Hello Madeline,

Forget about the internet for a second. And remember that you are putting this here for yourself. So that in the future, if you ever again feel like you are weak and incapable, you can come here and find this to remind yourself that you are incredible.

Remember this moment. Packing up your room and taking down your wall of vintage family photographs, stumbling upon your makeshift urn for Toby’s ashes. Your best friend, the greatest dog, in a little case guarded by her collar. You picked it up and instantly felt warm. Your face tightened, clogged with the tears you had not felt coming on. You pulled her to your chest and started sobbing. And you instantly felt relaxed. You gripped the urn to your heart as tight as you could and felt proud. Because this wasn’t sadness. This was pride.

You made it. On your own. You reached the point where you could see yourself cleaning out the room filled with pain. The room you were the loneliest in that you have been in your entire life. The room where, for at least four months, you spent literally every night falling asleep thinking of all the ways you could kill yourself without hurting anybody else. The room where you realized what love most certainly isn’t. The room where yourself was taken from you. Multiple times. Without your knowledge or permission. Fainting from not eating. Vomiting from panic attacks with a heartless, sleeping body ignoring you on your bed. Headaches from screaming. All of the pain you put yourself through. The sadness of a lost dog and far family.

Now here you are. Hugging what you can. Really knowing that this is what “getting better” feels like. Not being sad that Toby is gone, but being glad that she was ever there in the first place. Seeing your mother, young, having made it through all that she has as well. Feeling proud of her strength, glad she instilled it in you. Finally able to breathe and take this room apart, not feeling resentful about anything, feeling the baggage lifting, being alive to know how much and how well you really did survive.

Keep this here to remember that you are more than capable of surviving and being happy.

It’s not actually difficult, it’s just being alive.

Now breathe in

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Breathe out

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And don’t worry. You are in control and you are okay.