Stronger Than the Struggle

Dear Ryan,


You didn’t know me way back when…

I struggled to read with my kin,

Mom studied by day and worked by night.

Dad held three jobs, struggling with all his might.


I learned from the struggle.


The rent was late

The bills weren’t paid

The mold it grew,

And the illness too.


I was sculpted by the struggle.


Timid and shy, anxiety emerged.

Confused and lonely, depression surged.

Education was the key,

Knowledge! It would set me free.


I was motivated by the struggle.


Immersed in books I fought to learn

For more insight, I would yearn.

I grew to study with such ease,

And dreamt of university, please.


I was driven by the struggle.


As an athlete with the skills,

It seemed like talent could pay the bills.

With top marks, and the sport I played,

It seemed bills for college could be paid.


I was blessed by the struggle.


The day I took a ride with you,

I couldn’t foresee what it would do.

The lie, the speed, the crash.

My body was bruised, my head was smashed.


I was struck by the struggle.


My meniscus was torn, my brain was bruised,

My spinal cord injured, emotions used.

Missed days in school could no longer be counted.

Depression returned, anxiety mounted.


I was wounded by the struggle.


The concussion fogged my brain,

I tried to study, but all in vein.

Learning no longer came with pleasure,

Concentration, memory, and comprehension were a long lost treasure.


I was confused about the struggle.


My sport was gone, my grades would drop,

I begged for everything to simply stop.

You chose to secretly drink and then to drive.

You didn’t care if your friends were dead, or alive.


I was angered by the struggle.


My brain was damage and has not healed,

And I’ve fought to return to the field,

My path has changed, my goals have not.

Despite the hurdles I have fought.


I will fight the struggle.


I am here, I am healing well,

On the past I will not dwell

The struggle has made me stronger than I knew I could be,

And I will keep on progressing because I am me.


I am stronger than the struggle!

I learned from the struggle.

I was sculpted, motivated, driven, blessed, struck, and wounded by the struggle.

I was confused about and angered by the struggle.

But, I will fight the struggle.

Because I am stronger than the struggle!


Best Regards,





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I am a student athlete that aspires to be a veterinarian.  Writing has always proven to be an effective means of coping with adversity.  I was involved in a car accident, that was caused by a careless friend, in my sophomore year of high school.  These past few years have been filled with pain, struggle, confusion, and adversity as a result of the injuries I endured during that accident.  Journaling has helped bring peace to the turmoil I have experienced and this poem is one of many letters I have written to my friend Ryan in an attempt to personally deal with the change that has emerged in my life as a result of that car accident.

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