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“I think it’s human nature, we get stuck really easily. Things that are beautiful, things that are painful, it doesn’t really matter.” – Elsa Kennedy

Burning Life Away

Fiction. Based on a true pandemic.

By Bry LeBerthon

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

You know that nothing is permanent
Especially not this
This ten-day diagnosis with the current worst thing in the world
These two weeks spent pacing a near-empty room, waiting to be human again
Instead of a living, (thankfully) breathing disease
But it feels like you’ll never escape
And as days pass by they stretch on ever-longer
And you are here, and here, and here, and will never again be anywhere else.
Its not just this
You’re always like this
Constantly biding your time for the next best thing
Or at least the next less terrible thing
Counting down the days to graduation, to adulthood, to eventual death
Burning your life away, savoring nothing.
Yet when you look back at its embers
Back at the smoldering remains of the loved and lost
You realize, almost every time, that there was something there to hold on to
Precious moments lost in the fray, needles in an admittedly shitty haystack
That you wish you’d at least noticed when you had the chance.
And here you are again
Wandering a valley between precipices of change
Rushing, frantically, to the edges of existence
Knowing all the while, deep in the recesses of your mind, that you’ll look back on the solitude fondly in your later days.
Knowing this, you continue to bide your time
Marking up your empty calendar
Tallying the seconds in minutes, the minutes in days
Perhaps some part of you just knows that the grass is always greener on the other side.
The bodyaches and weariness and chills will fade from muscle memory while the view from your new window stays
That youll only value calm in times of chaos
And the loneliness, guilt, and sorrow will soon fade.
Or maybe, underneath it all, you’re scared of feeling
Scared of pleasure are you are scared of pain

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