed it with me, you may have overlooked the signs with me but now I need you to learn to pay attention, it may just be what saves a life.

FIN