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Quotes From a Friend

You never really know what moments are going to change your life. Sometimes things happen around you, and your physical response is to retract into yourself. A biological response you can’t control but have to learn to work through. Whether they’d like to admit it or not, no one’s life is perfect.

Life is a learning experience — a constant one. The amount of effort you output has a direct effect on the path you face going forward. Now, that’s not to diminish the fact that some of us face environments daily that are rawer than others. None of that changes that we all feel pain.

“It’s okay to be scared. I’ve spent my whole life afraid of everything, and my anxiety is only getting worse; I’ve been fighting it my whole life.”

We all wake up each morning to a brand new world. One where we don’t know what we’ll be waking up to. Where we won’t be experiencing life the same way, each day is a brand new adventure, and that’s a scary thought. Each night we are all faced with this thought.

Working on a fiction-novel, name to be announced, I started studying different rankings in society, the caste system, royal hierarchy, different classifications for what at the end of the day amounted to people. People each with flaws. Each with their broken bits. Each looking to be made whole in some way or another.

“At this point, I think I’ve accepted that in life, if we are scared, maybe we need to be, and it has to be okay.”

We all experience pain in vastly different ways. Personally, I have high pain tolerance, so physical pain isn’t the most dangerous thing to me. It hurts my body, sure. But I’m personally more vulnerable to emotional pain. We all have some balance, but we have first to see the connections between all that memories cause us.


Have you ever woken up and just known it was going to be a bad day? You can have a gut feeling, but there’s no proper way to know just what’s in store. Seemingly, I can’t remember any times where I thought I’d have a bad day and not had one. I’m confident they exist. But memory can be tricky.

“Just like with pain. Pain is meant to be felt. Is it fair? No.”

Tragedies occur. They’re a common occurrence. I have no statistic about what quantifies a disaster versus a bad accident, but seemingly that line exists. I’m sure there’s some number out there, but it’s one I don’t want to know. Because sometimes, knowing something changes your overall perspective. Hence, not fair.

Broken glass picture frame
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Unfortunately, though, the world is just as imperfect as us; it too grows around us. Changes occurring without anyone’s personal permission; it’s our job to grow right alongside it.

“But life isn’t about fairness. It’s about taking what you have, accepting it for what it is, learn from it, grow and move forward.”

I went to rehab on February 17th, 2020, and was discharged on March 27th, 2020. One year ago today, I reentered a literal brand new world. My perspectives were changed, my mind finally clear of intoxicating influences. I had cleaned up my figurative friends’ list with drunken antics that only left behind those genuinely willing to deal with all that I brought. I have a bit of baggage.

I didn’t immediately shed that baggage, nor have I cleared it all now. Life is meant to be a process. Something that is externally influenced. Messages, meanings, the cause. All of it can be misconstrued. Your perspective changes with what you experience, and sometimes you can be totally off.

“If you’re afraid? Face it. Identify what it is that you’re afraid of and be brutally honest with yourself about that fear, then talk about it. Research it.”

I was blown up in a house when I was 12. I bring it up a lot. An unnatural amount. Because for a long time that’s all I thought was interesting about me. That I had no real value. Null in more ways than one.

I was under this false impression that this one event would define me forever. That my growth had ended. I shut myself off emotionally to cope with what was unknown, an undefined space to linger in.

I spent about fifteen years there, wandering occasionally into places where I had no choice but to feel. Events happening around me where I had no control.

“Find people with the same fear and talk to them about it. Absorb that fear; surround yourself with it.”

When you disallow yourself the ability to feel, you’ve handicapped your ability to sense. It becomes a struggle to grasp what’s going on around you. You jump to conclusions and sometimes make a mess. A trap a 12-year old who’s been blown up in a house can easily fall into. A figurative rock and a hard place.

Man rock climbing
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I wasn’t able to choose how I felt in those moments because I wasn’t aware of what I was mentally doing to myself. At 12 years old, I mistakenly thought I had the power to change how I felt. But I wasn’t just a boy who lived. I’m human.

“Become so involved with it that you couldn’t understand it any better because ninety-nine percent of the time, fear is caused by not understanding something.”

I spent 15 years “Rambling and Wandering,” looking for my direction. I spent 15 years thinking that the worst had already happened to me. I spent 15 years lost and confused. I let my accident define me.

I was the “Miss Congeniality” of house explosions. The one that didn’t belong. I wasn’t supposed to be at the house that morning the blast occurred. I had canceled plans with my mom, and it was pure chance that I asked to visit.

Do I regret going? Absolutely not. My life wouldn’t be what it is without it. But I spent those 15 years piling my walls higher and higher; each brick, someone threw my next piece of protection. I had something no one else could take away from me — my hurt.

I harbored resentments for people I didn’t even realize — all without the intention. I was afraid of myself; I had stolen my own confidence, ability to feel, and ability to heal. I lived in fear of the unknown.

“That, or it isn’t fear — just the need for that thing to not be a part of your life anymore.”

I told myself for 15 years that I had an excuse — a reason to want to escape. My body didn’t feel like mine; I was residing there. I was different. I was strange. I was abnormal.

Before rehab, I used to be afraid to go to sleep each night. It’s time to be brave.

“It’s not abnormal for a lifetime of trauma and anxiety to make the recovery process a long one.”

*** Quotes from Jessica Pike




Entrepreneur, Full-Stack Developer, Author, Storyteller.

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Zachary Peterson

Zachary Peterson

Entrepreneur, Full-Stack Developer, Author, Storyteller.

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