Sand to Stone
Resilience Project, Middlebury College
Sand to Stone
Lately I’ve found terror on my dinner plate again.
Please, have a side of paralysis with your chicken.
The mirror is no enemy to me anymore.
It’s learning to unlearn the art of starvation that once robbed me minutes, seconds, hours of my life.
It’s “losing control” each and every day and going to sleep knowing I may never have it back.
And they say that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing.
It’s falling out of love with the first one who made you feel whole.
With the one who taught you to walk with poise and balance.
Where is the piece of my heart that refuses to let go of dark chapters?
The heart that tells me I can win, only to call off the game before I’ve had a chance to bat.
Years and years of therapy, and booklets, and practice and pills equate to nothing on a plate.
The day I chose to “turn off” the noise, to let trailing voices of intolerance find demise, the wind died too.
I stopped spinning in place, stumbling over a heavy heart, looking to belong to a club crafted by society.
I am the girl who started living when she closed her eyes and took those first steps in the dark.
Who hit the floor like ice on hot cast iron the first time she realized who she was.
Swallowing her regrets and insecurities was all that could keep her from drowning.
Still dragged to the surface sometimes, they roll in on whitecaps of doubt.
The noise says to hide if you’re different, if your head wonders what’s wrong with your heart.
Give into the hurt or let it be your every reason to break free from the lead weights that restrain you.
If you find you can’t live above the pain, swim with its current.
It only serves to kill you if you pretend it doesn’t exist.
Let it carry you to the top of the hills your heart has wailed from for years.
Late nights staring at blank ceilings, incoming breakdowns that hide behind colored sunsets: nothing that can’t be eased with hunger.
Hunger is so much safer than brave sacrifice.
It’s the slow drawl of regret, finding its way onto the tongue.
Hunger is the absence that makes me whole.
It makes me feel whole at least, a perception stronger at times, than reality itself.
It is a transparent window between me and my dreams, clouding with smoke the minute rigid rules are broken.
Dreams buried in ash are nothing more than misplaced memories.
Breathe in the deepest drags of self-acceptance.
Let your worries fall in perfect lines and wipe them out of view.
Falling like snow, they’re far enough away now that a deep inhale won’t bring them back into your lungs.
It shouldn’t hurt anymore, shouldn’t be so labored.
The asthmatic gasp of guilt should soon subside.
They can’t have the satisfaction of watching you fail if you don’t allow them to.
Let the shattered pieces of your soul emulsify.
Your spirit is a mosaic too beautiful to be the 8th wonder.
Light a flame behind it and worship the skin, flesh and bones that you are.
There will come a day where the apathy you feel will fracture the walls you hide behind, not the fragile walls that cradle your heart.
It is not your fault that you ache in places you did not know you have.
It takes shedding your baby skin and finding your grown-up hands to learn who you are.
Pick up the fork crumbling into sand between your fingertips.
Make it whole.
You are as powerful as the magician you’ve never believed in.
Show the world your weathered eyes, not the face of the robot you’ve become.
Be the disordered thing that you are.
The person you looked up to when you were thirteen.
Love those who can draw the real you out.
And you will win the game.