I played basketball with a friend, and by the end of the day, he was no longer with us; he had taken his life.
It sent shockwaves through my system when I heard the news. It hits different when it is someone you know. It hit especially hard because we spent close to 12 hours together on the day, and I did not see any signs.
It was just any other day, but it held much more significance to him.
When it happened, it was as if reality lifted a veil over my head and planted a big wet kiss filled with a different kind of awareness in my mind.
After that, I looked at everyone differently, wondering what was happening in people’s minds, what feelings and thoughts were fighting for attention and praying that the good ones outweighed the not-so-good ones.
The person I looked at most was myself. I became much more aware of things I said to myself, the thoughts I acted upon instinctively, and the belief systems I followed.
I went through a period of depression. I got tired of feeling how I felt and wanted to be better. At the time, I had not identified the proper channels to help me nurture my energy and mould my mind.
Growing up, the subject of mental health was not something discussed; there was no clear path I could identify as a starting point. There wasn’t the presence of mind or consciousness to even know where to look because, at the time, I did not even know it existed.
I realized the most crucial thing was movement. When I moved, I questioned things and found the answers that helped me nourish my mind and body.
The movement came in basketball, meditation, walking, striking conversations with strangers, and making myself as uncomfortable as possible to follow through on the things I questioned and doubted I could do.
I realized that as I shared my stories with others and they opened to me, I felt a sense of relief. I wasn’t in this alone, and neither are you.
So, Talk Am Again started as a promise to do something for me based on how I felt back in 2019. Along the way, I realized it couldn’t only be for me but also for the community.
It had to be for you too: we are in this together.
The stories from these incredible people who said, “fuck it let’s do it” are here for you to listen to and see their faces. They are just like you and, yes, nothing like you because we’re all unique in the things we face, but
We do not have to face them alone.