this is kind of a different post, stay with me.

i feel compelled to share my story.  in the beginning it was to alleviate the pain, i was filled to the brim with hurt and there had to be overflow.  now it is the realization that this will always leave me different, the realization of how brief our time is on this earth, the realization that what we do with our time matters very much.

and so i write this to you my reader,

if you are sitting there, wondering, does what i do matter? would people miss me if i was gone? do i need to spend my days locked in a cage?

if you are sitting there thinking, i am too fat, i am too stupid, i am not educated enough, i have a disability, i can't succeed because my face, legs, stomach, brain, speech impediment, the color of my skin

if the doubt circles around your head like bats, swooping in as night falls

if the pain feels too much to bear alone

if you are stuck

to you i say, stay brave.  to you i say, lift your head.  to you i say, stand strong.  to you i say "you can" to you i say "you will"

if you wear long sleeve shirts in the summer, if you go to the restroom right after eating, if you don't eat at all, if you jump on the treadmill as soon as you wake up, if you take hits, if you drink too much, if you dropped out of school, if you had a baby,

to you i say- you can. to you i say, it's not too late. there is one thing and one thing only that can rob you of life, and that is death.  if you are here, if you are reading my words, it is not too late.

if you are taking off your wedding ring or putting one on, if you are getting final notices, if phone calls feel like sentences, if you are getting beat, if you are doing the beatings,

s t r u g g l e

then take my hand.  take my hand for you are my brother.  take my hand for you are my sister.  i stand with you.
i stand with those that are hurting, i will not turn my face away from your hurt.  i will stay until the wave passes.  i will stand in the fire with you.
to you i say-
you are loved.
to you i say-
you are wanted
to you i say-
don't give up

all my love,

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