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What I Want You to Know

I am not my illness

I am not broken

I am not lazy or unmotivated

If I could “suck it up”, believe me I would

I do not want your sympathy....I only seek your support

I have hidden for fear of judgement

I have lied to hide the truth

I get up every day and try my hardest

I did not choose this chose me


I want you to challenge me to strive for better

I need the support of others and in turn I want to support you

I must put my recovery as a priority

I’ve endured stigma, jokes, and heartless comments

I’ve smiled through pain and laughed through tears

I have had the choice to live or to die....I’ve chosen to live


I want you to see me.....the real me

I love, I laugh, I work, I lead

I have gifts

I make the world a better place by being here

I have a voice

I matter

Sharon Bak


Still I Rise

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.


Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?


Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.


You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?


Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.


Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Maya Angelou

The Questions

When you have it all but it goes away,

Would you choose to go or choose to stay?


When you soar high then fall to the ground,

Do you freeze up or move around?


When you see clearly then lose your sight

Will you stay in the dark or search for the light?


When you run the course then fall off track,

Do you keep moving forward or circle back?


When you find peace but then see wars

Will you fight it out or stay indoors?


When you write your truth but its torn apart,

Do you tape it together or make a new start?


When you see what’s wrong and know what’s right

Will you lay down or choose to fight?

Sharon Bak

Bouquet of Peonies
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