I told Doctor Sam, I was too sick to go to Paris.
He believed I could.
When I got to the Musee D’Orsay,
I saw Van Gough’s portrait of his doctor.
I bought Doctor Sam a postcard of this painting
Thanking him.

Today I try and give hope to the people I meet,
Tell them that mental illness won’t break you.
We just have to believe that we can overcome.
The tattoos and bruises that riddle our skin, the pain of just existing.
I wear my scars, raise them like children.

I write as Notre Dame burns, the beauty in the ashes.
My sister gave me a book when her husband died.
It was about a fire fighter who died
Saving people on 9/11, my sisters husband Jimmy
Died of cancer on September 11th.
A Nation’s tragedy, a personal tragedy.
The book was called Beauty in the Ashes.

I write as Notre Dame burns.
It reminded me that Dr. Sam was right.
I can do this. I have been doing this.
Now, I am in a place where I can help others
Going through it.

And me, I am stronger for it.

The fire in the sky, it saddens me, but makes me remember
The one doctor who believed in me.
Doctor Sam
A construction worker and boxer turned doctor
Who believed that I wasn’t broken.
And because of him, I became stronger.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His newest collection, Train of Thought, is forthcoming.