A few days ago was Renny’s birthday, so I looked back on my journey in the last six years.
I thought about my friend who went through a hard time with depression. She told me that during her hardship, there were two kinds of people who supported her: those who brought her a bowl of soup once a year and those who brought her a bowl of soup on a regular basis. My friend, you know who you are and I thank you for that talk; Now, I’m taking the soup metaphor a bit further.
After Renny went to prison, I received many bowls of soup from my families, friends, and people in general. However it didn’t last long.
I still get soup that are made of materialistic needs, such as a roof to live under, a bed to sleep in, food, and clothes, and school for my son. These soup still comes and I always appreciate them.
What I’m was talking about is the soup for my mental and emotional well-being. When I stopped getting as many bowls of these soup as I would like, I realized if I want to keep on living, I have to learn how to make my own well-being soup.
At first, my soup was messing with my emotions and it tasted awful, but I had to eat it to survive. As time went on, the flavors of my soup changed; they tasted better. I even began to add various vegetables and spices to my soup to make it flavorful. I was proud of my delicious soup. I enjoyed making and eating it so much that I thought my soup was sufficient and so I stopped accepting soup from others.
But that didn’t last either.
I became tired of making my own soup on daily basis. I had to make a second bowl of soup for my son every day too, so I didn’t care as much about the flavors or the nutritious vegetables and spices in my own soup anymore. Some days my soup was watery and bland or consisted of just broth, and it would give me just enough energy to get through the day.
I missed the soup made by other people. You know how a soup tastes better when it is made by someone else? But I didn’t want to always have to ask them to make the soup for me. I would just cover up the flavor of my own soup with some salt and act like everything’s fine and dandy. It is a mistake that I have to learn to undo.
Few days ago, the Stanford rape victim wrote a statement 15 pages long to her attacker about her rape experience, and what she wrote in the letter will remain with her for life. It doesn’t matter how long you were in a relationship. It doesn’t matter if it was a marriage or a date rape. It doesn’t matter. Domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other traumatic events can fuck your brain up. I know time heals wounds, but when you get all better, it’s already carved into your heart for life and yet, time still goes on. That’s why we need to continue making and feeding each other soup. There are many people who can’t or don’t know how to make their own soups at all and they are starving.
I’m not just talking about domestic violence and sexual abuse, I’m talking about mental health and physical health, parenthood, family, relationships, education, career, money, and more.
The Deaf community is a tight-knit community, and yet I still see people don’t feed each other soup. Do you know what will happen if we don’t feed each other? We become hungry and we are forced to make our own watery and bland soup and we are barely surviving. Why is that a norm?
Would you be content to receive a bowl of soup once a year or receive a bowl of soup on regular basis? Why do you want to settle for your own half-assed soup if you can get delicious and nutritious soup from others?
I still get well-being soups from my close friends and kins and I always appreciate them. I still make good soup for myself most days, sometimes it’s so good that my families and friends want more and I am more than happy to make them more.
I am not perfect, but I am not my own island and do not assume that as long as I can make my own soup, I am always fine.
Please don’t tell me I am brave or courageous for sharing my stories with you; I don’t want to hear that anymore. What I want you to do is to start making soups and give to those who really need them the most. Soup always tastes better when you offer it to others.
We all are always hungry. Just a small bowl of soup can make a world of difference.