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An Ode to my Loves

By: Jennet Sullivan

3rd · Adult Writing (2018)

Why mental health matters to me: An Ode to my Loves

His declaration of love was on a pier in Galveston, Texas
The moon above us, the crash of the waves
Cold and clear and perfect

I love you too, of course
With salty spray on my lips
In all our broken beauty

The day he told me he stopped his meds
I was afraid
Afraid he would need me to save him

We hiked to the peak of Enchanted Rock
The view was breathtaking
His courage, more so

His therapy is Jesus, the gym, and therapy
In that order
And silence

He was afraid to have kids, I think
Afraid his brokenness would fall to them
This burden, this curse, this diagnosis

How could he? How could we?

But they’re 7 and 4 and beautiful
They laugh
And cry
I hug them at night and breathe them in

The days filled with the racket of joyful youth
But emotions are hard
Why is Daddy sad?
He ran out of happy, my loves

So we teach them
The things we wish we knew when
we were 7 and 4 and beautiful

Brain trains
and control
Self-awareness
Stop, and breathe, and think
You are worthy

And so they see
As we cope
And they hope

And tomorrow is brand new.