I want you to stop what you’re doing. Sit down and really listen to me. Turn off the music. Shut the door. Go in another room. Get away from people. Whatever you have to do.

Okay? I have your attention?

I know you feel like there are parts of you that are broken, crushed, can’t be put back together. You have lost so much and you are afraid of losing even more.

I know that you are hurt more than people know but I also know that you are stronger than you think you are. You are not going to give up and I am not going to give up on you. I know there are times when your heart turns to water and your mind wants to close its eyes to everything and never open them again.

This is more than a wave. It is high tide. You strain your neck to keep your head above water. But you are breathing and you can see shore. You are not going under. You are not going to drown. At times like this you need to move towards shore even if it is inch by inch. The shoreline will always be there. Your panicked thoughts will tell you otherwise but you can’t trust them completely.

Turn the volume down on all of your thoughts except the one that says “I will make it to shore.” That one thought is all you need at these times. Your body will keep breathing if you let it.

All it needs to hear is “I will make it to shore.”

These samples in the “For those who hurt” series are taken from a book to be released later this year.