Dear Trials and Tribulations,

Dear my most persistent hardships and my unyielding struggles,

           To my Anxiety that takes my breath away like a ruthless Boa Constrictor, I remember our very first encounter with strange nostalgia. I was a mere 12 years old cowering in the safety of my room, begging for the yelling that echoed through my home to cease. Unbeknownst to me, I was not alone, you were there as well. Not as the friend and ally I needed but as a thief. You took my calm, dashed my control, and worst of all shattered my self-esteem. I was young then, a fool, and so naive. I believed I could overpower you, but I quickly learned that this battle of wills would not be won in the confines of my mind. You hid behind my deepest fears and my most daunting insecurities. You were armed with weapons whose purpose were beyond my comprehension at the time. Today is different however, Will-Power is my shield and Facts my armor. I wield a sword crafted from Love and polished with Courage. I've lost many battles with you, it’s true, but I address you now to say a final farewell, I no longer fear you.

           To my poor health that appears uninvited so frequently, you have been with me since birth. You broke my mom's heart with seizures from infancy until age 8. You left me stigmatized, branded with the term "Epilepsy" long after seizures subsided. You made me look weak and broken to every employer and teacher I have ever met. You are the reason why my coach made me sit out the second half of regionals after a mere bump in the head from a basketball. For years, I let your chains ensnare me and weigh me down with every step I took. You inspired the looks of pity that followed me down the halls of my school. Yet, I find that I can forgive you for all you've put me through. I've forgiven the fevers, the seizures, the pneumonia, and infections that riddled my childhood and robbed me of simple joys. You've left a mark on me that will follow me forever, but you no longer define me. I am not defective but inventive, I am not weak but strong beyond measure, I am not broken but rather ever evolving. You are no longer my handicap, you are what I succeeded, in spite of. You will always be a part of me, but I have long since been freed of you.

            To my Loneliness, who has been my most elusive companion in the last years. Ironically enough you brought companions of your own while I had none in my corner. You introduced me to Envy who twisted my heart when I watched couples cross the street hand in hand. Bitterness visited soon after when my parents left me to walk in the rain, so they could go to my sister's recital and go to my brother's Science fair. Later, Doubt arrived and encompassed me in a strong yet cold embrace. It left me lost and angry at everything and nothing at the same time. Soon after it all gave way to Depression, who taught me to lash out at those who tried to help me. You tricked me into further isolating myself, you guided me to the quicksand of my mind. I believed your silken words and fabricated reassurances, I distanced myself from anyone who extended an olive branch, and worst of all I convinced myself the truth was out of my reach. You were my greatest foe and longest adversary. You almost snuffed out my inner light, but I made a new friend much more resilient than all of you, her name is Hope and with her she brings Forgiveness and Love. My fight with you has been long and hard but it has shaped me into who I am today. So, while I am glad to say Goodbye I also want to say Thank you.

           Thank You for making me struggle. Thank you for making me work. Thank you for sculpting my soul. Thank you for pushing me to my limits. Thank You for all the pain and the tears for which I once cursed you for. From the rain grows flowers and from tears grows my resolve. Someday I may encounter you all once again or perhaps this is the final word to be had, regardless I'm sure I'll meet new hardships on the road to my future, but it is because of all of you I know how to smile and how to face it all with courage. To all my trials and tribulations, both past and present, I bid you Farewell, you have made me stronger than I have ever been before.


           A More Powerful Me

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