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Bullets Not Breaths

I want to take a moment today to remind people that mental illnesses are just as real and life-altering as physical ailments. I wrote this poem about a year and a half ago, when I was not doing well. I was also especially struggling with the difference - the separation - between how healthy I looked and how terribly sick I felt. Today, I'm doing so well! My external appearance matches my internal health. I feel confident. But it's been a long, hard fight to get here. A fight that, although can be much easier some days than others, will ultimately never end. So to those of you fighting an invisible illness... I see you. I feel for you. And I dedicate this poem to you. Some days she wishes the bracelet around her wrist was one of paper not of metal. So that, when she raised her fist into the air to tell the world 'I survived,' they'd look at her and know her pride instead of wondering what the hell she was shouting for. Some days she wishes she could peel off the scars on her body, place them like stickers on the chests of her friends, so they'd know who hurt her and who'd helped her instead, she simply avoids mirrors, and pretends she's forgotten her pain. Some days she wishes your words were bullets not breaths so that, when she staggered, cried, clutched hand to chest, there would be blood and justification rather than judgement, denial, and lies.

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