“Mother Nature always inspires me whenever I feel as if the world is falling down. I go outside to be immediately filled with hope. I love feeling the sun on my skin, sometimes it burns me a little, even then I feel like it makes me glow. I love listening to the breeze and how it makes the leaves move, I love seeing it too. How leaves sometimes fall due to the harshness of the wind yet they continue flowing. My favorite place in the whole entire world is the beach. I’m fascinated by it, how calming and peaceful it can be, how dangerous and mysterious it is.” – Gracie

“Waves”/”The Emotional Liberation of Running Away”

Fiction. Based on a true moment of running away to find myself.


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.  

The cool spray of the ocean water welcomed me. It graced me with its presence, lightly falling upon my skin.

I walked along the monotone shoreline in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. It was late summer.

It was chilly and overcast. I loved visiting the beach when the sun would warm my skin, but on these kinds of days, I could come and just sit.

No frills – no beach towel, no sunscreen, no swim trunks.

I could be alone – alone with my thoughts, alone with my feelings. But not in the scary way. This kind of solitude was necessary.

I cherished it.

It was how I could purge myself – back then, it was my only form of catharsis.

Despite the less-than-optimal weather, the beach had been the first place I thought to visit that day.

My feelings would get the best of me, still, back then.

But, being outdoors was always my favorite, most effective medicine.

The woods, the beach. The mountains. A grassy meadow. I could always lose myself, and then find myself once again, when I stepped out of society.

When I stepped into the calmness of the untouched, untainted outdoors.

On that particular day, alone on the beach, in Sandy Hook, the crescendo of the dark waves brought my emotional crisis to a halt.

It was as if each time the waves crashed against my feet and then receded, with them went a little bit of my anxiety, my sadness.

I sat at the shoreline, letting the water meet with my bare toes. I looked directly overhead, at the gray sky. I breathed in the salty sea air, shivering slightly.

I felt the waves of emotion flowing through me, exiting my spirit. Leaving a refreshingly blank slate behind them.

My heart healed itself in that special, magical way – that process that could only occur when I removed myself from everything, from everyone.

I closed my eyes. I smiled at the waves.

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