Smell the Roses

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I was once told in prison while I waited to go to a hearing for an infraction that I can either do my time the HARD WAY or The Easy Way but the statement fell short, not to me not acknowledging the logic of the comment but for the fact that I never knew how to do anything the easy way. I had been living in my own personal prison for so long where my mind and body have not been in sync for as long as I can remember.

At seven years old I started cutting myself because the pain was more identifiable and was less painful than my emotions, the anxiety made me chew the inside of my cheek like it was a sandwich. I wanted to feel normal, I wanted to feel safe, and I wanted to feel loved as a child. Unfortunately, that was not my reality.

Life felt like an accident about to happen, almost like a punishment. I saw pain and unease when I looked at the people on the streets. Why doesn’t anyone else see that something is wrong? I would tell myself. Why is everyone so carefree? In my naive assessment of the world, I felt alone and different. I did the comparing, envied, pitied, shamed, blamed and the anxiety turned to anger. Being overwhelmed tuned to overcompensating with the help of drugs to give my alter ego a stage.

There are no perfect answers to the problems of the world and ourselves. I used to blame it on my mother, brother, and family in general because they were emotionally unavailable and I was the black sheep. Life still feels coarse at times but I finally got clean, got an education and learned how to smell the roses. Life may not be perfect but I no longer expect it to be,

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