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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders


Photo by Mr EightThreeOne

Setting intentions.

My intent as of late is to put myself first under any and all circumstances. I deserve that.

Since coming back home from touring in the US, releasing one of three projects for the year I been deliberately shifting my mindset into a framework sets my health up for success.

Career is on a high and I’m seeing the fruits of my labor blossoming. I head to Switzerland less than two months now. This is not to say the weather conditions and circumstances surrounding the soil isn’t going to damage all I worked for.

When situations arise, it all starts with the acknowledgment of present self. Where am I? What am I feeling? What do I want to do about this? I tend to get caught up in trying to acknowledge future self which leads to fight, flight, or freeze mode. As a black man, fight mode seems to be the default option. We been conditioned to fight through whatever is happening even under the most brutal circumstances.

A friend of mine pointed out something significant recently. My stress triggers my paranoia.

My war-mode has been re-triggered. I’m not trying to fight. I’m trying to be in such a space. I’m ready to physically fight things that isn’t there. I want to scream, but fearful of the sound that’ll come out. I don’t know what’s happening.

My body is yelling at me, someone is trying hurt you. Someone will hurt you. That is scary. In conversation yesterday, someone told me mentally you are aware of things, it takes time for your body and emotions to catch up. The body keeps score, but how do you even reset the score exactly? Or start a new game?

I remember when I was in college. 19 years old. I called home talking to my older brother whom at the time survived a shoot out. He was prescribed medication for depression. One night the side-effects went sideways and from he described disturbing images popped up in his brain flashing in his iris. That caused him to run and scream in the middle of the street late at night. His neighborhood is extremely dangerous at night.

Those images that constantly flashed is exactly what it feels like when war-mode is being triggered and my body is screaming. Lately, I been waking up every night at 3:30am due to nightmares and I can't go back to sleep til hours later.

Interview discussion on Reparations and Grief in the black community featuring myself, Arthur Kennedy, Malik Jones, Zen Gold, and Thandizar Easley.

Same school year I saw death personified. Dressed up in a black cloth with a scythe. Everyday in the middle of my college’s quad. People would see me freak out internally in public because I would stop and stare into a blank space, because I was just looking at it. 5 deaths occurred that year. Friends and family. Held survivors remorse because of it. Randomly pops got colon cancer. That was a tough conversation to have. I had belief that I was next.

Speaking of survivor’s remorse, knowing some of my friends going through battles now I hold a lot of guilt, because I’m unable to provide in ways they wish to see. I can’t expand myself beyond a certain threshold. There’s no ill-will. The sad thing is I’m sure the response to make taking care of myself will turn into “but we been through *insert traumatic situation here*” it goes to show the connection is trauma based. Calls into question if the relationship itself is even real?

I am fully aware healing isn’t linear. It zig-zags. It twirls. It does all the most unexpected things until the next event occurs. Whether that be good, bad or indifferent. May was a great month. June is indifferent. Thats okay.

Similar to love, grief does something unexplainable to you.

Someone back in April pointed out that majority of the conversations we had were heavy. Taking note and a step back shifting myself I am able to hold space for other lighthearted conversations and connection. Now for some reason I struggle returning back to a space of vulnerability and even feeling. To make it clear, that is completely on me and not the individual that brought it to my attention. Regarding feelings, I told this same individual part of the story of how my brother passed away in 2020, and we wasn't speaking for 8 years prior. She was crying. I didn't. Not sure if I'm getting numb to that.

I don't want to get numb to my father's passing.

More scary thoughts.

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