Dear Self …

Dear self,

I cried for you-
I held you close.
I felt your spirit tremble.
I was sorry for everything
You were up against-
But I also knew
It wasn’t anything
You couldn’t handle…

Breast Cancer came
And stripped me
Of my identity.

I’d be lying if I said
I wasn’t struggling-

I am still reeling
From all I went through

And still healing
From the cancer aftermath
It’s tricky.

There’s just so much
I feel like
I have lost from this…

And yet, in the same breath,
I’m incredibly grateful
To everyone who was there
And got me through it…

But I’m grieving
Everything I used to be-
Half of my self-image
Was ripped from me.

My beautiful hair
Came out in clumps.
My eyelashes disappeared.
And the most feminine parts
Of me were stripped away.
It’s hard to feel like yourself again when Everything has changed.

My hair is growing back in,
Ever so slowly,
But strangely.
When I look
In the mirror now,
I hardly recognize the person
Standing in front of me.

I look deeply into the eyes
Staring back at me-
The same eyes
I have looked into,
And out from
My entire life…

And I see so much sadness
In that little girl,
My inner child,
Hidden away
Behind those walls
Deep down inside of me.

I want her to know
That I’m so proud
Of everything
She’s overcome.
I want her to know-
She’s beautiful
No matter what
This life has done.

And even if
She no longer
Sees it within herself,
She has way too much
Life left to live
To put herself
Up on that shelf.

I want her to keep fighting
And growing-
Through her own inner turmoil-
I want her to know that
Some of life’s most beautiful
Things sprout up from
A single seed and lots of soil.

I want her to stop building
A fortress to keep the world out-
Instead, I want her to feel and pour
Her beautiful broken heart out.

I want her spirit to soften
Instead of growing bitter.
I want her to feel loved
In spite of her scars and her flaws-
For they will only make her better.

I want her to feel powerful
In spite of her weakest moments.
And I want her to
Spread her wings and fly again…
And release
All the pain she tends
To hide the closest.

I want her to see and feel
The magic of this world again.
And I want her to know
That this battle
Isn’t where her precious life ends…
It’s where her beautful
New chapter begins…

– Tanielle Childers ©️ 4.24.23