Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

from Medicine bag prompt

with 5 comments

            Things are better now, so I don’t keep one anymore.  Don’t feel the need for it these days.  But awhile back, it was a life-saver, literally.  I called it my “in-case-I-wanna-die” bag.

            I was going through some hard times, in deep therapy, not sure if anything good would ever happen to me again.  My therapist would end a session saying, “Hang on, kiddo,” and “Do something nice for yourself this week.”  Sometimes, when I was feeling suicidal, it took all my effort just to sit there on the bedroom floor and not do anything self-destructive.  So to distract myself, I created a special activity bag.  It kept me occupied until the black mood passed.

            I went through a couple different pretty gift bags over a couple of years.  I filled them up with favorite things – ink pens, journals, favorite perfumes, photos of people and animals I loved, postcards from museums I’d visited, books that made me smile again, like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Book of Weird”.  It was evidence I compiled that there had been some good days in my life, even if I wasn’t having a good day right then.  Remembering happier times helped me to hang on.  I’d sniff the Silver Rose scent and be reminded of a lovely bed and breakfast stay the year before, see the pictures of my kids, that I did not want to have to find me if I “did something drastic”, and be scarred for life…I’d re-read sweet thoughts in pretty cards friends had given me.  Often it was just empty journal pages I could bleed ink all over until the pressure subsided.

            I’ve had smaller versions since.  I used to carry a medicine bag, a petite version of my “In-case-I-wanna-die” bag.  It held an acorn from the ancient oak in my grandma’s yard, a symbol of her strength and perseverance, an ID badge from visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a lock of my partner’s hair, a souvenir coin my son and I made years ago, a sugar cube from Les Deux Magots in Paris…These things symbolized sources of power and strength for me…

            Like a toddler who relinquishes her security blanket strip by strip, I am down to carrying just one stone with me.  It is painted with my spirit animal, Coyote.  I am looking within and finding my own strength, and taking good care of myself.


kerry, (c) 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

July 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

5 Responses

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  1. how very inspiring-and what interesting things to carry too–perhaps it is time for me to stop making the bags and jsut start filling them and working with the things I put in them
    thank you


    July 1, 2008 at 8:49 pm

  2. Kerry, this is such an honest and helpful piece to share with others who are going through the same thing. I’ve been through depressions and know the sense of hopelessness. Accept this comment as a prayer of thanksgiving that you survived and a blessing that you will always remember your worth and strength. You are needed in this world. God bless and keep you.


    July 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm

  3. thank you, Barbara, you made my day! For times like these, for friends like you, I’m glad I hung around! Kerry


    July 8, 2008 at 5:39 pm

  4. Simplicity sometimes we need to divest of all the baggage- a good point!


    July 9, 2008 at 12:41 am

  5. This really is a wonderful post Kerry. I am going to add this to the lens so that more people find your idea and replicate it. I have the bag and am going to follow suit.

    Heather Blakey

    July 9, 2008 at 1:04 am

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