Blog

Sep9
2016

Dear Discouraged

By Tonya Ingram

Dear discouraged, you are making progress.

With all that is real and difficult in this life. With the news, the death, the sighs that fill our conversations, I want to urge the value in taking care of ourselves. In taking care of each other. So please, post that selfie if it means we can find something beautiful in the ruin. Go out with the homies. Be a grand libation. Go to a store and try on something that you cannot afford right now, but treat yourself to the idea of embracing what seems impossible. Download Pokémon Go and meet someone new. Go to McDonalds and yes, devour those fries without shame. Dab until your arm is exhausted. Sit by the ocean. If you’re anything like me, learn how to ride a bike. Support your friends. Read a romance novel. Write 16 bars. Watch a nonsensical amount of cat videos. Buy a stranger a meal. You’ve got hugs; give them out for free. Stay in bed. Dammit, dance like everyone is watching. Dance like everything is lit. Speak softly and exist with volume.

Weep in the bathroom. Weep on the train. Weep in the arms of someone who gets it. Allow yourself to be angry. But be in love. Be in love. Be in love. Be in love. Be in love. With yourself, always first.

You are not fiction. You are the greatest story ever told.

Holy dust, you are here.

We know how to bruise and kiss the hurt. Pain is pretty, but recovery is glorious.

It may feel like the world is slipping from your grasp, but you’ve got a storm of goodness behind you. I would be lying if I said it is easy. If I said our trauma isn’t something that needs to be checked on regularly. If I said finding joy isn’t a full-time occupation. Yes, I hear you. No, this is living despite it all. This is a gospel of sorts. You, something more than miracle. Us, turning water into rebirth.

Whisper the secret: It will be okay and it will not be okay. Regardless we are made of faults and self-forgiveness. We are still here. Still worthy of love, of breath, and everything they said we weren’t. And so I kept living for this joy I must cling to. This self-care I must have.

We keep living as a note to self, saying, “I’m working on it.”

Stay with me.

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Comments (23)

  1. Ren

    This is so encouraging, you don’t even know. I really needed to stumble upon this today. I’ve struggled with the thought of relapse and the blogs you guys put up are so reassuring, refreshing, and filled with hope. Thank you.

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  2. Bellla

    This is beautiful. It’s life.
    Your way with words never fails to capture me. Just as your soul does.
    Thank you for the compassion. I hope you receive it also.
    God bless

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  3. Monica

    Beautiful. I really needed this.

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  4. Ida

    This is absolutely breathtaking, absolutely beautiful. You have a way with words, my friend.

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  5. Julianderson

    Thank you. Thank you for remembering me that I am worthy of love. I’m here, trying to stay with you, and until now I made it.

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  6. Tori Mansbridge

    Wow! I have no words for how beautiful this is. Luckily she speaks for us all ❤️

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  7. Candy

    You, dear Tonya, are the greatest non fiction writer I have read in sometime now. Your words speak volumes, pun intended, of one who knows, “…at the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark…” please keep sharing, daring and caring for self and others. You are a healing source. I, your Sister on this journey, applaud you with both hands clapping!

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  8. Anonymous

    This comment could not be shared due to the nature of the message.

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    1. Claire Biggs

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us.

      TWLOHA is not a 24-hour helpline, nor are we trained mental health professionals. TWLOHA hopes to serve as a bridge to help.

      If this is an emergency or if you need immediate help, please call and talk to someone at 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to the LifeLine Crisis Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx“. We also have a list of local resources and support groups on our FIND HELP page. Please know that we also respond to every email we receive at info@twloha.com.

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  9. Liz

    This is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing you real gift…you and your words are Inspirational!

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  10. Via

    Thank you. I really needed to read this today too. I’m really struggling and I may not believe all of this right now, but I want to so badly. I want to feel I have value and am myself again. I got off social media a while back because it became toxic to me, but recently tried to see if I was ready to get back on again. I don’t really know if I am, but if I hadn’t have gotten back on these past couple days, I wouldn’t have read this blog, so thank you. Just thank you.

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  11. Michelle Turner

    “pain is pretty, but recovery is glorious”. Absolutely beautiful and true

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  12. Tonette cox

    I cried reading this!! Speaks to my soul! Beautiful!

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  13. Erin

    Perfect

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  14. Barry

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  15. Aletheran

    I can’t thank you enough for this. Everytime I read this, I feel like I’ve found reason to live. Thank you so much.

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  16. Amy

    I am thankful for the serendipity of having this window open,…and I got to hear this lovely, thoughtful, articulate, impassioned and articulate and beautiful young woman speak her truth.
    Thank you!!!

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  17. Cheyenne

    Thank you for this. I am so glad and I feel so lucky to have come across this today. It is so encouraging and brings me so much hope. Thank you again. Peace&Love

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  18. Avis

    I cannot even begin to say what this post means to me. Today, my children and grandchildren decorated our tree. As I watched them sing and laugh, and try to get me to join in, my heart hurt. I not only lost my mother. My rock. On Christmas day almost 20 years ago, but I’ve lately been unable to work, and have literally no income. My children are taking care of me. Me. The person who has always taken care of everyone else. I’ve been to every possible agency, and still, there’s no help for me. It’s getting close to Christmas. To the day I lost my best friend, my ride or die. I was feeling so very hopeless. I read this post, and I know I’ll shake it off once again, and climb out of this abyss. I’ll dab, whip and nae nae til pretty much everything falls off. I’ll find a job. I hope. I’ll be ok. Because really, I don’t have any other choice.

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  19. Avis

    I cannot even begin to say what this post means to me. Today, my children and grandchildren decorated our tree. As I watched them sing and laugh, and try to get me to join in, my heart hurt. I not only lost my mother. My rock. On Christmas day almost 20 years ago, but I’ve lately been unable to work, and have literally no income. My children are taking care of me. Me. The person who has always taken care of everyone else. I’ve been to every possible agency, and still, there’s no help for me. It’s getting close to Christmas. To the day I lost my best friend, my ride or die. I was feeling so very hopeless. I read this post, and I know I’ll shake it off once again, and climb out of this abyss. I’ll dab, whip and nae nae til pretty much everything falls off. I’ll find a job. I hope. I’ll be ok. Because really, I don’t have any other choice.

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  20. Tara Sanfilippo

    staying with u !!

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  21. MDawn

    Thank you for this reminder!

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  22. Joshua Major

    Truly inspiring.. I can’t put into words how warm I feel inside after reading this. Thank you is not enough. You might have just saved a life with these words of hope and kindness. Tysvm from the bottom of my heart!

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