the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

Two Pairs of Shorts.

Bee ButlerComment

My friend Carly (formerly Carlovely, for those of you who are Tumblr fanatics like me) posted this photo today, with the following caption:

this is a photo i took today of two pairs of shorts, both mossimo brand from the juniors’ section at target. i bought the denim pair, a size 0, at the beginning of this summer. the black pair are a size 4. let me repeat that, the LARGER pair pictured here are a size 0 whereas the SMALLER pair are a size 4. same brand. same season. THIS is why women have body issues.

I love Carly, and she has dropped a ton of weight in recent years, so she's fully aware of the utter bullshit that is women's pants sizing. I was legitimately furious at this picture, because WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD TO JUST MAKE UNIFORM SIZING FOR PANTS, DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN.

A bunch of people jumped on my ass when I shared the picture on Facebook, because beauty standards and it shouldn't matter and blah blah blah whatever I'm not in the mood to read those comments today, thanks.

 This is why it matters to me, and to millions of others.

When you've struggled with an eating disorder, the size of your pants can be incredibly troubling. Going from a size five to a size sixteen can make you feel like you're going to die. It's crazy, but that's what fuels anorexia and bulimia; the crazy idea that your value is inherently determined by your size.

While I know that my worth does not come from a pair of shorts, my history with eating disorders makes it impossible not to see the connection there. A size sixteen is not the same or smaller than a size eight, and thus, my pants (or the pants in the picture, or any pants anywhere) should not reflect the idea that they are. Women's clothing is sized in an absurd, eating-disorder-fueling, beauty-standard-enforcing manner, and that is INFURIATING to me and so many others who just want to buy some damn fabric to cover our asses. Mossimo and the hundreds of thousands of other brands who size their clothing in such a dishonest and crazy manner need to be subjugated to criticism and consequences so that they can see the error of their ways and fix the problem in their sizing, as well as in their thinking.

The end. Full stop.

 

 

If you cannot wrap your head around that, then please do not ever talk to me about food, or pants, or clothing, or beauty standards, or weight, or actually at all, ever. Just shut up. Because this shit nearly killed me two years ago, and I'm still too close to it to be objective or give a rat's ass about your completely wrong and invalid opinion. Bye.

 

For those of you who get it and are mad as hell at the struggle and BS that comes along with it, know this: You are beautiful, and Target and Mossimo and everyone else can suck it. They are wrong, and your body is right, and we will keep fighting this until something changes, and it sure won't be our minds.

 

Until pants sizes are normal,

I'm a Millenial, and you're welcome.

Bee ButlerComment

I've seen a lot of people my age posting that "I'm a Millennial, and I know we suck, I'm sorry" article that went viral, and I would like to say the following in response:

I'm a millennial, and I know we're incredible, and you're welcome. You older folks crashed our housing market, destroyed our economy, started wars and bankrupted us for trying to go to college, and we still set up your wifi routers and iPhones for you all the time. We keep making incredible art, music, and technological advances, despite the fact that you bitch endlessly about how hard they are to use.

We grew up in an era where change and progress was so constant that in the span of ten years, we went from computers at the public library to laptops in our bedrooms, and we adapted, fast as lightning, and then we explained it to you when you couldn't figure it out. You royally screwed the world that we have to live in when you're gone, but we still keep inventing new ways to reduce and undo the ecological damage you've caused. We also pay into the Social Security you either are or will be collecting, even though, at the current rate, it will be all gone by the time it's our turn to get paid. We take on crippling amounts of debt just to get degrees, and we refrain from knocking you upside the head when you start ranting about how "kids these days don't know the value of a dollar", as if you hadn't TOTALLY DESTROYED THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR WITH YOUR IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING.

And yes, we vlog and tweet and message and DM and snapchat and vine and instagram and blog all of the things happening in our lives, because we have a way to document our progress, our struggles, our history as it's happening, and don't you wish you could've done that without running out of space on your VHS? You've got boxes in the garage with newspapers from the moon landing and the JFK assassination, and we've got Huffington Post articles bookmarked and tweets cached from when a black man was elected President and when Prince died. While there's plenty of awesome gadgetry and innovations coming out every day, there's nothing new under the sun, so shitting on us for using what's been made available in our lifetime as though you didn't do the same is not only ridiculous, it's a form of ageism-in-reverse.

You got to be proud of what you achieved and where you went and how you evolved. Guess what? So do we. So for the millionth time, be grateful, and you're welcome, because you can Skype your grandkids tonight before they go to sleep.

With love,
A Millennial, and DAMN PROUD of it.

On guns.

Bee ButlerComment

Watch this, then read below. Your comments will be deleted if you you don't follow those two steps.

Your Website Title

I'm done pretending like I even need to say sorry for bombarding everyone who follows me with things like this, because I watched this video today and then went and followed up on every single statistic, and they are all 100% true.

There is nothing to argue. There is no excuse that can be made and no amount of griping about your right to bear arms that will change the facts in this short clip. We have almost no gun control, we have more suicide, homicide, mass shootings, and gun deaths than any other developed country IN THE WORLD, even when adjusted for population, and all the evidence shows that more guns equals more deaths.

So, in summation, your refusal to lay down your guns is tantamount to your belief that a constitutional amendment that no longer applies as it pertains to its original intent is more important to you than human life.

This has to stop. The sit-in in the House of Representatives is barely a start, and that bill merely wedges the door open. We need to walk through it by banning assault rifles entirely and limiting magazine capacity, as well as requiring background checks, mental health examinations, longer waiting periods, ammunition purchase limits, and, yes, closing the gap on the terrorist watch list and gun shows. You right to holster a pistol does not trump my right to live. Full stop. The end.

On what not to do.

Bee ButlerComment

I have seen a million and one things about the Orlando mass shooting, all of them URGENT or SHOCKING or some other drastic-sounding blurb designed to catch attention, as if the bloody murder of 50 innocent people as a hate crime/terrorist attack can be anything BUT attention catching, but there is one thing I cannot deal with. The back story for this guy reads like a conspiracy theorist's dream. His father falsely claimed to be the President of Afghanistan on a television program. He may or may not have been gay. He made comments to numerous people that were charged with racial slurs. He made it known to his parents that he hated the sight of two men kissing. He scared a coworker so badly that he was repeatedly reported to his boss for violent hate speech. He was abusive and his wife divorced him. He was obsessed with the NYPD. He was a for-hire security guard. He was on a terror watch list for a period of time. He allegedly mentioned Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the same claim for his motives, even though the two are at war and don't have anything to do with the other, and an actual militant would've known that. The FBI and Homeland Security flagged him as a threat in the past. Sources report that he made a call to 911 proclaiming to work for ISIS. Nobody has released the 911 tape, which is abnormal in this type of situation. Sources also report that he posted on Facebook that he was going to kill people because the U.S. continues to bomb the Middle East. Nobody reporting that has used screenshots, which is also abnormal in this situation. He may or may not have been hanging around the nightclub in recent weeks. He may or may not have been kicked out of that nightclub for pulling a knife on someone. He may or may not have gone there to get drunk in secret because he could not at home. He may or may not have been a devout Muslim. He single-handedly killed 50 people and injured 53 more using a semi-automatic weapon, even though it is seems physically impossible for him to have smuggled that many rounds and magazines into a nightclub in public in the middle of June without being caught. An eyewitness and shooting victim even came out today saying that he had snipers and other gunmen, that he didn't hate black people and felt bad for them, and that he was doing all of this while speaking Arabic frantically and proclaiming that the U.S. deserved this and prohibiting people from using their phones.

Holy shit, there is a ton of conflicting, insane, creepy, inexplicable information out there. In the coming days, weeks, and months, I'm sure it will all be unpacked and examined, and eventually a theory will be released by the government. I highly doubt that any legislation on gun control will pass, but everyone will talk about it endlessly for a few more weeks, at least. It's a lot to process and think about, and it's a graphic, dramatic, scary, infuriating situation, and talking about it seems to be the only way to deal with these crazy feelings that have come up as a result. You can believe what you want about motives and methods, and you can fight and argue and push until your head explodes. These things remain:

It is not okay to shout "it was a hoax!" as though these people are not, in fact, dead and injured and achingly absent from the world. Just like with Sandy Hook, there are people crawling out of the woodwork to make sure everyone knows that people were plants, people were running the wrong way, blah blah blah. PEOPLE ARE DEAD AND YOU COULD AT LEAST PRETEND TO BE SENSITIVE WHILE YOU CONDUCT YOUR LOONEY BUSINESS.

It is not okay to blame this on the Muslim community, as though they all mysteriously communicate telepathically or have rosters in their mosques for who is and who isn't going to bomb the U.S. for the "motherland", as if they all have a shared "motherland", as though the Muslim community was not already suffering from an absurd amount of abuse from racist people and xenophobic people like Donald Trump, as if being Muslim intrinsically makes you a terrorist. MUSLIM PEOPLE ARE HUMAN BEINGS WHO WORSHIP A GOD THE SAME WAY YOU DO, AND THE FACT THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEIR RELIGION DOES NOT, IN FACT, MAKE IT SCARY AND EVIL AND THREATEN YOUR COUNTRY AND WAY OF LIFE.

It is not okay to act like this wasn't perpetrated DIRECTLY against the LGBT community, and it would do you well to realize that they are suffering immensely and in even more fear than normal that they could be harmed for who they are and how they feel, which they could no more change than you could change the fact that you breathe oxygen. LGBT people get enough shit on a regular basis, and right now, in the wake of transgender bathroom laws and not even a year into same-sex marriage legalization, the feelings of unwelcomeness and anger being beamed their way have got to be overwhelming. This happened to their community. This affects their community. THE FBI CLASSIFIED THIS AS A HATE CRIME AND YOU WILL RESPECT THE FACT THAT HATE CRIMES TARGET MARGINALIZED PEOPLE AND WE NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY WE ACT TOWARDS THOSE GROUPS.

It is not okay to parade around saying you feel terrible for "the gays" as though you magically give a shit about them when last week you were screaming for someone to shoot all the lady-boys in the wrong restroom, making this all the more disgusting than it already was. You don't get to carry around a token gay friend like you've already done with your token black friend and excuse your latent homo/transphobia with a falsified humbleness and respect for lives lost in the wake of a tragedy, as though your actions did not condone this exact event only a few days before. YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM IF YOUR ACTIONS AND WORDS THIS WEEK DO NOT MATCH YOUR ACTIONS AND WORDS LAST WEEK. THIS IS NOT A CAUSE TO PICK UP AND PUT DOWN AT YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED FOR YOUR HORRIBLE BEHAVIOR BY DECRYING A "BAD GUY" WHO MADE THEM HIS TARGET WHEN THEY WERE YOUR TARGET ALREADY.

It is not okay to pretend that praying about this is enough to fix it. It is not okay to act like speaking to who or whatever you believe in excuses you from taking action against a brutal and horrific tragedy. God is not going to walk down here and magically revive these people because you gave Him a little lipservice. Praying is great, and I'm so glad you took time to remember this event in your conversation with a deity, but you have to do something, or you need to shut up. PRAYING AND THEN REFUSING TO TAKE ACTION IS ASININE. CONTACT YOUR SENATOR OVER GUN CONTROL, OR SEND MONEY TO AN LGBT CHARITY, OR CONTRIBUTE TO A GOFUNDME FOR A VICTIM, OR CHECK YOURSELF AND RECOGNIZE YOUR PRIVILEGE AND CORRECT YOUR BEHAVIOR. JESUS TOLD YOU TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, AND GOSSIPING TO HIS DAD ABOUT THEM DOESN'T COUNT.

I am at a loss for what to do or think or feel, but I know that the above mentioned things are not it. Now, get yourself together and make things better, even if it's just for today. There has been enough loss and pain. Do some good, watch yourself, and remember that it could've been you, and next time, it might be, so your response should probably reflect what you'd want if that happened.

Yes, that is rape.

Bee ButlerComment

Several of you have pointed me to the statement made by the young woman who was sexually assaulted at Stanford. The statement she read aloud after the defendant, despite being found guilty by twelve jurors on three FELONY COUNTS of sexual assault, was given six months in jail. Six. Months.

Here is what I have to say.

 

 

Rape is the absence of consent. No matter what some bumfuck, redneck, ignorant, backwards-ass state court (Oklahoma) says, being drunk removes your ability to consent.

“Forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,”

Bullshit. Forcible sodomy, of the digital, oral, dick, vagina, breast, hands, hips, ass, mouth, face, hair, dildo, ET CETERA AD INFINITUM can occur AT ANY TIME to ANY HUMAN BEING, REGARDLESS OF GENDER, CLOTHING, INTOXICATION LEVEL, SEXUAL HISTORY, ET CETERA AD INFINITUM. Rape is sexual activity in the absence of consent. And this woman was raped. And because her rapist was a young, white, fast-swimming prick with a giant family bank account, he gets a slap on the wrist.

I am not okay with that. No one should be okay with that. What he did to her is unforgivable. What the judge did to her? That might actually be worse. I don't care what you believe or where you stand or what your thoughts on feminism, consent, alcohol, intent, and sluttiness are. Rape is a vicious, hateful, disgusting crime, and it should be punishable to the fullest extent of the law.

If I am drunk, naked, in your bed, hand you a condom, kiss you, and then say no? And you continue? You are raping me. You are a rapist. Brock is a rapist. The seventeen year old boy from my church WHO I DATED is a rapist. No matter what happens in life, regardless of any medals won, degrees earned, paychecks cashed, children born, and accolades accumulated, you will never be able to wash yourself clean of that title. Now and forever more, you are a rapist. We, however, do not always stay victims. We are free. We are strong. We are brave. We are still standing, still shining, and like this incredible young woman said, we are fighting.

Someday, justice will come. Until then, we will not be silenced.
You should be very, very afraid.

The Ultimate YouTube Beauty Guide (or, I Spent Way Too Much Time Watching Makeup Tutorials This Year And I Need An Excuse To Keep Going) Part One.

Bee ButlerComment

You guys, if there is one thing on earth that I love, it's makeup tutorials. Crazy ones, subtle ones, drag makeup, wedding makeup, Halloween makeup... ANY MAKEUP. I am a woman obsessed and I cannot hide it any more. In the last year, I spent a metric fuckton on makeup, thanks in part to the beauty gurus that I have fallen head over heels for, and I felt the need to put together a comprehensive guide for my lovely readers, beginner or pro, to enjoy.

The first thing you should know about the YouTube Makeup Community is that it's an entirely carved-out niche that has overtaken the craziest parts of the web. Only like wearing cool, more neutral tones? There's a video for that. All about getting your highlighter game on fleek, then taking it so overboard that not even your mother would be seen in public with you? There's an entire section of videos for that. Want to learn some drag secrets? Look like a Disney Princess? Look like you're wearing nothing at all? THERE'S A VIDEO FOR THAT! Anything and everything you could possibly want in a tutorial is out there, and they exist in dozens of languages, spanning the globe. From that vast expanse of makeup knowledge, you can narrow it down to drugstore (aka affordable/cheap) makeup looks, to one-brand-only looks, to $190-foundation-WTF looks. Like anyone who has a crazy obsession, I've got favorites, and if you're looking for somewhere to start, look no further than this:

First up, the queen of transformations herself, Kandee Johnson

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone as chipper, cheerful, and charming as this brazen-haired bombshell.

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone as chipper, cheerful, and charming as this brazen-haired bombshell.

Kandee is a pro in every sense of the word. From high-speed makeup transformations, to daily-wearable Disney Princess looks, to tips, tricks, and advice, Kandee Johnson has it all. She's been in the business for longer than most beauty gurus have been walking and talking, so she's your best bet if you're a beginner. She's also one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people on the planet, and her sincere encouragement and love for her viewers is evident in every single one of her videos. Not sure where to start? Why not check out her Queen Of Hearts Transformation video?

Be sure not to miss: her explanation of the why behind the Beauty Blender (her friend invented it!).

Next up is my all-time girl crush, Jaclyn Hill

This gorgeous guru went from MAC counter makeup artist to YouTube IT Girl in a matter of months!

This gorgeous guru went from MAC counter makeup artist to YouTube IT Girl in a matter of months!

Jaclyn was just a cute homeschooler with a love of MAC products when she began her channel, and now she boasts collaborations with Gerard Cosmetics, Morphe, BHCosmetics, and, most recently, an entire limited-edition line with BECCA Cosmetics. Her signature "highlight till your eyes hurt" look led to the creation of Champagne Pop, one of the most sought-after pressed powder highlighters in the world. From bold makeup tutorials to BFF chats about life and love (occasionally including cameos from her adorable husband, Jon), you'll feel right at home every time you visit her channel. Even though she's famous now, Jaclyn's down-to-earth vibe and heart-on-her-sleeve manner have made her a favorite in the Beauty Community, and her goofy, giggly anecdotes paired with her professional tips make for the best videos you've ever seen. Not sure where to start? Check out Jaclyn's ombre sunset smokey eye tutorial, which features many of her favorite products and best tips 'n tricks. 

Be sure not to miss: Her in-depth bridal makeup tutorial, which has over 1.7 MILLION views.
Buy her collabs: Morphe Brushes and Palette, Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick (1995) Glosses (Rose Hill, Buttercream), BECCA Champagne Collection

On the subject of entrepreneur-genius loves, you NEED to get to know Shannon Harris

This Kiwi cutie is the queen of flawless finishes and her products are as perfect as her look!

This Kiwi cutie is the queen of flawless finishes and her products are as perfect as her look!

Shannon Harris of Shaaanxo, and later, XO Beauty, is the guru goddess behind some of the best brushes in the business. Known for her swatch videos, honest reviews, and adorable accent, Shannon is a powerhouse player with a heart of gold. Bold looks are her thing, and she makes even the craziest colors seem wearable, all while chatting to her audience like a good friend over a cup of tea. Her makeup storage videos are legendary, because Shannon's makeup collection is TO DIE FOR. Whether you're looking for a full coverage foundation tutorial or a fun spring look, there's no place like Shaaanxo! Not sure where to start? Check out her purple lip/pink eyeshadow combo tutorial, and get ready to branch out!

Be sure not to miss: Her high-end vs. drugstore dupe competition... and let the best makeup win!
Buy her collabs: XO Beauty (Shannon's company and product line), BH Cosmetics eyeshadow & lipstick palette, Gerard Cosmetics Lipgloss (Candy Kiss)

 

 

 

Check back next week for Part II, which features some more amazing gurus, their products, and all the links you could ever need to get the looks, tips, and tricks of the best makeup artists on YouTube.

 

Till then,

Mighty to Save.

Bee ButlerComment

I am a terrible Christian. I don't go to church at all anymore (even though I make plans to sometimes), I only pray when I'm scared or hurting, and I do things I shouldn't all the time.

But as some of you know, I go to BibleGateway.com almost every day to see the daily scripture. Some piece of me feels like God picked it just for me, because I needed it. Sometimes it just doesn't make a difference, but in light of how tonight went, the verse from earlier today was a my rainbow; a sign that He still loves me.

When I was a junior in high school, I was in a senior-directed play in the spring semester, and my best friend at the time, Juliette Talley, was too. July was a freshman that year, but a clear talent who stood out. Because of a block scheduling and GT (gifted and talented, higher than AP but lower than IB) rules, we had Mrs. Dershem's GT English together. I'd transferred to that high school in the middle of the school year (I was going through a very tough time emotionally and my eating disorder had become clearly visible, so my parents threw me a rope and let me switch schools) and I loved it because of people like Juliette. She was smart, she could sing, she loved to act, and her faith was blossoming just like mine, so we quickly became close. We often had to compete against each other for parts in our theatre company's productions, but there was no animosity; we loved doing shows together, and whichever of us got the bigger part never gloated. Near the end of the year, our teacher, Mr. McCoy, would select seniors who were interested and in Theatre Three or Four choose a play and direct it. Lindsay, an adorably quirky girl who played Chip in our production of Beauty and the Beast, chose a fantastic excerpt from Neil Simon's "Some Girl[s]". I was cast in a leading role and I dove in. July was cast in a different show, so our rehearsals weren't together, but we ran lines together before school and hung out on weekends, excited and hopeful, as the final month of school and our play series loomed ahead. On a balmy Saturday in May, our theatre company presented the Senior-Directed Play marathon. Each show got just one run, and the plays ran back-to-back, but they were incredible. On a black wooden stage, we poured our hearts out to the small audience of family and friends who came and sat in the makeshift bleachers in our classroom. I must say, the play was one of many exciting and happy things going on in my life then. In most ways, that spring and summer were the happiest times of my life, and my relationship with God was hopeful and growing. I felt like I was "on track" to be who I was supposed to be, and my friendship with July mirrored that.  July and I often had religious discussions and encouraged each other all the time, so it came as no surprise when, backstage during the performance of the senior-directed show, July handed me a lime green post-it note with a scripture written on it. She told me she'd found it and that she knew it was meant just for me, and for us. I read it and agreed. We prayed before we went onstage, and we had a blast (and got a standing ovation).

A little less than a year down the road, after one of the most difficult things I'd ever experienced, my world shifted. Out of school through an early graduation program, I spent my time with a girl that became my other half. She, like July, was all about Jesus, but she was more worldly, less sheltered, and I felt like she understood me more than anyone on earth. I thought Heather was the most gorgeous, cool, free-spirit who'd ever bothered to befrIend me, and I was nearly glued to her side that spring. Because of that, fell in love with her church, a more progressive, "trendy" megachurch with a campus near my house called LakePointe. Heather had a big sister in her early twenties, and since Heather and I had graduated early, we went with her sister to the college group at the church every Sunday evening. That first night in the dimly lit room changed my life forever (in ways I can't begin to explain in one post), and I felt free, singing along to the modern praise music every week. She and I both loved a song the worship band played all the time, and it became somewhat of an anthem. Earlier in the year, when she and I were able to go to the Revolve tour, we sang it with a thousand other young women, as well as Natalie Grant. When the song resurfaced at MERGE, I felt a swell in my chest and gave it everything I had, even playing it at home on the piano and singing. 

As you can probably guess, there was a link between theatre with July and MERGE with Heather. I eventually put two and two together and realized the song we were singing was taken directly from the scripture Juliette had introduced me to, and in my darkest times for the last nine years, I've listened to it, sang my heart out, and cried. Lately it's been hard for me to listen to, because it reminds me of a time when I was a better person, a devout Christian, an innocent young girl with a heart for God and none of the weight of the world on her shoulders. It pops up sometimes, though, and occasionally I'll turn it on and hum. The lyrics are everything I've ever needed to know or feel about God, and it made me feel like I was right to place my everything at His feet.

Tonight, more than ever, I know it to be true:

The Lord [my] God is in [my] midst,
a mighty One who will save;
He will rejoice over [me] with gladness;
He will quiet [me] by His love;
He will exult over [me] with loud singing.

My Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is might to save. Forever, Author of salvation, He rose and conquered the grave.

Jesus conquered the grave. 

Despite the years between the words, the tiny piece of paper handed over in the dark and the music that brought me into the light, there is just something about the verse, both scriptural and melodically. The empty, broken girl who fought so hard to get here, who is struggling to hold on, those words are for her. 

They are for me.
They are the truth.

I'm going to be alright. 
[Zephaniah 3:17]

Live through this, and you won't look back.

Bee ButlerComment
When there’s nothing left to burn, you’ve got to set yourself on fire.
— "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead", STARS

I found all of my old blog posts earlier today, from my TypePad account. The blogging platform I used before this one, but after Blogger. The one I created in 2009 after my fiance left me and my writing started to take shape. The one I continued through my next big relationship, the aftermath, the person I loved the most in this world, the way that blew up in my face, treatment and the beginnings of California, and the crash back to earth.

I read a few posts, and I felt the need to do something that I did then. This is a postcard to my past self. 

You can and will be just as, if not more, unhappy in California as you were in Texas. The love of your life, or the person you honestly thought was going to be, does not speak to you. You're not even Facebook friends. As far as you know, he doesn't care to remember that you exist and you very much deserve that. I'm sorry. Your ex fiance lives here, too, but he doesn't want to see you, and the only times you've spoken to him in years have been on nights that you got drunk and sad. You got drunk and sad a lot after your first round of treatment. Drunk, sad, sorry, drunk, sad, sorry, broke a lot of things, burned a lot of bridges, dropped out of school, ruined your life (that isn't an exaggeration. You royally fucked yourself) and somehow managed to trap someone else into a relationship with you. One you've damaged beyond repair, it would seem, one that you're still trying to fix. You don't drink anymore. You don't have a best friend any more. Oh, that's right... she's gone. She left for the same reason everyone else did. You were a car careening down the highway with a drunk at the wheel, and she couldn't bear to see the crash. You tried to die a bunch of times in odd ways. Lots of nights with too many drinks and somehow you still got home, at the expense of several crappy cars you bought off Craigslist. Your parents trust you again now, but not like before, and they're disappointed. They won't tell you that, but you know it. Your brother kicked you out of his life because you were such a fuck up. You checked back into the hospital twice, and it almost wasn't enough. You didn't graduate from ACU. You didn't get back to Monte Nido. Your exes didn't forgive you. You don't sing onstage anymore. You don't even go to karaoke. You're not in therapy at the moment but you should be.

 

Despite all that, though, you're going to be alright.
It gets worse, and worse, and so much worse that you want to give up, but you don't.
Right now I am trying to take that brave moment of refusal and turn it into something you can be proud of. I let you down, and I'm so sorry for that.

Please try to remember that there are greater things than what come after this. 
It won't always hurt this much.


I don't know if this is the one who stays or even one who'll matter as much as the others did, but I'm going to do my best to find out.

See you soon.