1: Life happens, flows, ebbs, progresses. Seems fine. Or, seems like what you think fine is supposed to feel like.

2: Stuff arises. You ignore. Stuff never goes away. You tell yourself it must be related to you. You need to change. Be better. Act better. Do better.

3: You push yourself to change. You remind yourself of where you fall short. They also remind you of where you fall short. Always. They point our your shortcomings. Always. They tell you your dreams are unrealistic, your talents few, your ass huge.

4: You really no longer need them to tell you any of this. Because you do a damn good job of telling yourself. But they still do. They don’t go away. Where would they go? The disappointment, the disapproval, the dissonance – constant.

5: You know it is all wrong. You know what settling feels like. You know you are settling but fuck if you know how to un-settle. You know this is unsustainable for you, mentally, emotionally, physically. What you do not know is how to right it. You are scared to right it.

6: You glimpse what is possible. You want it. You deserve it. You may very well die (at least inside) at this rate. 

7: And then…..

8: You have a moment. Everything looks different. You are scared as hell. You don’t allow yourself to be hopeful. Change is inevitable. But how, when?

9: Not everyone wants you to have the moment. Or to act on the moment. Things work better for them when you allow the fear to be in charge. When you are certain you are the most unlovable person in the world.

10: This is the time. You make your move. Or you don’t. And everything changes. Or it doesn’t. You have the power. Either way, you have the power.

11: You bust open. Bursting. Uncracked. It gets worse before it gets better. Healing comes, but painfully, painstakingly. “They” don’t let up. They act as if they hate you, as if you are the worst person in the world. Maybe you are. Two steps back. Nary a step forward.

12: You wait for a big giant shift that will make it all better. Then you realize every day is a tiny little shift. A tiny little shift that joins other tiny little shifts to form something bigger, lasting.

13: You lose crutches that helped mask the pain before. The food, maybe. The drink. The smokes. Whatever it was for you. It needs to be gone. And the emotions are laid bare. And that can hurt. Sting.Excruciating.

14: You start to love again. This time yourself. Mess and all. Warts and all. Big ass and all. You detach from the one(s) that don’t love you. From that which does not serve you. From those whose smallness seeks out the same in you.

15: You wonder if this is The Way. If life can really be this peaceful. If you deserve this. If you deserved what came before. The Voice tells you you still stink. But you know better.

16: This is you new life. Something has happened. You have made it happen. Every day, you make it happen. It isn’t always easy. It can be downright hard as hell. But you have come far. And. You. Are. Not. Going. Back.

17: Not ever.