It was during my early teen years that I first realized the darkness, the shadows that would often come and block out the light. These were already painful years for me, but this darkness was heavy, it was suffocating, it made me feel so lost in the moment with little or no hope for any moment after. When I turned 20, I began writing a fictional journal of my feelings, expressed through poetry and prose, which was eventually compiled in a book, “An Owl on the Moon: A Journal From the Edge of Darkness.” On those pages I poured out my deeper places that no one knew about, because I was ashamed to express my “weakness” and pain openly, wanting people only to ever think of me as happy.
Though I manage the impact of them better now, the shadows still exist, still seem to lie in wait for seasons of winter, or long endless nights. I have come to know more people who suffer in these shadowed places, friends and family who ache with the pressing waves of anxiety and depression and what comes to feel like shame in the suffering. And I ache to help relieve them. May this place and the people here help you find peace and a joy that can wrap around you when you begin to feel overwhelmed. We stand with you.