Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

I’m Okay

Someone asked if I was okay. It surprised me and caught me off guard all at once and I replied with “what do you mean?”

They explained that they had been busy lately, but kept having a feeling that perhaps something was not right.

I treasure friends like this. The ones who take the time to ask. Those are the ones I hold with both hands, whole heart, soul split wide open, with a gratitude that takes me to my knees forever. To me, that is beautiful.

Whether I am okay or not is something I struggle with opening up about. Because I did once. Despite my fears, I tore my own walls down and became an open book to thumb through. Opening yourself up to someone you trust with every part of you is a scary thing, but freeing once you know without a doubt that you are safe in their hands. They know everything about you, your secrets, your fears, your demons, your baggage. They love you unconditionally. The no matter what kind of love. The heart and soul kind of love. That without a doubt kind of love.

And then… that love folds with conditions, bends into doubt, and falls into the nothing that was once the all. Here comes the walls.

I built the armor back high.

I learned not to open myself up ever again to anyone. Because I know what it’s like to share everything with someone and have it used against you. I know what it’s like to have someone love every single part of you one day, and hate it all the next. I know what it’s like to talk to someone every single day and night, and then never hear a word again. I know what it’s like to have someone you think of as your best friend in the world become a stranger you never talk to again. I know what it’s like to be at the lowest point of my life and not have that person anymore or anyone else to talk to. I know what the silent treatment feels like. I know the bathroom floor crying, the devastation, the emptiness. I know all too well how it feels to need that one person to talk to, but you can’t anymore because they’re nothing more than a stranger now and you don’t know why. You only know that all you shared means nothing now. You only know it’s always going to hurt. You only know the friends you lost along the way, but mostly the one you trusted with your life. You feel it when they leave. It leaves an emptiness that cannot be filled. It leaves ruin that cannot be undone. And life or death, my lips are sealed. Okay or not, my throat is empty.

I wish I didn’t know how that felt. But I do.

So, I keep myself safe now behind these walls. And I always say I’m okay whether I am or not. It’s all I have. My words… they got lost somewhere between the all or nothing, when I hit bottom and crashed into the no matter what, and I found myself as worthless as the fall promised to be a lie.

A head first dive I took for face value, I hold on tight now… and never let go. Because I did once.. and it ruined me.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry



3 thoughts on “I’m Okay”

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