The ugliest parts of me are not the things I show to others. No, that’s not who I am. When the ugliest parts of me start to show themselves, I go find the wild and the snow on the top of a mountain anywhere but here. And if I can’t go there, I disappear right here. Or, I remove myself from the situation, wanting to be nobody’s burden and no one’s worry and so I leave until I can pull myself back together and breathe again. Be me again. Because this is not me, this is sad and ugly crying and gasping for air while it feels like the world is swallowing me whole and that’s nobody’s problem but mine and I don’t show that because I’m not pathetic and that’s pathetic and I’m stronger than that. Only today I wasn’t strong anymore and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry you had to see that. I’m sorry I didn’t do better. I’m sorry that I’m struggling right now and I’m sorry if you felt like you needed to carry some of that weight. And I keep reminding myself of what that bottle cap said years ago – the weight is not as heavy as you think. And I tell myself – you got this, because I do. And I’ve been through far worse, more than once, and I’ve lived through all of it. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

life without a paddle cjmillar82 words of wisdom

And you see? I’ll be stronger because of this, too once I get through it, even if I don’t feel very strong right now.

My shoulders are hunched and I still can’t feel my toes, likely more from stress than from the cold. The cold air helps me breathe sometimes when I’m choking on my own oxygen like a fish out of water only to realize that I was never out of water after all. I just needed to stop fighting the people who care about me long enough to see that I deserve to be loved, too.

Thank you for holding me tonight. For letting me be raw, real, terrified, overwhelmed, messy, and outright vulnerable. That’s scary for me. I’ve always hidden the ugliest parts of me from the world, I don’t ever want to add to anyone’s weight even if the weight is not as heavy as I think. It still feels really heavy to me right now and I’m struggling to breathe.

I will be okay, I promise. Sleep will eventually find me, as will grief – whatever happens to be left – and I’m sure a little bit of solitude on the top of a mountain wherever I can get away to whenever I can get away without notice, just to be me with the mountains and sky and no one, and really just let it all go. I can’t wait for my shoulders to drop, my feet to warm up, and my heart to soften again. Thank you for being there for my best horse. And thank you for being there for me. Even the ugliest parts of me. I promise you won’t see them again soon.