Dear Trauma

October 07, 2021

By Cherrial Odell

Cherrial O. (she/her/hers) is a two-time suicide attempt survivor and incoming college freshman. She currently interns for the Inspiring Children Foundation, which she accredits to helping save her life as a teenager struggling with severe depression, anxiety, anger, and suicidal thoughts through tools such as mindfulness and meditation. Now, Cherrial has found a deep love for her life and is extremely passionate about sharing it with others.

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Content Warning: If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800- 273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line – HELLO to 741741. You can find more mental health resources and evidence-based self care tips at bornthisway.foundation/get-help-now/.

Dear Trauma:

I remember you

But I am not you

I remember

Crying by the window wondering why you wouldn’t come home

The cans at my feet in the passenger seat

Doors slamming , things crashing , voices running rampant

The pain in your eyes and cries

Fed into all my lies

I remember guilt, fear, sadness, and resentment

How those feelings used to dictate my every action

How those feelings consumed me, until I no longer could see

Worthless , pointless , purposeless my life seemed

And my escapes were still not ridding me of my pain

Freedom just felt so far away

I thought suicide was the only way

But little did I know after that almost fatal day

My life would change in an extraordinary way

That day in the hospital , I can’t quite explain

Something was sparked inside my soul

I knew I had it in me to grow

Realized these thoughts in my head all weren’t true

That I had the power to choose

to let go, love and push through

I stopped running away

And In stillness I stayed

Breathing in and out

I finally could see my thoughts were not me

All I had to do was simply breathe

With each next breath

I was often put to the test

All my pain would rise inside of me

And it would get difficult to breathe

In the beginning I cried and cried and cried

But I carried on and tried and tried and tried

Coming back to my breath during times of distress

When everything in me wanted to hate

I refused to take the bait

In those moments I’d say I healed the most

Because I let love be my host

And now 6 years later here I am today

Free of all that old trauma and pain

Now it lives as an old memory

I actually think of that time quite fondly

It gave me the chance to find the deepest kind of love

So that I could rise above

And figure out who I am

By not living under my trauma’s hand

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