Building on ruins

This is a piece I’ve deeply thought about writing, as I can’t tell myself that I’m a fan of cheesy writings. However, this is about me, about you, and everything in-between, a little longer Thank You note.

 I can recall starting this column in November 2019. It was a gloomy, cold day, and I was feeling low. I was trying to find something to do that would actually make sense, something that would help both me and others. So I thought that it would be a good time to actually put my Psychology knowledge and my personal background to good use. This is how Tuesday Conversations started: from the mix of the thought that I’m not able to write consistently, the need of finding meaning in my life, and the wish to tell my story.

This is how the blog column got to cover all kinds of topics, talking about feminism, suicide, eating disorders, anxiety, saying no, or creating boundaries for the interaction with other people. And I’ve been up for a pretty big surprise, have to say. Not only I have found that I actually can write about various topics consistently, but I have also discovered that there were people that needed these topics to be addressed.

It seemed like those were not just parts of my story, but parts of a whole bunch of other stories which have, by now, found their voice. It was like the tribe I didn’t know I was belonging to found me without me asking for it to happen.

And this brought me to one of the most surprising conclusions so far: something can be built from scratch, even if the foundation is a ruin. Ruins are not dead. Even if what you build is a narrative, a story having her focus on aspects that have been rather hidden than put on display your building has meaning and a purpose to serve.

I can’t help but remember a thing a friend told me when we were talking about writing, drawing, and letting our writings and drawings roam free on the internet: I have always wondered how it feels to write about things so intimate and to share them with the world. It was that moment when I understood that I don’t see the things I’ve faced or the things that hurt me in the past as a private area of my life. Not anymore. Once they stopped hurting, they turned into stories to be told about passing through dark places, as I believe that no one should ever pass through dark times alone.

For me, life means stories to be told, as they are the best way to actually put together a group. Because a problem that no one talks about is a problem that doesn’t actually exist. And mental health has been for too long an invisible problem to keep being ashamed of it, especially when that shame affects us all.

Obviously, it was and still is a process that leaves me speechless every now and then. I write, I post, and it happens to look at those materials and tell myself Did I really write that? Whoa. as my 16 years old self would rather have died than admit there’s something wrong with her. This column helped me not just bring some issues to light or help other people recover, but it has also given me a measure of my evolution. I’ve read the writings and seen how far I’ve come, sometimes without even noticing the evolution,  the direction of the process.

In the end, this is how we learn, by doing things and looking behind us every now and then. And this is how one gets to understand that healing is, indeed, a process. Something beautiful, something spectacular, something deep, unique, and extremely personal. At the end of the day, there is no actual recipe for fast healing and even the thought of a universal recipe to heal one’s wounds sounds like a fantasy plot.

Just like our traumas and our life history, our ways of healing are unique. There are no two individuals with the same way of healing their wounds or the same way of living through their suffering. Actually, the mere idea of it sounds absurd as one is reading this. But this doesn’t involve that there are no common points, as they certainly do. The beauty of it though is the fact that you can’t find those common points without being brave enough to step in the lights and tell your story. You don’t even have to tell the world all of it, or to use words. You can sing, dance, paint, act, sculpt, run, draw, photograph, even film your story, your way out of the hurting. You have total freedom when it comes to how much you’re feeling to express about your journey, and you have total freedom when it comes to the way you choose to do it.

Tuesday Conversations, my mental health column, will go on. I’m deeply thankful for all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way, for their support and critics that helped me make it better, and I hope that more and more people will become brave enough to start telling their stories. Your stories matter, your feelings are valid, and your healing process is worth it. You, as individuals, are worth love, appreciation, respect, support, and help. Go into the world and allow yourself to get them.

Letter to my suicidal friends

If you’re reading this, just know that I’m sorry. I am sorry for having you put in front of such a radical decision. I’m sorry that the world hurt you so bad that it made you believe that there’s no other way. And I hope you’ll read this letter till its very end.

Life is a terrible adventure, indeed. It is such a terrible thing that, at the end of it, we’re all dead already, but living it is no chore. Being alive means a lot more than you’d possibly see right now. It means regular chances to discover new things, little things that could bring you joy. They call them days. It means that you can still hug your loved ones, and send a good thought to those which are no longer among us. It means that you can still do something to end the hurting. Something other than death.

I know it feels like a never-ending spiral, but the truth is it ain’t. The pain won’t last forever. Bad days won’t last forever. No matter how many of them you’ve had till now, keep in mind that they’re temporary. Remember the fact that blooming is always painful to the bud, but the flower is always beautiful. So beautiful, that the pain of blooming gets to be forgotten.

Now look in the mirror. Do you see yourself? Look with care. See your eyes, your neck, your lips, your fingers, your hair. See your eyelids, your skin, your smile, even if you are faking it right now. Take a deep breath, as you see your chest moving as you inhale the air. And, now, think about this: you’re just a little bud, in the middle of its blooming process.

It is ugly, painful, and seemingly never-ending. But it will end up soon, and you’ll get to have another perspective about this, once it is over. I know, from what I’ve lived so far, that to grow, you have to feel the pain. It hurts leaving behind things that you feel attached, but are no longer good for you. And when we talk about people, it hurts even worse.

I would want you to know one thing. Pain is temporary, but death is a one-time-only, permanent solution. I know you don’t really want to die, you just want the pain to end, but this way, the pain will only be passed to someone else. Usually to your loved ones.

It hurts us too, you know? Because, the way they know and can, the people who genuinely love you are holding your hand through your pain and hell. We try daily to be there for you, to say or do something that could make you smile, even if it is just a morning text or a song we’ve discovered and we think that you’d like.

And losing you would mean losing a part of our souls and this world’s sparkle, as well. We, the people who love and care about you, will be honest, we hate this dark tango, too. We know you’re harming yourself. We know that you’re fasting for days, to reach the perfect body. We know that you’ve been crying yourself to sleep over the same thing for weeks. We know, we care, we see you and we try to support you the ways we know best, as we talk about our hardships when you’re not there, to protect you, as we want to be strong for you, even if, at times, we struggle as well.

 But this happens only because we also trust you that you’ll become that person you were dreaming about when we were 10 and life looked easy and pretty and fun. Look again at yourself, and you’ll see how much of that road you’ve already walked, just look!

And that’s not even the end of it. Yes, the temptation of giving up is greater than whatever we might tell you, sometimes, but don’t. Please, don’t. You don’t have to give up on living. You don’t have to give up on hope, on loving, on expecting, on dreaming. You don’t have to give up at yourself. No matter how appealing this would possibly look.

There are so many places you would love, and you didn’t see them yet. So many people out there asking themselves if there’s someone like you even existing on this planet, and you will, one day, get the chance to discover them. The world is such a better place with you in it. With your imperfect, self-doubting, dreamer and hurt self.

Bad times don’t mean a bad life. You are strong enough to face them and capable enough to enjoy the good that is to come, knowing that you are worth it. Just be patient, as life has its own pace, and keep your faith grounded in the stars and the sound of the voices of your loved ones. And don’t be ashamed to tell us how could we help you to be effective, or to ask for professional help. If you feel like it and you’ll tell us, we will help you find the best mental health professionals, in order to see you thriving again.

Maybe you feel like you’re all by yourself, but you’re not. Everyone who has loved you is by your side, trying to help, as we all know that maybe not tomorrow, but the next month, the next year, the person trying to give up on life could be us. And no one deserves to get through all this by itself. We’re always here.



razele soarelui,
singurele care-mi mai mângâie fața.
aduceri aminte parcă
din altă viață, din viața altcuiva.
lipsă. împărțire care a dat cu irațional.

caut. știu pe cine,
dar nu știu unde. de fapt
nu știu dacă
o s-o mai găsesc vreodată
știu doar că
a existat. că am trăit-o.

pielii mele îi e dor de tine
știu că n-ajută la nimic,
dar încă își aduce aminte
că o iubeai, cum o iubeai.
cu ochii, cu degetele, cu buzele,
cu tot corpul, cu tot cel care

mi-ai aprins candelabre în privire
și am rămas să mă divid la nesfârșit,
pe un drum care nu știu
unde poate duce. lumină
când în jurul meu e întuneric,
dar nu e binecuvântare, nu-i
ceva despre care eu
să spun cuvinte.

luminez pentru cei din jurul meu
când e întuneric pentru toți,
dar nu e lumina din mine,
ci focul care mă forjează
când nu mă distruge lent
pe dinăuntru.

umblu pe un drum despre care
nu știu unde mă va duce.
am închis ușile de dădeau spre înăuntru
și umblu. caut.
m-am pierdut de umbra mea,
sunt străină de mine și m’afund.
merg pe drumul meu, dar nu știu unde duce.

știu că focul meu se vede numai
dinafară, cenușa
lui mă ține trează săptămâni,
amintirea aduce ploi
de lacrimi, vinovăție și neuitare
e joi. și doare tot mai tare…

și mai știu
că o să citești asta.
că o să zâmbești, așa cum o făceai cândva
și o să treci peste. o zi ca oricare alta.
la fel cum știu că am obosit s’aștept ceva
ce nu mi-e dat să vină.

tu ai plecat, eu am rămas
să mă descurc cu pierderea,
al unei galaxii în continuă ardere,
al unei exasperări interioare
vecină cu disperarea
autodistrugerea nu mai e demult
la modă pe aici. efectul
s-a dovedit ca apa de ploaie pentru
ținutul iernii nucleare.

inutil. aștept
să nu mai doară,
să pleci din
interiorul meu. să am
nopți ale mele, cu dimineți
care să nu-mi spună după starea de pâclă
că te-am visat. iar.

ca pielea mea să te uite
iar eu să nu mai merg pe drumuri
pe care nu știu ce caut.
să mă sinucid.

să omor partea din mine
care te caută, pe care
o dori și azi ca atunci.
acea parte din ce sunt
care se uită noaptea la cer
și-n loc de stele
se vede pe ea cu tine, privind spre ele,
împletindu-vă degetele
și tăcând de parcă ați avea o veșnicie
care v’așteaptă undeva, numai a voastră.
trebuie să mor, să pot uita de tine…