mental health

All posts in the mental health category

Four Windows.

Published November 25, 2018 by April Fox

It just occurred to me that my house only has four windows in the entire place. That’s fewer than I had in my bedroom at the last place I lived. And I started to post something about it, basically like what the fuck guys, no wonder I’m in a funk… and then I thought about how that often leads folks to a presumption of ingratitude, wherein an acknowledgement of something that makes you sad is dismissed because look at all these other things that SHOULDN’T make you sad, and why can’t you just shove this heavy thing out of the way to give yourself a better view of the things we think are pretty? And that leads to the remembrance of all the times that people have said, not to me necessarily but just thrown out on social media, that either you are in complete control of your own happiness and are making a decision to be depressed because there is ALWAYS a bright side or that depression is some sort of noble badge you get to wear as a result of having weathered so many of life’s metaphorical storms with strength and grace, and both of those are of course utter bullshit.

Sadness is acute, and you are allowed to have that even when other things don’t make you sad. And depression is pervasive; it gets deep into your head and the reality is that sometimes you cannot see the good and sometimes there really isn’t any good (I swear if you tell me it’s good to just be breathing I will wish a swarm of yellowjackets upon your netherparts) and it’s not about where you’ve been, it’s not a sign of strength or weakness or malignant character, it simply IS. And sometimes there is help, and sometimes you just need to live in that. Sometimes you just need to have acknowledged that yes, there really aren’t enough windows in this place. Tomorrow I will get up and go to work and continue to find joy in many things, but for right this minute, in the midst of all the Christmas lights and joyful kids and central heat and air, let me please be sad about this thing, and let that be okay.

Asheville’s Helpmate Hosts a Vigil to Help End Domestic Violence

Published September 28, 2015 by April Fox

A portion of the royalties from my latest book, Spine, will be used to benefit Helpmate, a local non-profit organization that helps women and their children who are in, escaping, and recovering from domestic violence situations. 
There’s a popular myth that women stay because they love their abusers and think they’ll change. That is certainly true in some cases, but in many, the things that keep women there are far less romantic: fear, threats, financial limitations, a belief that there are no other options. Helpmate works to educate women and the general public about ways to escape dangerous situations, and provides direct links to resources that help ensure the physical and emotional safety of people affected by domestic violence. 
I’m asking my friends and family to please help spread awareness about Helpmate’s annual domestic violence vigil, this Thursday October 1, in downtown Asheville. Please feel free to copy and paste this message along with your post. 
Thank you, loves. 

Missing Man in Austin, TX May Be in Danger

Published February 3, 2014 by April Fox

ImageJohnathon Falck is missing again. A little over a month ago, I posted about his disappearance; he was subsequently found in a hospital, where he was given medication for his mental illnesses and sent back out to fend for himself. Since then, his thoughts and communications have been increasingly disordered, he has stopped taking his medication, and has now disappeared again. He has not been seen since early Saturday, and his incessant posts on Facebook have stopped. No one has been able to reach him by phone, but someone made a threatening call to his mother from his cell phone. That person knows where John is and may have harmed him.

John is 23, about 6’1″ and around 160 pounds. He has a scar on the right side of his head, near the hairline. Anyone with information is urged to call the Austin police department at 512-974-5000. You may also contact the Great Bend Kansas police department at 620-793-4120; this is where his mother lives and the two departments are working together to find him. He has been listed in the national missing persons database. His correspondence prior to his disappearance indicate that he is unable to use good reasoning, and he may have ended up in a dangerous situation without realizing it. He needs to be found so that he can get help, and before someone takes advantage of his fragile mental state.


March 4, 2012: Silence

Published March 4, 2012 by April Fox

Today is March 4, 2012. You probably already know that, based on the little numbers on the bottom right of your screen, but I had to say it anyway.

Today, two friends are celebrating their birthdays, and it’s snowing outside.

It’s March 4, and it shouldn’t be snowing. The beautiful weather we had last week should have stayed, not been chased away by a cold front that left me blinded by wind and sun and tiny snowflakes that most people would declare beautiful, dancing against the bright blue sky, but only make me feel sick. Winter is a virus that claims me for months, and I can pull myself up and away from it on the best and brightest days, but underneath it’s killing me till spring.

[This is going to be one of those blogs in which I mostly just think out loud; feel free to close this tab and move on to Pinterest or your favorite news site. I’m not sure I have much of consequence to say.]

Today is March 4. 21 months ago yesterday, I’d never spoken to beloved, only knew of him in the vaguest sense, as one of the Other Guys in a band with my two guitarist friends. He was the guy who replaced my other friend in the band, and out of some weird sense of loyalty, I didn’t like him much, even though my friend’s leaving the band was voluntary. I’d heard his name from another friend, a guy in New York who through a bizarre coincidence knew us both, but his was only one of many names I heard and dismissed and went back to when I was searching for some point of reference for a conversation I’d had with someone else.

21 months ago today, he answered an email I sent to him and my friends about their band and a story I was writing. 21 months ago today was probably the last time we discussed the article, moving from polite exchanges of pertinent information to long, drawn-out stories of our childhoods. The time it took to get there was forever, but it happened instantaneously, somehow.

I’ve known him less than two years, but he’s been here my whole life. That scares me, eats away at my cynical little brain in the middle of the night when he needs his space and I need mine-one of the things that made us both go YES, this person understands, upon realizing the similarity there-and we are on two separate continents, sharing a bed. Back to back, nothing between us, he reads his news and I read mine, and I imagine the light from his screen makes him look pale and sick like mine does to me. We cannot tolerate conversation, but won’t allow even the sheet to separate us, either. Every so often he reaches back and sets his hand on my hip as if checking to see if the rest of me still exists; I keep my feet on top of his, pausing between words to think about how small I am next to him.

March 4, and it’s quiet here. The kids aren’t home yet from their weekend with dad, the dog is silent in his infamous little red hut, the cat sleeps on top of the record player and beloved is off at the studio, working. Margot plays through my shit laptop speakers, but the silence in here is louder than that. I’m almost afraid to leave the room, or the vacuum outside might swallow me up.

March 4, and 21 months later we have found ourselves here, swapping time with the car so he can get to gigs and I can get the kids and do we need milk while I’m out? No, not today. Less than two years and we have gone from all night talks and wondering where we’d be next week to promises of permanence and wondering where those people went who talked until our eyes were red and watery, and our voices faded out over the phone and we slept, side by side, miles apart, but different than now.

This is not what I expected at all, if I’d expected anything. I’m still unwrapping how I feel about this, overanalyzing like I do everything, wondering, still, how he knows this is right; wondering even more how I know, but knowing I do, and it is.

March 4, and if I said to him the weather is eating me alive and the stress of life is tearing me in half, he might in his frustration with my own accuse me of making excuses for why I’m restless and edgy and looking for reasons to stay. We were mostly silent while I dropped him off at  work, and when he comes home I expect we’ll be the same, settled into silence borne of his conviction that nothing needs said, and my own that there’s no point in talking. And at some point in the night, he’ll reach over and settle his hand on my hip, and I’ll hold my breath for a minute to feel his heart beating against my back, and all the words we needed to say will be there in the silence, waiting to be heard.

Understanding the High-Functioning Autistic Child

Published June 24, 2009 by April Fox

Understanding the High-Functioning Autistic Child
Kids with high-functioning autism have some unique needs, but all it takes is a little bit of attention to make their lives, and yours, easier.

The Olson Huff Center in Asheville, NC

Published June 19, 2009 by April Fox

The Olson Huff Center: A New Home for Children’s Therapy and Developmental Services
The Huff Center, a leader in developmental pediatrics in Western North Carolina, gets a new home. Find out about the new building, what’s good and what needs work.

Regurgitate (notes from the psych ward)

Published June 19, 2009 by April Fox

Regurgitate (notes from the Psych Ward)
waiting for the end of the world.

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