And she flourished, a response to 2012— The darkness within a 19 year-old girl’s mind. Written 8 years later.

The demons began to retreat. She had found a new, stronger voice. The voice of self-acceptance and understanding. She was not cursed, nor possessed, but deeply hurt—hurt by a wound she had never known how to heal.

For years the demons whispered, then screamed that she wasn’t good enough—never would be. She believed them, for no other voice could be heard. The demons told her to drink, to eat, to mutilate herself—she did. They told her she would never be happy and she nearly drowned in her own misery. The demons wanted more. They convinced her to do things that made others know her pain—one broken soul wasn’t enough.

Until the day she couldn’t bear it anymore. She reached out for help from the very people she had despised her whole life, only to find she was one of them—an alcoholic. They took her in and loved her—the family she had always wanted. They never gave up on her, never walked away, never for one second doubted her.

She began to do the unthinkable—she began to heal.

The demons fought back, but she fought harder. Each day her own voice got louder, until she could go days without hearing them. She forgot about the demons, but they didn’t forget about her.

They waited to ambush, striking when she least expected it. But she had something she hadn’t before. She had her own voice. A voice that had once been so weak as to be essentially nonexistent—now thundered through the darkness bringing light. A voice fueled by the love and acceptance she had experienced truly for the first time in her life. A voice that speaks truth, not lies to the girl.

With that voice, she grew a little stronger each day, learning to trust, learning to love, learning how to be loved, and most of all—learning to love herself. Every flaw, every mistakes, every success, everything that made the girl who she was today.

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