Dear E.p.,

Because I remembered not to long ago, I was on that path, too. I just want to tell you:

There's no way to get around it but to face it. That is, deal with it by submerging yourself waist-deep in its murky waters, where I do pray you will find the grace to move amidst the discomfort, to get up while crying when you fall further in ditches unseen, to push through even when your bruises and scratches seem to pile one on top of another.

It will get ugly, miserable, painful.

It will never be fair.

It will not make sense.

And it will feel like the pain  won't end and whatever hope you see is but a tiny glimmer far, far away in the horizon.

I know, I know it may seem fiction at this point, but the good news is, the ugliness, the misery, the pain-- they do end. That little ray of hope peeping out? It is real, as real as the hopelessness you feel today. And you just don't know but by facing the murky water, by wallowing in the ugliness, by moving, you're inching your way there slowly.

What I've learned from this network of sisterhood I found myself connected to when I was swimming in that uncomfortable ocean: that it is possible to handle things with grace. That amidst the discomfort and the impulse to just give in to the easy, it is possible to cling on to that tiny shred of dignity and emerge with your self intact; that it's no piece of cake, but it's always worth it when you choose yourself over the boy. He's just passing through, Ep, but meanwhile, you will always have you.

I love you, Ep, and if I can keep you from all this discomfort, I will, but it's your journey -- and no journey is ever wasted, whether it's the first class kind or the most heartbreaking hitch of your life.

You will get through this, I promise. Just remember that along with letting things get ugly are conscious decisions you have to make for yourself, in the name of self-love. That, too, is real, you know.


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