“The Ultimate Challenge” Fiction. Based on a True Experience of Safety.

“Not every growing season is as apparent as sprouting buds

Or fresh new growth sprouting from cold soil.

Piece by piece,

Leaf by leaf

The old is being released.”

by K.E.A.

“The Ultimate Challenge”

Fiction. Based on a True Experience of Safety.

by Jin

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 can’t sleep. You were always like this. You’d take out your pen and paper to calm your racing mind. Now you reach for your laptop. It’s the same, really.

It happened the same way two nights ago after you spoke with her in the early hours of the morning. You stayed up until the sun rose, trying not to think. How many shows have you binged in one weekend? Three? A personal record, surely.

And now, boredom. That’s what you feel. You spent all evening trying to entertain yourself, but nothing interested you. You tried reading again, even, like you used to love to do. You still pull books from the shelves at the library, thinking they will bring you joy, and they gather dust on your nightstand or their corners are bent from being carried around in your backpack but never even looked at.

And what about all the lonely books on your shelves in your room? What about those?

You were bored this evening. You opened up a video game and promptly closed it again without unpausing it. Always a hallmark of your boredom. You answered a text right away. Again, not normal for you. You spent some time sitting and thinking.

You’re trying not to be afraid of the space. At the end of the day, you told yourself to be thankful for making it through another day, and you did feel some relief. But then you wondered: Is this what life is like now? Surely there is something I’m looking forward to tomorrow?

Why do today what you can do tomorrow?

Why are you so bored? And it’s not the good kind of bored. It’s the kind where nothing holds joy or interest anymore. You strive to fill your brain with meaningless activities, but that’s just what they remain to you: meaningless.

You miss your old life. You miss the people that used to be in it. You are tired of the people in it now. You’re tired of living with your parents. Can there be joy in this? 

To be physically safe, faced only by the troubles within yourself, unable to conjure your demons in some external source—that must be it. The ultimate challenge. 

The past is alluring and the future is terrifying, but the present is now. You want to do everything perfectly, but nothing is happening the way you want it to. You fail yourself and others every day. There must be some way to find acceptance in that.

You are, quite simply, doing your best. That has to be enough. Not just for others, but for yourself too.

What could you do if you did better? That’s what you’re always asking yourself. An unnecessary question. You are always doing the best you can at any given moment. 

Every moment has more potential than the last. You are bigger now than you were in the seconds before. With each minute, the light inside you is growing brighter.

Are you listening?

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