Acceptance, Beauty, Depression, Dreams, Fear, Help, hope, Love, mental health, public speaker, Relationships, Strength, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Thoughts, Writing

I’m Sorry.

I’m sorry.

I struggle with these words to this day.

Not because I can’t say them when they are merited. Not because they can’t be felt deeply in every cavernous crevice of my spirit. But because they were my cage for so long.

I remember being clumsily coerced to apologize to those who ridiculed and hated me. I was compelled to apologize to those who had false impressions of who I was because they never took the time to get to know me. I recall being commanded that I needed to accommodate the feelings of everyone else and continually disregard my own for their sake. Because they mattered.

I’m sorry was my apology for existing. I’m sorry was how I begged to be overlooked so as not to intimidate or unintentionally make anyone feel less than me. I’m sorry was my forced anonymity in a world that erases those who don’t stand up for themselves.

You thought I looked at you harshly. You felt I was judging you.

You felt intimidated by my being a person, no matter how small a person I was.

Why should I be sorry for any of those?

Don’t be a person. Don’t be me. Don’t be. Be sorry. Be less. Be invisible. Because you are sorry and nothing more. You sorry little nothing.

These words choked me into the fetal position and urged me to be unconceived. Because this habit wound its way into my vernacular and decided it belonged. It slipped seamlessly from my tongue time after time. Often still, I say those words before I realize they have been said. To this day, I find myself apologizing for my existence. I find myself asking for forgiveness for my being. For who I am. Allowing others to lessen me so they aren’t forced to grow against their will.

Why should I apologize for my existence? Why should I cower down so you can feel bloated beside me? Because you are not empowered in this. You are not triumphant in this. You are falsely made to feel as though you have won some battle against me. Yet, I was never fighting you in the first place. I was never out to usurp your imaginary power.

I was simply living. Tasting the moments I was blessed to know. Relishing this harsh reality in any infinitesimal way I was allowed because none of us will be here forever and far too many of us are gone far too soon. Far too many memories are never made because we forget the cruelty of time. We forget we are all small in the scheme of things.

Today I tell you all, I love who I am.

I don’t love every regrettable decision I make. I’m not fond of every misstep I muck my way through. I don’t always cherish the experiences that ensnare my world and leave me feeling helpless.

But I love me.

The child who cowered and prayed to be unseen for far too long. The human who waged wars unlike anyone else ever could on myself in the hopes of defeating my existence. The woman who clawed her way through her own skin until I wore it, truly fucking wore it. This woman. This Fearlessly flawed creature who knows I will only ever be this me Today. I will only ever be this young and naive in this moment. I will only ever know this feeling for as long as I hold my breath around it. I will only ever have this chance to do something worth remembering now.

I’m sorry may slip through my lips from time to time. It will land exactly how I intend it to when I have done wrong. But it will never again be used to make me feel less so another can momentarily feel like more than me.

I am not sorry for this Susie. Never again will she be less than everything she has fought to become.

#sorrynotsorry #SFA #stellar #fierce #astonishing #SouthernFriedAsian

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Blog, Book, consult, consulting, Help, mental health, national speaker, public speaker, Published, speaker, speech, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Writing

Hot Springs Sentinel Record Article

Check out today’s Sentinel Record for more information on my latest book release, the Art of Safe Storytelling. I’m thankful to have community support of my work and efforts.

https://www.hotsr.com/news/2019/jul/23/new-guidebook-stresses-art-of-safe-stor/?news

#speaking #livedexperience #inspire #book #latestrelease #book

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Blog, Choices, Depression, Fear, Help, hope, public speaker, Relationships, southern fried asian, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece

A Chapter’s End

Today I closed the door on a huge part of the past three years of my life and I now find myself starting a new journey. As of this evening, I am no longer employed with CHI St. Vincent. 

Some of you know me because of the work I’ve been doing, some of you may be aware, some of you may not know me at all. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself doing my best to explain what I do to others and getting puzzled looks. I think the best way to say it was what wasn’t I doing? 

My heart has been in suicide prevention for as long as I can remember. It started as something quite personal and grew beyond me. I felt something deeply that I didn’t necessarily understand and I began a journey to learn more. That journey allowed me to witness opportunities to help and through relationships, support, and people believing in me, I was able to build on those opportunities. 

If you get to know me, I’ll tell you honestly that a great deal of my effort was based in selfishness because I gained so much from it. I loved what I was doing and it drove me to be a better person in so many ways. I never once dreaded a Monday of work. Not that I didn’t hesitate at the thought of early mornings or late nights, it’s just that I gained something immeasurable on an almost daily basis. 

Don’t get me wrong, some days were definitely hard work. Work to find the energy to push forward. Work to figure out ways to address seemingly impossible problems. Work to build relationships beyond the superficial. But in the end, I can honestly say that when you are passionate about something, it will never be work.

It would be easy to sit here and find this a failure. It would be so simple to see these past several years coming to a close and find myself bitter and resentful or fearful of the future, but I simply can’t. Not because I am an optimist, because I am most definitely not that. But because I have been blessed in innumerable ways. I have met many of you because of this opportunity. I have heard stories of hope and compassion. I have learned a great deal about who I am becoming and who I will never be. And I have found great joy in the work of suicide prevention. 

I write this to all of you now to let you know that although my employment has changed, my heart has not. These past few months and really year, has been quite difficult. Even now, I hold a lot of uncertainty in what my future will hold. But what I can tell you is that I will continue to serve those who ask for my help. I will continue to volunteer and work to better the communities I come into contact with. This may look different over the coming months. For me this will mean finding new ways to support myself, my family, and my future. If you find opportunities that I might be a good fit for, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I am still and will continue to act as the Executive Director of Suicide Prevention Allies. It is currently and has been a non paid position, although that may change in the future. 

Before I officially close this chapter of my life, I would like to ask that if you’ve met me, saw me speak, or gleaned anything from the work I’ve done over the past few years, please share it with me. I would love to be able to see the impact of the work I’ve done, it would mean so much to me to know that I did something of worth. 

Thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to serve as I have. I pray that I will continue to be able to share the knowledge and skills I have with as many as possible. 

A few lessons I’ve learned along the way:

*Consistency is how trust is built and maintained. What we consistently do becomes our habits. 

*Take the time to build properly. Impatience may help you get things done quickly, but it won’t help you do them in the best way possible. 

*Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace the bond that comes from working alongside someone toward a common goal. 

*Life is terribly short. You have every right to decide who can join you on your journey. Choose your travel mates wisely or you’ll waste unnecessary time struggling with unnecessary stress. 

*Oftentimes there are more sides to a story than can be counted. 

*Not everyone will share your passion, and that’s more than okay. But be deadly cautious of those who are jealous of it.

*Even now in 2019, your word is your bond. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you’re unsure, just say so. People will respect that more than a broken promise. 

*Be careful what you tell people and when. 

*Timing is everything.

*Base your judgement of a person on your personal knowledge of them and not what others say. Everyone has their own perspective, motivation, and stories. And some people simply don’t want them to be liked.

*People want to feel heard. They will reach out to someone who will not dismiss them and sadly, that someone is often a stranger. Love those around you. They need to know it often.

*The people who care about you will show you. It may not be obvious at all times, but they will. Never forget those who check in on you in their own way. They do it because they care.

*Asking for help is harder than it should be and this small incapability is taking our lives at a devastating rate. 

*If you know something is ending, don’t wait. You’ll find yourself stuck in the most terrible way. If the relationship, job, current situation is bad or coming to a close, let it go. It won’t be simple but holding on won’t make your life any easier. 

*Don’t forget to look for the beauty. We learn invaluable lessons by looking for them when times are tough. That is how we grow strength and resilience. We must examine our lives, take note of our missteps, and move forward with knowledge we didn’t have before in the hopes of finding a better way. 

*And last but not least, no one, let me repeat that NO ONE has all their shit together. Don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. 

Although I don’t believe I save lives, for those who’ve asked, my superhero name is Seoul Survivor. 

Name and Photo Courtesy of Jeff Fuller-Freeman

-Susie Reynolds Reece 

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