Trigger Warning: This letter includes mentions of suicide, depression, and hospitalization. 

Recently I got into a dispute with someone over how much I talk about my mental health on social media. I felt instantly furious and insecure, and shot insults. Later, we apologized to each other. But it’s been more than a month now and I realize that this friend I had probably doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore.

2015 was a powerless year for me. My depression took a hold on me like never before. I was admitted to the hospital for mental issues three times, the last time being for a suicide attempt. I missed school and skipped class often, despite it being my senior year of highschool. I was violated by someone who I thought was my friend. I invested my leftover energy into an unhealthy relationship, thinking if I just tried hard enough, my feelings of despair would not matter.

I graduated days after my last hospitalization. I made a silent vow to speak up more about my struggles in hopes people would understand me more and maybe even help someone else.

After the dispute with my friend about my openness about my mental health, I found myself stop posting so many things about my feelings. In fact, I deleted most things that had to do with my depression from all my social media networks. While this felt refreshing, after a while I just felt like I was suffocating. I realized expressing my feelings in that way was in fact a method of survival for me.

Not only that, but the mental illnesses I inhabit are an innate part of me. To not express them even sometimes feels like I’m hiding a very important part of myself. It is not something that I’m ashamed of, and I am lucky to have a community that supports me.

This month’s theme is “Illusions”! I can’t remember who came up with February having this theme, but the first thing I thought of was how much I lied to myself in 2015. I pushed myself beyond capacity, not practicing in self care despite being severely suicidal, becoming increasingly furious at myself for being hospitalized, and giving myself away to people who didn’t deserve any bit of me. The beliefs I had in my head, these illusions, hindered my growth immensely.  

I wasn’t going to write about this, but Facebook brought to my attention a tragic story of two high school girls who committed suicide this past weekend. They were friends and they were both just seventeen years old. And I just want our readers to know that you are loved and cared for.

On a separate note, Margins is now open for submissions, and will be open every month onward. There will also be no set deadline for people who would wish to contribute regularly or semi-regularly (in other words, be staff members).

There have been calls for staff in the past detailing how our schedule would look like, but I’m happy to tell you this: every month, writers and artists will be presented the next months theme and will get to decide whether they want to contribute or not. Editors and everyone else will be working regularly unless it is communicated to us that they are too busy or would just like a break. Be sure to check out our submission page for more info.

I think that’s it! Submit, tell your friends to submit, and know that you are loved! And happy black history month (although shouldn’t black history be spotlighted everyday in America, since we built it and were enslaved in it)!

With much love,