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… Is that you are perfectly within your right to be human.

What I mean by that is that you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be a model survivor. You don’t have to be steadfast and move forward at a designated pace towards progress and healing. You don’t have to remain calm and dignified, your tears don’t have to be the clear, magnificent kind which miraculously fail to swell up and redden your eyes and leave trails on your cheeks. You can scream, you can wail, you can feel the urge to punch something, to declare how unfair it all is, how you can’t do it, how you feel scared and alone. You don’t have to be ashamed to ask for help or reassurance, you don’t always have to depend solely on the power within to help see yourself as someone strong, beautiful, and worth loving. You’re allowed to have moments of pure despair and loneliness. You’re allowed to feel like things will never be the same again, and voice them, and bitterly reject claims to the contrary.

Whatever you feel is best for you at that moment is precisely that. And that is the hardest lesson I’ve been learning in the last week, knowing that I have the right to embody something less than-role model level survival and coping. I made a mistake by thinking that I could always remain dignified and handle my grief and emotion without feeling outbursts of pure emotion and pain. That’s not the case, but that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong way to work through such intense emotions and experiences.

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