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I began to talk to God, like I always do when I’m deep in the bottle, and I talked to the Devil too. I challenged them both, told them I didn’t need them, or maybe that I did. I told them I was ready to meet their angels and their devils; take them all on. – Chet Buckley


Fiction. Based on a true failed prayer.

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 lean on your windowsill and stare down the city, watching the glittering lights blankly and wondering where they dissolved into stars. its cold, and you are wearing almost nothing. you wish you minded the biting sting of wind or at least appreciated the picturesque view.
instead, you are comprised of bottles and pills and ashes,
all present in place of your deadly, seething rage.
if you can mute and muffle it,
choke it and leave it listless and gasping for air,
then maybe
just maybe
you can be human again.
And wouldn’t that be beautiful?
You still remember what it was like.
Cold fall mornings, huddled with friends, all bleary eyed with the sleep you missed out on from staying up all through the night. Whispering during assemblies and classes about characters and plots, caught up in the stories of people real and imagined, overwhelmed with emotion and excitement. Pizza parties and treehouse mansions, clubhouses behind bushes and dumpsters, abandoned playgrounds and the very back corner of the empty classroom set the scene. Everything is still so important to you now- you’re wrapped up in the drama of high school and TV shows, of young romance and destiny. Everything is distracting, and impermanent. Anything is possible, especially for you, and you are so loved. The future is bright and broad and impossible. Life is the same thing as potential.
Hope is the same thing as ignorance.
Ultimately, you should have known. You knew.
Fate had it in for you.
You were doomed, from the very start, to a life of chemical imbalance and imperfection, isolation and rejection, you have never ever understood where you stand, and that doesn’t change now.
You look out the window, and you are staring East. You are in lower Manhattan, Chinatown, alone and far too sober. You are in your dorm room, you are far into your own head.
You are still lost.
You think of her, and Him, and how far you have drifted, and you know you are a fool.

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