“So maybe, this isn’t my body, but the corporeal embellishment of my thoughts. Just the meat jacket I’ve thrown on for the winter of my life, and I can peel off when I sweat in the summer of death.” – Nikki Wicz

Solidify and Strengthen

Fiction. Based on a true fight to heal.

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.

If I could peel off layers and layers of my own soft tissue,
remove the muscles and ligaments,
shatter the remaining bone,
and survive with what I had left,
I would.
Perhaps what’s on the inside really counts,
but what does it matter if it’s not even tangible to me?
How can it matter to anybody else?
And I want to, of course,
be the healthy bigger person with the healthy upper hand.
I want to take a step back, towards my soul and from my body,
and practice all the lovely things I preach.
Self-love, care, and compassion.
Focus on the things I have the power to change.
And yet- I feel unquestionably powerless.
Even when it’s within the realm of the ability, change is not within the realm of my confidence or strength.
I cower in the face of what I have not deemed myself ready for.
I am filled with anxiety and fear.
“If I told you that you could change the way your mind worked now, if I could teach you how to make new synapses, how to improve the way you think as a whole, what you would do?”
Well, back up in fear,
because ignorance is bliss and all else is so challenging
and I am overwhelmed with the chance of consequence.
Under all the layers of fear and ugliness,
self loathing and hatred,
the body I don’t want to be,
at some point, I must ask myself
is there anything valuable left?
If I am as disgusting as I feel,
if I can trust my instinct to be right,
this is all there is
and I know I cannot even make the best of it.
vile creature, molded of dirt and clay,
what will you do next?
Will you crack in heat and pressure as you are known to do,
or, as you are afraid you are meant to do, will you solidify and strengthen?

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