Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

War Against Yourself

There will come a time when you don’t see the beauty in anything and the days may as well be night because you only feel the darkness creeping into your bones. You are not alone. There will be days when you don’t even know who you are anymore because you are so deep in the struggle, you become blind to your purpose. Nights when you are curled up on the bathroom floor, muffling the sob from your throat with a towel, feeling as worthless as you ever have. Hours spent in a daze, eyes fixed on the wall, wondering how you got so lost and how this… this is your life. There will be people who tell you many times to snap out of it, get some sunshine, go for a walk, get your shit together, you’re wasting away. Those are the people who never will get it, no matter how hard you try so don’t ever waste the time trying to explain your war to anyone who believes it’s a choice you make. There will be times, so many times, when you are weighed down from all you carry like weapons under your skin, pockets full of ammunition, and the only armor you know is in your eyes because you learned how deadly eye contact can be. Eyes fixed down, you dodge glances like bullets and your favorite weapon is being unseen. You can do anything without looking into the mirror because the mirror is where the war is and you taught yourself to look away from the enemy at all costs. It’s a big price, but you can’t stop paying it. Unlearning the battle is the hardest thing you will ever do, if you ever do it. Your brain is fighting against you at all times and your heart roots for you, but always loses. So you started feeling like you are always losing and those pep talks you gave yourself turned into hate speech that could easily win an award for self loathing. You’re a soldier fighting for your life on the front lines of both sides, and you cannot win while you lose at the same time. Stop fighting against yourself. No one ever showed you how to be on your own side because no one ever stood next to you to prove it’s possible, so that’s your job now. You have to teach yourself that. You have to stop letting where you came from define you and unlearn the lessons that never served you. Maybe you have to remind yourself that you’re not a child anymore, you make the rules for yourself and you can rewrite them however you want. That battle in you that bounces off the walls from high to low is a big enough war for one person. Don’t try to fight it with weapons from your own self destruction. It does not work. I have tried it enough to know and I can show you the proof of how it backfires every single time. I have wounds from that war of kicking my own ass and calling myself my own hero, like I was saving myself by fighting against myself. I never was a hero and I never did save myself that way. You won’t either. You can’t be gasoline and fire at the same time without something blowing up in your face. You can’t be your own hero and enemy at once and win. So whatever you’re battling, I hope you remember it’s possible to fight for yourself without being against yourself. Stay on your side and root for yourself. I believe you can. I believe I can.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Letters to Myself


3 thoughts on “War Against Yourself”

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