This week at the American Institute for Stuttering has been amazing. I went in with a few ideas of what I wanted to work on and I’m leaving having learned a lot about myself and my stutter with the tools to navigate this lifelong journey of stuttering. I learned little things I have known about myself but never acknowledged. How I need to work on my eye contact when I speak with people. How I use filler words to make it easier for me to communicate. How my past dictates my present. How I have options to choose how I want to communicate. How the anticipation leading up to something is always worse than the actual event. How being vulnerable isn’t as scary as I thought. How I can have control over my voice instead of it controlling me. How I have more to work through and willing to take on working on myself to become to best human I can be. This week, I met some incredible people who have been so supportive along the way. I’m so lucky to have experienced this program with all of them and I’m sure we will keep in contact as we apply what we have learned here in our daily lives. When you interact with fluent people on a daily basis, you can often feel like you’re the only one. It’s inspiring to be reminded that I’m not alone, that there other people out there who stutter too.
Last week, I watched a live stream on Instagram. A teenage girl named Lilia Buckingham was crying because of the hate she received after tweeting how she’s worried about writing a screenplay because she doesn’t know how she would fund the movie. People came after her for tweeting this because from how it looks through the filter of Instagram, it appears to some that she could just ask her parents for the money to make the film. This is not the case. Yes, it’s first world problems. But that doesn’t make the hate Lilia received any less real to her. Hateful words leave lasting remarks. Constructive criticism and hateful comments are two different things. You can express your criticism in a way that’s not personally attacking someone for sharing their thoughts on something they’re working on. When you put something out into the universe, more than likely someone is going to have an opinion on it. It’s life. I don’t know why Internet trolls attack people for the most mundane things. But they do and words can trigger emotions that can be damaging for a person. Online bullying has become normalized thanks to social media. People write hateful things they would never speak aloud because they’re behind a computer. I don’t know how social media companies should combat the hateful rhetoric shared on their platforms every single day. What I do know is that hating on what people say instead of doing it in a thoughtful, productive way says a lot about humanity and where we are as a society. If the person in the White House can attack people via his tweets and get away with it, what hope does that leave for the rest of us?
The scariest thing about taking a risk is jumping off the cliff.
You’re not sure if you will know how to fly as you say goodbye.
The view is beautiful but also leaves you in a state of shock.
It’s only when you jump, will you know you will fly farther than you’ll fall.
Yesterday, it was reported Demi Lovato was rushed to the hospital because of an overdose. Some were reporting it was a heroin overdose. No matter what it was, hearing this news broke my heart. I’ve been a fan of Demi’s for over a decade and her music has really helped in times where I didn’t have strength. Through her songs, I found a place where I could be vulnerable and acknowledge some of my problems I was facing at the time. She gave strength when I needed it. She was a friend when it felt like I didn’t have anyone else. Demi really helped me through some difficult times.
Last month, Demi released a song called Sober. The chorus and the last few lines left me in tears.
Momma, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore
And daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor
To the ones who never left me
We’ve been down this road before
I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore
I’m sorry that I’m here again
I promise I’ll get help
It wasn’t my intention
I’m sorry to myself
I remember where I was when I first heard this song. I was driving south, the Rocky Mountains to my right. It was a hot summer day in June and the blue sky was almost a teal color with tiny clouds scattered above me. It was a moment where I didn’t feel as though I was focused on what was ahead. I was too busy playing the song on repeat, trying to remember the moment, thinking I would one day write about it. I don’t know why I thought this. And I never thought I’d be sharing this story now.
No one knows what someone else is going through. No one knows just how deep people’s demons can drag them. No one knows what’s going on internally. It’s scary to work through your problems. It’s difficult to ask for help. Sometimes it takes going to the bottom, where you think no one can see you in order to want to begin working your way back to the light. Inner demons can do a lot of harm. Reach out to the people you love and make sure they’re okay. If you see someone struggling, ask if they’re okay or go and find someone that can help. Look out for one another.
Demi’s family released a statement saying how thankful they are for all the love and support Demi has been getting. Life is a long road that can end sooner than you think. Fortunately, Demi is still alive. My heart goes out to her and anyone who is struggling with addiction.
You’re not alone.
Self Harm: 1-800-366-8288
Eating Disorders: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE
Summer wind is unique. Its warm feeling can either comfort us or make us want to scream. It’s different in every place and depending on how you feel about this season, the wind will either make or break you.
I tend to be indifferent towards the summer wind. Some days, it reminds me of my childhood and other days I feel as though I’m living in hell. It’s normally the latter.
As I’ve gotten older, I have felt less positive about the heat. I grew up in Arizona and I didn’t think much about the heat. I’d run around barefoot in my neighborhood, staying outside until the sun disappeared past the horizon. I had tan skin and white hair. Then I moved to Colorado and I missed the heat like an old friend I never imagined I would one day lose.
Now I hate the heat. I hate sweating from doing nothing. I hate being weighed down by the weather. I hate not being able to breathe. I hate the endless, hot days that feel like years with no rain. I hate that summer leaves as fast as it arrives. I hate that my old friend has become my enemy.
Three months long at all. Though it extends by a little in spring and autumn, this summer wind never fully cools down the long days.
Lower left side of my mouth,
right if I’m staring into a mirror.
It’s all in my head,
it only aches when I’m out of ideas.
When I’m writing, reading, watching tv, or eating,
there’s no pain.
As if I’m in a bad dream.
But I’m awake because I can feel
my teeth clenching.
As if it’s telling me to be productive
instead of wasting the day
I pass by a window where color is fading from
the sky in the west. I glance at the view but don’t stop.
The shift from day to night happens twice every day.
Somedays I’m more interested in the sunset.
Tonight, I’m not. My mind has me lost in other things.
Thoughts constantly being questioned and rewritten
a hundred different ways. I’m always working
on something. These mundane moments clutter
my days. I’m more aware of what I do to distract
myself. These distractions can be obsessive.
I’m trying to change my bad habits.
Limiting my time on social media.
Blocking sites for a certain amount of time.
Leaving my phone in another room.
Allowing myself distance to create new thoughts.
Thoughts that don’t revolve around current events.
Where I can create a moment in my head that
I will forget before I can write it down. Letting myself
wander without any restrictions gives me the freedom
to narrate my thoughts without thinking about what’s next.
I’m Kelly Severseike and welcome to my new blog! If you’ve been reading my writing over on my old blog, hi! And if you’ve never read anything of mine and somehow found yourself on my site, nice to meet you!
I’ve been blogging for four years now and over that time, I’ve posted 180 pieces of writing! Tons of poems, a few essays, and a couple of stories. For almost three years, I have posted something every Monday! I’ve only missed one Monday and that was because I was on vacation and didn’t have Internet access! Blogging has allowed me to really hone in on my writing skills and hopefully inspire a couple of people along the way.
Photography is another passion of mine. I love capturing small moments and details that are often overlooked. I’m obsessed with sunsets, flowers, beautiful views, and my cat. On my website, you’ll see photos I haven’t posted anywhere else! I’ll update it every once and a while so be on the lookout for that!
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been combined my two passion and I’ve made two short films! Rotation is a poem with a series of moments shown along with a beautiful song. Torn-Between is a narrative piece that’s about a young woman in her early twenties coming to terms with the decisions she’s made and debating the possibilities of what her life could be.
I will be posting something new every Monday! If you want to receive my blog post in a weekly email, please let me know!
Thanks for stopping by!