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Thank you so much for your interest in supporting our Hope by Song participants by considering taking one of these writing and creating a song to show that we care about what they have to say. If you find a specific writing that you wish to work with please let us know by typing your name and the song number in the "Choose a writing" box to the right of the page. Then click on the image next to the writing and download it for viewing and editing.

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Page 1

Ashli S Willingway 6/19

I was 36 days sober the day I relapsed. I woke up with no intentions to buy or consume alcohol. Instead, I made a summer bucket list with my two sons and took them to play and eat at McDonald's. It brought me joy seeing their excitement. I found myself pulling into a liquor store on the way home. My oldest son said "more alcohol mom". That, right there, I should have left but my weakness guided me in. The guilt I felt had me stumped by another store to buy them candy and water toys. When we arrived home I set them up for fun while I indulged in my selfish weakness. My husband came home and my actions were exposed. I fled to the closet with a 9 mm. I could only see darkness. My life was over. I pulled the trigger but my body was unharmed. I was asked if I wanted help end the call came over me. "Yes I do." My life is not over. I have a new beginning.

New Beginning

#40 Ashli S.-Willingway

Kristen R Willingway 6/19

If I didn't know what it hurt like to be broken, then how would I know what it feels like to be whole?

If I didn't know what it cost to be rejected, then I wouldn't know  your love coming home?

The troubles of my heart have enlarged. Bring me out of my distress. Look on my affliction, my pain and forgive all my sins. I may never be forgiven by some but I must accept that. Not being able to make it up is the price I have to pay. But I will stand my ground where hope can be found. God must think I am strong, it looks like more than I can handle. I was not strong enough. I gave up and hit rock bottom with grave depression and hopelessness. Maybe it's okay if I am not because the one who holds the world is holding on to me. So I lift my arms up and I know there is a power greater than myself that can restore me to sanity. If you stay sober good times will happen in your life. I am not afraid to leave my past. My fear doesn't stand when I stand in God's love. It's no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then. I have peace knowing God forgives me. I feel so alive in you. It's the best I deserve! I let go of God's hand and got lost. We are holding hands again and I am found.

If I Didn't Know

#39 Kristen R-Willingway

I Forgive You By Kimberly T. (TLC Saluscare)

In the closet I run and hide, when I hear your come.

Counting down each second until you are finally done.

A sudden rush of fear, now can I just run?

I'm only eight years old, I thought this would be fun.

Breaking through, pushing hard,

not knowing how deep you left your scars.

Feeling flawed, hands are shaking and completely broken.

Feeling doubt, smiles faking and leaving words unspoken.

I don't know whom I am, not knowing what I feel.

How do I explain this pain when I don't know what is real?

But I know one thing for sure. I know this isn't right.

Bleak visions on repeat that taunt my dreams at night.

On my knees asking if this will all just disappear.

Praying for his mercy, that your time is near.

Now you sit in prison, at least that's what I hear.

In a cell, rotting, feeling that sudden rush of fear.

Now this is my time to grow and live my life.

Empowering myself continuing to strife.

My life will come together. I know this to be true.

I will never forget what you have done,

but I forgive you.

I Forgive You

#38 Kimberly T. (TLC Saluscare)

Son, I Am Sober Haley K (TLC Saluscare)

My drug race is over. No more running out the door

as soon as I wake and my feet hit the floor.

Because I always needed more and more.

That pipe and them (those?) straws

are no longer one of moms flaws.

Son, I am sober.

Even when I knew you hurt I was still obsert (obsurd?)

Completely insane like I had no brain.

You no longer have to huff and puff or see mom cuffed.

No more terrible stories or night long worries because

son, I am sober.

The grass is much a greener on the other side.

And Lord knows I'm all out of lies. And my eyes are all out of cries.

I am blessed. I didn't die.

Son I am sober. And I promise this time it's really over.

Son, I Am Sober

# 37 Hayley K. TLC Saluscare

Journey by John L A (Saluscare)

You have ruined my life. You have taken everything I cherished and loved. Bit by bit, piece by piece. You started destroying my dreams, ambitions and hopes. I gave up my will, my desires and goals to follow you to the depths of hell. Many times throughout my life you lured me into the shadows and reached out whenever you chose. You had me in your grasp from the first time I met you. You stole my desires to go to college, to get an education, to fulfill my goals, to have the better life that I deserve. I opposed to you many times but you always won. Playing to me like a puppet moving me about when you want to. You were my friend all along through good and bad. But you controlled my thoughts and actions. You contained in the like a butterfly stripping me of freedom. The illusion that the world revolved around me. I took and took from the ones that I loved without batting an eye. I had a glimpse of love but I empowered you to steal from them one by one. My children were the world to me but I allowed you to conquer and define my thoughts and actions. I gave them up to have you in my life. One of my goals in life was to have the loving family that I never experienced. No matter how low I got you were always there to numb my pain and distress. I grew up with such high standards – respect, honesty, integrity. Hanging out with you caused me to overlook those values and become the man that you manipulated. You never forced me to do anything because I chose to follow like a puppy. Being content with being stepped on, flipped over, spun around and kicked. You stole my willpower and filled me with fear, lack of self-esteem, insecurity, unworthiness and a feeling of on easy despair. fulfilled my aggressive, hateful, selfish desires to the ones I loved by putting me behind bars. The feeling of loneliness, sadness, hopelessness or the few emotions that I have left. The one time in my life I felt utopia with my soulmate and because of you I crushed, annihilated any chance of joy and excitement happiness for the rest of my life. She was an angel from heaven only to be taken away because of my lack of willpower, self-control and willingness to toss you a solid. You've helped me to create my own present inside myself with negativity, self-doubt and fearful to step out and challenge myself in any space of my life. Because of you, alcohol I have lived life like a balloon floating aimlessly without purpose in life. I have given everything I have owned to be with you. Why did you choose to ruin my life on earth? I hate you and ask God to defeat you for the rest of my life.


#36 By John L A Saluscare

Anonymous writer.

Sometimes I think back to what "my will" can do

and all the hell it put me through.

Lost my family, my friends, my pride.

But I loved, and it stayed by my side.

Lured and charmed, promises of thrills, rocks, pipes, pills.

My will, my love, wasn't happy unless

I was broken and busted.

Lost to everything I loved and trusted.

Getting by, getting high.

Lured and charmed, promises of thrills, rocks, pipes, pills.

Nothing but my mum asking me why.

Searching my soul, all the broken pieces.

No longer whole my family heart.

Lured and charmed, promises of thrills, rocks, pipes, pills.

I walk away. Living again, made up my mind.

Giving back to my kind.

Precious life, head held high.

Thank you. Thank you.

Anonymous Writing

#35 By Anonymous

Trauma Narrative by Safari
I have known ------ since I was 11. Just last Fall we reconnected, he needed advice on a girl and with my kind heart I reached out. At this point ------ was open to his feelings on the surface as well as showing vulnerability. As the school year progressed, we grew closer, developing a very tight friendship. Hanging out often, so often he would begin to come home with me every day. Our friendship was balanced, we both had each other’s back and were an ear to listen. ------ was invested in building a strong friendship; at one point he had his Father drive him from Naples to spend the day with me and my Mom which is unheard of in the future. He was just like any other guy friend except we had a much more personal connection. One day it just happened he kissed me which sparked feelings that I didn’t know I had. A mutual friend made it clear our connection was meant to be so as uneasy as it felt I gave into feelings and said yes to a relationship. At this point ------ was considerate, kind, responsive, respecting and understanding. Little did I know he was the face of someone much different. Here’s where I began to fall for a person who was putting on a show of himself but not actually who he was.  
After some time passed, I made a point to talk to him about something that was important to me; I needed to know if he trusted me and he clarified that with me when I looked him in the eye and believed him. I didn’t want to feel untrusted but at the deep bit of my stomach something I realized later is that he lied to me with no signs of anything which left me unable to look him in the eye as time went on it was a new type of fear a beginning of me being fearful. In some ways over the Summer we grew apart and for ------ this separation was a loss. So, he overcame that by isolating me from my friends, the outer world, which lead to the uneasy feeling that he didn’t trust me. Everything became a threat to him because he would control me. When we were together, he didn’t want to go out or be social, our relationship had no connection with the world. He started becoming depressed solely negative leading to our conversations being about him only his successes his wants, it was like a boost to help him hide in his depression, but it was what’s best. He started obsessing about his look and talking about how other girls noticed him which was hurtful. I never had a say, he secluded me from myself, taking full control of who I was to eliminate threats. His negative energy was so draining, and his words were nothing short of a hypocrite. I lost who I was, I was so confused.  
A whole new set of problems arose. People started to get into ------ head about trust causing him to question my loyalty even more. ------ changed so much in a period of 3 months he became a monster from a nightmare. He was so consumed in his ego and perception of how others saw him. He got a hold of me; our relationship became intimate and that’s how he took me from me he had me on a leash, so he could control how much distance was between us. I couldn’t take the constant manipulation and his impossible fantasies, so I took the opportunity to confront him and set the tone. Set my boundaries. Everything was about him and for once, I just needed him to respect my feelings. Well he fooled me, after telling him he changed for the worse his behavior was wrong, and he wasn’t who I thought I fell for he showed some emotion but that was just part of his show his game. He began questioning my loyalty to him, but he twisted it so subtly that I fell back to him. He managed to turn the confrontation into a blame game and it was my fault. He was incapable of excepting himself for who he really is. ----- got me second guessing myself making me feel like I wasn’t enough. His deceiving behaviors and egotistical lifestyle ate away at me. I was trapped, stuck but I couldn’t escape. I felt obligated to be with him like it became my job. I pushed my feelings aside for him, so he could use me to boost his miserable self. He changed me to be just like him, since he knew I’d always listen always give him another chance. He new his limits and pushed them to the max turning me into thinking I was the bad guy. 
------ became always angry. He used that emotion and negative thoughts to fill the void, replaced what needed to be filled. He wasn’t getting enough attention at home and even I couldn’t fill that hole. He turned at the flip of a switch. I didn’t notice this really until after a tough loss his football team had. He lost it, blew up. But there was more to his anger than just the loss, that was just the surface. Whatever the root if it was, everything just fell on him. He was vulgar, making threats disrespecting his stepmom. I tried my best to help him get to the root of his anger, but you can reason with a narcissist. This is where he started to play the blame game... Everything was never his responsibility, always everyone else. He relied on blaming everyone else for things yet still needed everything to his way, he couldn’t choose; like his bi-polar behaviors. After his anger blew off, he was normal, somewhat kind. This became a major eye opener, he showed me truly what he is capable of. Scary at the least, he was so unpredictable I couldn’t get out, I just had to do my job, stay and be supportive to keep him at bay. There was no out, I was stuck. He had me convinced to stay and with growing rage and hate, the risk wasn’t worth it to try and get out. 
October 15th, the day I found out ------ betrayed me, broke me, embarrassed me, the day where it became apartment that he took everything from me. He had made the conscious decision to take a video of me during something, not giving details but a close friend informed me that he had showed some boys on the team. Now it was Homecoming night and I couldn’t risk my Mom finding out, so I told myself to suck it up and handle it later. Feeling sick to my stomach, I decided not to drive since if I drove, I may not have made it home. So, I had a guy friend drive me. Shortly after, word had gotten out that I was with a few guys and some girlfriends… ------ decided to bash me in a text despite telling him earlier that we need to talk. I tried clarifying the situation, but it wasn’t enough, it was never enough not for him, he was impossible to please. Later that night I called him in anger, disbelief, disgusted…. My tone was clear, and I asked him if he did what I heard, and he played the I don’t know game since he was in the middle of something with his Dad. Liar. He finally admits to it but can’t see the big deal that is. It was hard, I had to fake a smile, act like everything was fine even though I was far from okay. Me and ------ talked somewhat normal the next few days since I was scared to say anything. This all changed when my Mom had me open up. October 19th, I told her… one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. She told me she would get it handled, get the right people involved. At this point, me and ----- started arguing as I showed strength and courage to pursue consequences, get the justice I deserved, while he begged me to not to tell my parents. Too late. He tried to further manipulate me with sweet texts, empathy, but it was a game, a predictable game. The game was over, and he lost. No more total control over me, I was free. But not free from embarrassment, hardship, betrayal. ------ was unable to see that what he did was wrong, what he took from me, he couldn’t see it. He took from me my loyalty, my voice, my trust, he took everything. The best he could do was sarcastically apologize. He tried to lie and play his way through it to try and win me back, but I was free. The hole ------ created in me, separated me from myself, my family and friends. He made me feel like I was to blame because remember, nothing was ever on him. He lacked empathy for the situation, he didn’t care about my heart, my feelings at all. He just cared about not getting caught. He didn’t care that he hurt me but still wanted to be with me. He was so twisted, his words, his every motive… this situation gave light into who he was, giving him no more changes but giving me my only true out that I couldn’t pass up.  
I took my out and I owned it. Despite being sick and depressed and broken, I decided from then on out to take this opportunity and change it into a good thing, but not let it define my future me. It was a long journey, months of heartache, hard conversations, tough situations but I broke through. I wanted this; to heal, to get better, to come out and breathe on the other side. I took counseling as my opportunity, giving me the tools and resources, I needed to become who I am today. From the beginning, I had to learn how to accept and move past the previous thoughts, saying I was at fault, I was to blame, because I wasn’t. I opened my own heart to forgive, to move on from the past but not forget. Even though it was hard to see ------ as troubled since I was so angry, I looked past the anger and turned it into empathy… He can’t control who he is, he’s mentally and emotionally troubled for various reasons which I understand and can see why he is the way he is, even though it is wrong. I can’t change him, and I no longer see it as my job, only we can change ourselves. Which is what I did. I now thank God for this, it was his plan to build me into the woman I am today and thank my Mom for making me realize that was my out, because guess what I took the out and, in the end,  I didn’t let it define me, I defined it. ------, you no longer define any part of me and I forgive you for it all. Thank you for helping me discover who I am today. 

Trauma Narrative by Safari

#34 by Safari

Donna M.

Want to hear something?

Listen will you? Yes, my words may shock.

In my own mess I can no longer stew.

Allow me to crawl from under this rock.

Oh to be like you, together and at peace.

One drink and you are happily through.

Then there is me, one drink I begin to feel strong.

Two drinks I think I have it all.

Look at me, I'm perfectly fine.

Can't you see waiter? Another glass of wine!

Listen will you? I will explain.

Me and my buddies we are special.

We feel no pain. Stick around.

You'll realize we feel nothing at all.

Yes, right now I stand tall

planning a grander future.

Of course you know once again I will fall.

If I keep these ways in the ground I will land.

There will be no friends, no family

maybe a few bar buddies will come stray.

It's sad to wonder if over my grave

will anyone stand or shed a tear.

This is my biggest fear.

Wait! I see a light. It feels like a warm voice says

fight! You have a chance to be reborn.

I see a beautiful glowing face

as my God pulls me into his embrace.

I remember the footsteps in the sand.

I was truly alone but I see now the like that was truly planned.

Through my Savior I've been shown.

As I come to raise my head

the sun is rising bright. Oh how happy!! I am not dead.

I have a ? hand. Faith that I can live right. I know it will be tough.

Let me remember my nightmare of a past.

Sobriety me be rough yet I pray daily for it to last.

Want to hear something?

Today I am a lot today I'm alcohol free

I will continue to strive I'm here I'm happy to be me.

Want to Hear Something?

#33 by Donna M. Individual

Sommer D-Valerie's House

Sometimes I don't feel safe at school. I am scared to walk into five classes every day. I don't know why so many things scare me. Like lock-downs. You have no clue if it is real or not and some people play around. Very dangerous. Sometimes I am scared for my life. Then I remember my mom went through it at the same place and same destination. And it cools or soothes me down. I try not to think about her much because it makes me to emotional. And when I think about her that makes me feel like a piece of my heart left.

I miss her-Shannon Bjork-and sometimes I wonder if she's okay, or can hear me. I know she can when I send a balloon with the love you letter.

Love and miss you.

Sommer D.

#30 by Sommer D. Valerie's House

Writing by Sommer D.

Samuel S-Valeries House

the past lives we lived or the future lives we will live do not prepare us for the present. It never will and that's okay. We will never stop thinking about it and that's okay. Anything and everything could happen and that's okay. We can't prepare we can only endure it. Pain comes around but it can't hurt you. Sadness comes around but it can't bring you down. Life comes around and it can raise you up.

#31 Samuel S-Valeries House

Samuel S-Valeries House

Raven D-Valerie's House

You know sometimes life ain't fair. You lose the ones that you love and hold dearly. Life is like a Ferris wheel. Sometimes you feel like you are on top of the world, but then you hit rock bottom… The worst of the worst. Some people put on a mask that they hide behind, to hide their true feelings, to make them seem fine. I know that sometimes I wear a mask because I don't want people to feel bad for me. All I want is for people to know that they are loved. All I want is for people to be happy. I hate seeing people frown.

#32 Raven D-Valerie's House

Raven D-Valerie's House

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