For a Friend

I hate to see you this way.

You have so much potential. You're smart, you're funny, you're a damn fine human being. And you keep getting in your own way because you let someone else's damage stop you. 

I know the drill all too well. You believe what you've been told -- that you're not good enough; that you're a loser. Those words weren't words. They were living things... Parasites, unleashed upon you which then burrowed deep into you and began to feed on your spirit.  They live off you. They devour you. 

 Those who hurt you, they meant to hurt you. They're winning every single time you let what they say affect you. They couldn't have loved you; they couldn't have ever been your friend. They did this to you. Friends don't do that. 

I wish I could have gotten to you first. I wish I could give you the weapons you needed to fight off the ticks and leeches who used you and then left you scarred. I wish the words I say could counteract all that damage and kill the parasites and help you see how wrong they were. I wish I could take it from you. Like I said, I know this all too well. I know the pain, I know the suffering, and I can handle it. I'm big and I'm strong and I've been there before; several times. I know how to fight them. I know how to beat them. 

I wish I could teach you. I can tell you how I did it, I can give you the words to repeat in your mind and the methods to combat all that damage... But just showing you the moves is no different than teaching someone another language by constantly repeating it to them, only louder and more emphatic each time you don't get it. You have to immerse yourself in it. You have to live it. 

Live like you love yourself. You don't right now -- I get that. But it's not real. It's because of them and what they said and the things they did to you. It's not that you loathe yourself; it's that you loathe what THEY convinced you you are. 

It's not enough to say "don't let them win." They already have. The way to win is to draw a line in the sand right here, right now, and cross it. Treat that line as a whole new life, one where you're going to treat yourself right and love yourself. Cook good things for yourself to eat. Buy clothes you like. Exercise. Cut them off -- don't listen to them. Don't let them in. Treat them like dogs barking on the other side of a door you just closed. 

And take it all one day at a time. Stop looking at the end of the tunnel and wishing you were on the other side of it. Just put one foot in front of the other. And know that those who really know you and love you know what you are. Not what you can be, but what you ARE. And all we want is for you to see it for yourself.