Author Archives: Brianna Manifee

I Still Love You

Hello, lovely.

So, you relapsed, huh? You hate yourself for it, don’t you? You think you’re a failure, that your worthless and incapable of recovery, right? You’ve probably got tears streaming down your face as you let your mind torture yourself a little more because you think you deserve the added pain, but you and I both know deep down that you do NOT deserve the added insults. I’m not here to preach about how it gets better, and everything happens for a reason. How could emotional agony happen for a reason? No reason is a good reason for someone to be in so much pain. Period. I’m not here to scrape you off the ground, cover your wounds and send you on your way. How many times have people done that for you and you end up falling back down before you even reach the end of the street? One too many.

I am here to sit with you for as long as you need. I’m here to listen. Tell me, where did you get that scar above your left eye? How many times did you fail at riding your big girl bike before you finally mastered it? What do you listen to when you are sad? Tell me everything. Talk, talk, talk, talk. I don’t mind. What was it like growing up watching your parents fight and hit each other? How did you feel when that boy pushed you down in 4th grade and called you names? Tell me where it hurts. Let’s count your scars etched into your skin. Each one of them are proof that you survived a battle. You got 83 scars? That’s 83 battles in which you lived to see the next day. How many panic attacks did you have in school today? Was it hard? What helps you calm down and breathe again? Every time you talk yourself out of an attack, is one more time in which you were your own hero.

How many times did you write that last goodbye letter? Did your hands shake and did your tears smear your words? Did you tell anyone that you were going to end it all? Were you happy when you woke up the next morning? Or did you instantly want to try again the next chance you got? I’m all ears. I won’t judge you, or think you’re crazy. If it helps, I’ll just sit there silently and won’t breathe a word. Tell me, what does it feel like when you think that killing yourself is the only option left? Does taking your last breath scare you enough to want to hang on another day? Or does your body fill with a dark relief that within the next seconds, hours, weeks or days you’ll finally be free of your pain? I’m here. You are not alone. Please, don’t kill yourself tonight.

I’ve been where you are. I am where you are. You are not weak, you are the strongest little soldier I have ever seen. How tiring it must be to carry these wounds and stories around with you. How sickening it must be to see how people judge you before even knowing what you’ve endured. How devastating it must be to relapse after being clean for nearly a year — It’s okay. How many times did you fall when you were learning to walk? How many times did you fail when you tried to learn to whistle? Or, how long did it take you to learn to write in cursive? Recovery is the same exact thing. So, you relapsed. You fell flat on your face. You spit saliva in your best friend’s face because you sucked at whistling. You wrote sloppy for weeks or even months until you finally learned to curve your letters properly. It’s okay. You tried. You’re trying and that is ALL that matters, sweetie. I’m here and I still love you. Don’t give up just yet. Your break through is coming.

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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Free Yourself

I’m stupid. I’m worthless. I’ll never be good enough. 


I’m not here to tell you that you’re smart, or worth it, or even that you already are good enough because let’s face it. There’s so many people out there who have already told you that and you don’t believe it. What I am here to tell you is that YOU have to tell yourself all these things. Self love is the hardest damn step to your recovery, but once you stop BEATING yourself up and start BUILDING yourself up, then you’ll start to realize that YOU ARE WORTHY. I’ve learned that it’s not where I have been, but where I’m going to that matters. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve sliced your skin, or how many panic attacks you’ve had. None of that matters anymore. What your problem is, what my problem is, is that we live in the past. We dwell on how many mistakes we’ve made and we hurt ourselves for our “stupidity” when we’re only human. You really think perfection exists? Get real. That nobody else has made the same mistakes as you have? Exactly where you are right now, someone else has stood. What you feel right now, someone else has felt it. My point is, put your middle finger in the air and free yourself. You are a bird who has spent enough time in their cage and deserve to spread their wings and fly.

I get it though, it’s not that simple, right? No, it’s not. You don’t just wake up one day, jump out of bed and free yourself from your chains. If it were that easy then maybe people could be saved before committing suicide. If it were that easy, I would’ve saved myself a long time ago. It’s a process though. That’s the best way that I can explain it. You’re just a seed in the ground right now. You have to water yourself, give yourself a good amount of sunshine which means you have to live. Leave your room and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Go some place you’ve always wanted to go. Give yourself time – all the time you need. Maybe that’s all we need. Faith, hope, and time. Faith that everything will work out as planned. Faith in our growth and in our journey. Hope for better days and pure strength. Someone once told me, the only thing stronger than fear is hope. So stock up on your hope and give yourself the time to travel to the top of this mountain. Eventually, someday, you will make it. Someday you will get out of bed, loving yourself. You will go to bed, loving yourself and you’ll finally let go of that past. Let go of that hurt. You’ll build yourself anew and it’ll be the best damn thing you have ever done. Just give yourself the time.

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Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Behind The Abuse

I always found myself walking on eggshells, careful not to upset him. You can never do anything right. You’re pathetic. You made me do this. How many times did I shudder when he lifted his arms above my head? I constantly found myself gasping for breath as I cried helplessly for hours, but how many times did he fall asleep to the sound of me hyperventilating? There were so many nights I found myself talking to myself. “How did I let this happen? How did I ever become one of those women?”

How many panic attacks did I endure after all those regular assaults? How many times did I hear that it was my fault? Every morning I’d get up and look in the mirror and never once recognized myself. I had so much hate for that broken woman staring back at me. How could she let this happen? How many times had she swore she’d tell someone, but believe him when he said he was sorry and that he loved her?

I believed his attacks were out of love. By hurting me, he showed he loved me. Maybe he just cared so deeply that his emotions were out of control and he couldn’t control himself. Then there was the day it went too far. The attacks went from physical, to sexual. I thought my life was over. I knew right from wrong. I knew what I had to do, but I was scared. The minute that happened, I swore I was going to leave. But truth is, I couldn’t.

Months pass by. My family was falling apart, I hated myself more than anything. I relapsed time after time. I considered suicide on a regular basis. I became his loyal servant. Come home – take his boots off. Cook dinner – make his plate. When everyone turned in and turned out the lights, I knew the position I had to take. For months I endured hell, all while putting on a smile and acting like I was perfectly fine.

When it was over, I wasn’t allowed to mourn him. How was I to know that love, hate, comfort and fear could coexist? How could I explain to people that I not only lost my abuser, but my companion? How do you explain it to yourself? How can you possibly miss someone who made your life a living hell for five long months?

There are still times when I remember tender moments and ask myself if it really was all that bad. If I just somehow exaggerated everything and made something out of nothing. I still struggle with understanding how he could love me to tears, but yet hurt me as if I was an enemy. I’m a child again. I’m slowly learning to redefine the borders of normal and toxic behaviors. I constantly have to remind myself that acts of violence can never be acts of love.

I now see my own reflection in other women who have dealt with and beat such darkness. All the women who are so courageous who finally realized that they are not alone and deserve so much more. And in myself, in my story, knowing that others were where I was not long ago makes the shame dissipate. I have learned to accept that both the love and the abuse existed and thus has allowed me to forgive myself. I realized that you are not what happened to you, but rather what you take from it. Bad things happen to good people and we may never know the reason, but just because you feel you deserve it doesn’t mean it is true.

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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


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The Truth About Recovery

We all do it, even though we know we really shouldn’t. You are more than your mistakes. Everyone has a dusty book on their shelf of life that holds their darkest times, biggest regrets, and deepest mistakes, but you can’t hold yourself to it forever. If you reread those chapters over and over again, you’ll think that that is all you are, but it’s not true.

You are everything you do. Stories you read, music you listen to. You are everything you take from these. Only in the depths of hell can you truly learn who you are and you are so much more than your illness, mistakes, whatever it is that is holding you down and holding you back – you are more.

Recovery is the biggest battle of your life, for your life. It’s clawing, screaming, choking, and fighting. It’s filling the holes in your soul with something beautiful. Let yourself be happy. Go back to that younger you with the tears streaming down their face. Beating themselves up for something they did or something that happened. Tell them it’s okay, that you’re there and you are going to make things right. That you are going to break free from this hell and shine like a damn star because you. are. a. star.

The first step to letting the light shine inside you is to forgive yourself. It’s the hardest damn thing you’ll ever have to do, but you have to because you matter. You matter and you will make it. Do not let that damage control your life anymore. Stand up and say, “NO! Not me. Not anymore.” Repeat it, scream it, write it on your hand. Do whatever you have to do to memorize and believe it.

Some days you’ll jump out of bed roaring like a lion and others you’ll crawl out of bed meowing like a kitten. That’s O.K. Remember how far you’ve come. Recovery is a battlefield that you must win everyday. There will always be a dawn and all you have to do is last the night. You may not be there today, but you are so much closer than you were yesterday.

There’ll be times where you fall back a few steps. You think you’re on solid ground and you lose your footing, but you are not defined by your relapses, but rather by your decision to stay in recovery. There’ll be so many obstacles thrown at you to get you to leave your road to recovery, but you won’t. You can’t because you’ll look at how far you’ve come and think to yourself, I am a warrior and I WILL conquer this mountain! You are the hero of your story and you will survive.


Posted by on January 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Steps To Love Yourself

On your road to recovery, one of the steps you must take is to appreciate the person in the mirror. You must love yourself and loving yourself is the first step to fulfilling your dreams of recovery.

As humans, we are our own worst enemies, but in the same breath, we are our own best friend as well. If you are a self harmer, your body fights against you and creates scar tissue to prevent it from happening again. When you get sick, your immune system kicks in to get you well again. Why? Because your body loves you and it is time that you start loving it and start loving that beautiful soul of yours.

Pamper yourself. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. Go for a hike, a drive, or even sit on the couch with your favorite snack and movie. Whatever it is, just do it. Take some time out for you. Look out for number one in your life. Make yourself happy and remember that you are important too. That you matter just as much as anyone else.

Look in the mirror. Pick something that you love about your features. It could be anything, it could even be something such as your strength or intelligence. Look yourself in the eye and say, “I love my strength/smile/etc.” Say it five, ten, even twenty times. Say it till you feel it in your heart. Keep saying it until you start to really believe it. Loving yourself doesn’t happen over night. It takes small steps on a daily basis.

Then one day, when you look in that mirror, you won’t have to pick certain things about you that you love. You’ll look in that mirror and see yourself and say, “I love me!” From the top of your head, to the bottom of your toes.

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Posted by on December 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


My Reasons For Recovery

Growing up, I was always a very happy girl, but I became best friends with pain at a very young age. I was treated like trash by over half of my family and even beaten by my grandfather, but it wasn’t until I started getting bullied in school did I start to feel something different within me. There was this boy who would always beat me up, yet my teachers did nothing to stop it. In fact, they acted as if they didn’t see anything. I had bruises that littered my body and even more that littered my mind. He came on campus one day with loaded gun and a list of those he wanted to kill and I was the first on the list. Since that day, I’ve had this overwhelming fear that every man that had a gun holstered on his hip is gonna kill me. I didn’t mind when I was the one who had the gun in my hands, but if others did, especially if they were men, I’d start panicking.

The bullying got worse as I got older though. I used to receive these horribly graphic videos telling me to kill myself. It began to play so much on my mind that when I was just twelve years old I began to self harm. First, I just had shallow scratches on my wrists and legs. I always said I’d try it and never do it again, but I was already addicted to it. See, it was pain that I had control of. If I wanted to hurt bad, I’d make myself hurt bad. For once, I felt in control of my life. As I got older, they became deeper and more defined. I can’t even remember what it was like to wake up or go to bed and not want to harm myself.

When I turned 15, things took a turn for the worse. I was so drained and done with everything that I tried to commit suicide. I tried for years to rely on music, blogging, even writing to keep me distracted, but nothing seemed to help anymore. I attempted again later that year, when I was 16, and then again when I was 17. When I cut up over half of my arm all at once and tried to overdose, I finally got my family’s attention and I started seeing a therapist. That is when I was diagnosed with PTSD, severe depression, and anxiety.

I would’ve thought that seeing  therapist would help. Finally! A light at the end of the tunnel; a way out. I could finally get on medication and get better and live the life I dreamed of. How was I to know that that light was just another train heading right towards me? My therapist didn’t believe in medicine. In fact, she considered it a crutch and insisted I did not need it. She set out a plan that I would work through my problems with something called EMDR work. Basically, EMDR is kind of like self hypnosis. It makes you go back to the trauma and relive it. You even create a safe place to return to in case things got too real or felt too traumatic to face again.

It worked for a little bit, until I started relapsing and slipping back. I was completely shattered. I tried so hard and clawed my way up this mountain that began to crumble all around me and my therapist made it all worse. I had a horrible day, everything crashed all at once. I had one of my worst panic attacks. I had a complete mental break down and nothing helped me to come out of it. It got so bad that in order to calm me down, my grandparents gave me a sedative. My therapist said it was stupid, how could I do that? The real question was, how could SHE do that? She made me feel worse in my moment of weakness when I was paying her to help me and teach me. I didn’t need anyone else to beat me up when I was already pounding myself into the ground.

My whole life, I thought that if I poured myself into someone else and breathed life into them, then it would ultimately breathe life into me. I’ve always given to others and never asked for anything in return and I thought that that would bring me happiness, but it never did. I hated myself more than anything and if I helped others to love themselves, then eventually I would do the same.

I later realized that my logic was all twisted and wrong. I can’t hate the girl in the mirror, I have to love her. I have to hug her and put band-aids on her ouchies because no one else will. I can’t expect my recovery to just fall in my lap, I have to work at it. Day by day and second by second.

I want to share my recovery and I want others to share theirs as well so I ask you to join me. Welcome me into your shattered world as I welcome you into mine and lets build something beautiful and stand at the top of this mountain, hand in hand and shout that we made it.


Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Uncategorized