No matter how much life beats you down, rise above, become a better version of yourself that you can live with. Stop hating who you see in the mirror and be who you want to be.

I stumble...another blow finds its way to my face like an anvil. Identical blows meet me as I catch myself with trembling hands. The mud oozes between my fingers as the blows continue to bash into my exposed body. The only sound that muffles the cracking of my ribs is the animalistic screams that explode from my bleeding mouth. I struggle to get to my feet, only to be met with a swift blow to my right jaw. The taste of metal is overwhelming as I watch the blood mix with the mud beneath me. How did I get here?  The question burned through my mind as I took another jab to my ribs.  The pain that followed blurred my vision followed by the stinging of tears, like soot from a roaring flame.  The flame pushes me forward, like a beacon in the darkest of nights. 

Another rage-induced scream escapes my trembling lips as I find my footing in the muck. The blows come from every angle it seems, but I endure. It seems the further I push forward, the more the beating intensifies. How much more can my battered body sustain itself?  Out of the darkness, a jab with the density and speed of a semi connects with my orbital floor, the vision in my right eye goes dark.  I fall to my knees once again, the remaining vision in my left eye shimmers and blurs and I strain to focus. Just keep moving, I repeat to my fevered mind as I crawl through the crimson mud.  Breathing becomes difficult as the frigid air enters my burning lungs, like sandpaper or broken glass.  

I believe my body has grown numb to the blows, as each one connects with less intensity, my broken body relishing in the helplessness of it all. To my amazement, the blows become less and less until finally...nothing. The fire that fueled me was now burning as bright as a thousand suns, the darkness fading completely as I crawled forward. As if the length of a lifetime, I found the strength to stumble to my feet.  With each step, I found my once fleeting strength return to me once again as well as my wounds becoming less excruciating. My vision steadies as well as the vision in my right eye slowly returning.  I stood before the light anew!!  Stronger and more focused as I have ever been. I have walked through my darkest times and emerged victorious.  Where will I go from here?  I will keep moving forward...I will never return to the past that I have endured for it is just that...the past. I will learn from it but will never return to it. For what didn’t kill me only made me stronger and wiser. Never look back, keep moving forward...the words echo through me like a prophesy. You have survived your past, use it for preparation of your future.  The scars that cover me may be hideous to some, but I will wear them with honor, a reminder of what I survived and what I am able to endure for future battles. Rest easy and keep fighting, it’s always darkest before the dawn.


Submitted: March 06, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Adam Stewart. All rights reserved.

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