A part of me never left 2018. Amung my successes I’ve experience some of the most trying times of my life. I can't say that I am the same person I was this time last year, and I wish I can say that part of me vanished with ease. I used to silently swallow down so much pain, and it finally caught up to me. None of my friends in school knew I was hurting, because I never showed them. I would use my humor to hide the part of me that was so easily hurt by everything it came across.I thought just because I was happy in short intervals that my past problems were never there…but they were, and they were irritated.
  

I never learned how to let go. To cope. To grieve. It was foreign language to me to talk about my issues with people, because I was so scared of being hurt. I didnt realize that being Gay, Mixed Raced, and from the city would make the vicitm of so much underhand hardships. I have seen so much growing up and I never realized how much damage it did to me because I never talked about it. It was hard to enter a school where you knew you had to work three times as hard to be taken seriously because you're brown and from the city. I learned so much in Public School, but none of it was how to cope with what life deals you. No one taught me how to cope with the pain of watching my dad and step dad move away. I didn’t occur to me that thinking about suicide or self harming in middle school wasn’t normal. I never knew how to tell someone they were hurting my feelings, or overlooking me. I didn’t know how to process watching the adults around me fight and scream, and I didn’t know why I always felt responsible. I never learned how to adapt to a profession where you will always be second place to something prettier, richer, or whiter. All of these things were in my subconscious, as I grew up in Trumps America. Its hard to want to be a better person, when it seems like you’re entire country is against you, and your people.  Leading up into 2018, I thought that all of these feelings were negative. I truly thought that being sad, angry, jealous, or disgusted were feelings you need to choke down. It wasn’t the fault of my upbringing, but a fault of comfortability. I never felt comfortable with people seeing my venerability because I was scared of being hurt. I never felt comfortable at school or at home because growing up gay makes you so secretive. I never felt comfortable with relying on the teachers at school, because I felt like I kept having to prove myself to them. I thought I was protecting myself, but it was me that was causing the most harm.

In 2018 I fell in love, and for the first time in my life I could honestly say I felt comfortable as myself. It was such a surreal feeling. Honestly, I never thought that I would find love. I never saw people like me find love in the shows I watched. The sassy gay brown kid never gets the guy, but this time I did. Its something no one talks about, but being able to finally being a relationship as a gay boy is such a mildstone. We'd wink at each other across the table. He would hide tiny drawings in my journal. I even would wait with him every night for his bus, and the feeling of being able to be held by someone was more than calming. It was almost addicting. However, one day I saw a new email on the browser he was logged into on my laptop, and I clicked on it. It was with a message another women, and this was at a time where I had already gotten over him hooking up with another person. Except it wasn’t just a fling this time, but a long letter about how much he loved her and how he wishes he was there with her instead of with me. Heart broken was an understatement. I can truly say I loved him, and to think for a second that the feeling wasn’t mutual really hit me hard. I no longer felt comfortable with anyone, or myself for that matter. I thought I was the problem, the reason why people left me. I became so dependent on someone else to be there for me, I couldn't do it myself. I had never developed a way to deal with things that make me upset, and it broke me. The first few weeks after that,  I would open my eyes and feel like I woke up from going under anesthesia. When my senses would kick in and my vision would unblur, I would feel a scream start from the bottom of the stomach, and I would begin to cry. Things I loved seemed dull to me. I didn't do a 2018 Summer issue because I was so depressed. I’ve had low moments before but nothing like this. There were days where I just wanted to disappear, and it was alarming. 

I didn't realize how bad all of this affected me until I began to feel the urge to be around people again. When I began to hang out with my friends, I could feel their disconnect. I would be around family and feel so foreign, and even at work I felt so singular. I realized that some people were only around when I was succeeding, but when I needed an ear, I was alone. So I took a step back. I stopped posting on Instagram because people only measured my success through likes. I began to not make the first plans, to see if people really wanted to be around me in the first place. I realized I was waiting for someone to teach me how to get over this. I was waiting for someone to give me help, when all I had to do was get it myself. I began to go to therapy around November 2018, and it was one of the best things I could've done. I learned that there’s red flags in things and if you don't address them, you notice them less. It taught me that my worth isn't measured how others treat me, but how I treat myself. I also learned that all of those thoughts I was trying to hide were just as part of me as the good parts of myself. My depression was as strong as my ambition. My anger had as much power as my humor. I felt myself beginning to become more honest, and listen to myself more. I've began saying things like “I’m sorry I can’t come over I’m upset”, or “You hurt my feelings.'' I had to start identifying what and when I was upset, so I could begin to change/learn from it. I was done biting my tongue, and being the victim to someone else's second hand depression. People used to rub their insecurities and privileged problems in my face so much that it made me feel overwhelmed. I made an active choice to do what's best for my mental health, and it saved me.

  Now it is June 2019 and I have come so far from that depressive episode last summer. I got to do a Documentary with Tumblr on Ice Vice Magazine, sit front row at NYFW,  book a bunch of amazing film gigs, and even shot for the cover of W Magazine…however something was off. I noticed closed friends started distancing themselves once I started living my truth. There was something offensive about me not wanting to be better for myself that some people in my life didnt understand. I wasnt trying to hide anymore. People began speculating more as made a depature into dark and sadder looks such as bruised eyes or gluing safety pins with flies on my face. I had people who I thought were family tell me that I’ve changed and that they don’t want to deal with my depression. I would be called a bad friend because I was too sad to get out of bed and hang out. I spent my fall issue exploring the beauty of that dark side of us that we try to choke down, only to be told that I’m trashy for it. What took the crown was when I read a text message from a dear friend of mine saying that I cracked, and thats why I was going to therapy. 

Up until 2018 I was depressed and honestly felt no urge for life. It used to make so insecure to be called crazy, because for so long i felt so unstable. I thought there was something wrong with me, when really the only thing wrong was my view of thinking. I took a break from my friends family and art to find a way to start caring for myself. It taught me to love my depression as much as my creativity, and it saved my life. Now I can say that I’ve found a true comfortability and love for myself….and if that means I cracked?


 

Then fuck it.  I