Love, Derby

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This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Community Post.

And a Really Real Support Post.

And a Really Real Roller Derby Post.

Yesterday I didn’t want to go to Derby.  You see, Derby was the last place I was before I went to the hospital, so I was nervous about returning.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel being there again.  I didn’t really give anyone that reason.  I made other excuses.

No one pressured me.

And, I showed up, I was late, but I showed up.

I was shocked when the league started clapping and welcoming me back. I was also embarrassed and unsure of how to react so I kind of buried myself in the bench I was heading towards.

It was completely unexpected. Yeah, I know most of the people on our league and chat with them. But I’ve always considered myself to be on the outskirts. Not really fitting in. Not really a part of it. That background cast that doesn’t need an understudy because no one would notice if they were missing.

So I was shocked when after practice everyone asked for hugs and told me they were glad to have me back.

This isn’t the reaction someone gets after a mental health crisis. It’s swept under the rug, it’s hush hush, it’s “keep her safe and watch her but don’t mention why.”

This was “we want you here and we’re glad you’re alive, thank you for getting help.” Loud and clear and in the open.

And then at the end of practice they gave me a card, perfectly suited for me, and signed by so much of the league. And then a journal with notes inside from so many different people, telling me how loved and valued I am, telling me why they need me here, telling me what they love about me.

At first I felt like it was too much fuss over nothing, like, it’s just me, what’s the big deal. I’m fine.

But the thing is, I wasn’t fine and I’m still not fine. This was an emergency situation and I just spent nearly a week in the hospital over it. I’m still healing from it.

I needed and still need these tangible reminders that I matter.

I think we all do, I think we all deserve to have tangible reminders that we matter.

I’m thankful to be part of the roller derby community, and Charm City Roller Derby in particular.

I guess I’m not as much of an outsider as I thought I was.

I love you all, CCRD.

Thank you for making me smile.

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