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Stop asking me to breathe when all I can taste is ash.
My lungs are full, but they’re full of water. I’m drowning in myself.
And yet you keep telling me to breathe, just breathe.
Breathe what? Air?
I don’t remember the last time I breathed clean, crisp air.
All I can taste is a bitterness, deep in my throat.
I can’t get enough air.
You tell me, ‘just breathe,’ but I’m already gasping.
God, can’t you see that?
Keep breathing what?
The smoke, the haze, the fog?
I can barely see straight and you want me to breathe?
You want me to trust you when I’m still coughing up the acid you poured down my throat.
You want me to keep walking, even if it’s at a crawl.
You want me to keep going with my life; you want me to get up, move on.
You know what, no.
I will go out and live my life when I’m ready to.
I will not so much as stand, until I know that my legs can support me.
I will not let you back in until I can trust myself.
I will not let you love me until I can love myself.
I will not ‘move on.’
I can’t move past my mind, but you can be damned sure that I’m going to heal, on my own terms.
Not on your schedule.
You can’t heal me; my heart is my own.
My demons are my own and you cannot push me to my feet when I am chained to the ground below me.
You cannot force me forward when I barely know how to push up from the ground.
I will not be your project.
I will not be witness to your pity party, and you can be damn sure-that when I’m ready, I am going to walk past you, chin up, chest out, with a confidence you will never have seen before.
You will not recognize me, because I won’t be the broken girl you once knew. I won’t be the mess of tears and emptiness that you once looked upon with pity.
I will be a strong, independent, scarred but healed woman, standing on her own two feet, and taking steps forward every damn day until I learn to fly.