Written by JoAnna

Trauma: My Story

Have you ever had that feeling like your whole world in crumbling and you don’t know how to make it stop, and right when you think you’ve figured it out it suddenly starts spinning out of control? You feel sick and numb all at the same time. Your eyes can’t stop the tears from flowing. Your mind won’t stop replaying what happened. Not because you want it to, but because you’re trying to process and understand how any of it could’ve happened. You can’t even imagine saying what happened out loud because the thought of hearing yourself saying the actual words would then make then true, and the pain of reliving such a thing would hurt maybe even more than the first time. I know this feeling all too well. I know the kind of work it takes to get to the other side. So, here is a letter to all of you warriors that are fighting for yourselves and for the ones that depend on you.

Dear Warrior,

I know you’re tired. I know you’re hurting. I know you wish you could wish it all away. I know what it feels like to not remember. I know what it feels like to wake up with bruises on your body. I know what it feels like to see your blood on the sheets and a broken lamp on the floor. I know what it feels like to wake up gasping for air underwater. I know what it feels like to not know his face. I know what it feels like to feel like a dirty old rag that’s been tossed at the wayside. I know what it feels like to hate your own body. I know what it feels like to feel like it’s not even your own, like it was taken from you. I know what it feels like to go numb. I know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed, to not want to eat, to not want to smile. I also know what it feels like to say “Goodbye” time and time again. So many things left unsaid.

But I also know this… I know what it feels like to get back up even when it hurts. I know what it feels like to fight. To fight for yourself, to fight for those depending on you, and to fight for the incredible human being you are to become. I know what it feels like to prove to yourself more so than to anybody else that it's not over. I know what it feels like to find beauty in life again and to figure out that hope is something precious and beautiful. I know what it feels like to get back up and fall again and again and again and again. I know what it feels like to smile again after so long. I know what it feels like to breakdown your own walls and allow people to come back in. I know what it feels like to finally feel alive again. I know what it feels like to have grit, to have tenacity, and to tell yourself that THIS is the person you're choosing to be. This person who is brave and strong and beautiful and kind and smart and can do anything she sets her mind to, because she knows that she doesn't have to do it alone. This person who above all else has figured out that in order to beat the gut-wrenching pain that was swallowing her whole must choose love.

So love yourself Warrior, love yourself because you deserve all the love that you can give. Love yourself so that others may see you as an example of love and have the strength to get back up. Love yourself so that everyone whoever doubted you is only left to smile because deep down they knew that you could do it all along. Love yourself so that you remember how absolutely incredible you are. Love yourself so that if life were to punch you in the face once more, this time you'll be able to punch back twice as hard. Love yourself because you are worthy. Love yourself because it feels so damn good.

So take a deep breath, and then another, and then force yourself to GET. BACK. UP! It’s not going to be easy at first, but I PROMISE YOU it’s one hundred percent worth it. Look for Joy. Live in Gratitude. Take it one day at a time. Rely and those that show up on the daily in your life. And remember, you’re a warrior. It’s time to fight like your life depends on it, because guess what? It does. I believe in you, so you should too.

XO

- Jo