I think we are maybe not too different.

I think people see through me. And that they see me as weak.
But I am not weak, so if they see that, then they are wrong.
No matter how perceptive they think they are.
I am not weak.

I FEEL weak. But I am alive. I am still fighting.
I am better than I was and someday I will be even better than I am now.
Even if somewhere between now and then I fall down.

I have gone through more than the people who call me weak.
They don't know what strength is.
They stand with nothing on their back and complain about little things.
I trudge along with this boulder on my back and still manage to survive.
If I am keeled over, it is because my load is heavy.
That is strength, not weakness.

I am not a coward.
I face realities every day
that would make lesser men turn away
and pretend that things are fine.
Those who don't understand wouldn't last a day in my position.
At least, not without their entire universe being shattered.

I have a stuffed wolf puppy who I sleep with every night.
I am not ashamed of him.
He has been a better friend to me than most of humanity.
I was strong and clever enough
To find a friend when I needed one.
That is not weakness,
it is the strength to place survival over society's stupid rules.

I did nothing wrong.
They did it.
I survived.
I am the hero.
I am the warrior.
If others can't see that,
They are blind, not me.

I am often lonely.
My wife often doesn't understand.
I've never been able to hold down a full-time job.
I feel like people get sick of me.
I don't have all the answers to this.

But I am not alone.
And I will not be ashamed.
And I am not weak.

And you aren't either.

We are Strong.
_________________________
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.