I’ve been feeling a bit down and frustrated the past few days from body pains and mental woes. Not unusual, and not unlike the other amounts of people that have seemed to feel the same rush of nostalgic events the last while.
I’m lying in a bath right now listening to Portishead, there’s candles and zero bubbles left. My feet are getting pruny and the water is lukewarm at best. The tap is dripping constantly but instead of annoying me, it’s a very strange reminder of a few years ago where my feelings and this scenario were simultaneously similar but drastically different.
(Trigger warnings and such beyond here. It isn’t graphic per say, but you know. Carry on.)
I don’t know how many years it’s been, to be honest. I don’t remember perfectly to the date, I just remember the details and feelings. It was almost exactly like this. My hair was messy and pulled up, the bath was too hot but I didn’t care. The tap was dripping and it was annoying but contemplative all at once.
I sank down into it and pulled my knees into my chest, hugging myself and closing my eyes. Glory Box was playing on my music list and I felt like I could absorb every single word and emotion that tugged along with it. I was depressed and in a bad place relationship wise. Not going into too much detail there other than it was abusive.
It wasn’t pleasant and I very often thought of alternatives to my situation, usually coming up empty and digging myself deeper into every negative emotion a person could feel. I weighed less than I do now, had bruises and felt like the ugliest being on the planet, inside and out. Not meaning to make that sound exaggerated and stereotyped for the sake of story time, it’s exactly how I felt.
I was never the depressed teen who cut herself, it always freaked me out too much and as much as I do enjoy some pain in certain -ahem- situations, that was never appealing. But at that moment in time and place, it was. I felt defeated, stuck, alone, and just simply done. I had barely lived and I was done right then and there; what a sad thing to endure.
I was down on myself to say the least. I vehemently hated that I was even in this position, let alone feeling the way I was. I’ve always been far too stubborn and strong willed to let someone else tell me what to do, make me feel weak and vulnerable or anything less than happy and uplifted.
I cried, for a long time. This wasn’t me, this wasn’t my life. I didn’t want anything to do with it. So in a fit of unstable thinking, an exhausted body and heavy heart, I cut myself. It wasn’t hard or deep at first, but it was enough to have a strange and new experience. It stung more than I thought, it was warm. It was curious to me how much different it felt doing it purposefully compared to accidentally.
I just stared at the blood trickling down my leg and found myself wondering how it was possible to be so bizarrely mesmerizing in dim light. I wondered how such a small thing could be so relevant to life and simultaneously be the opposite.
The water got clouded red and the colour dissipated. Little crimson clouds, swirling and disappearing. Was reminded of the time I accidentally hurt myself when I was really young and my grandma helped me better. Started crying harder and it continued on in a daze of too many thoughts and stinging sensations that somehow tickled at the same time.
I stopped eventually. It was cold and the candles were even dinner. The water wasn’t clear but my mind was. I hugged myself more and couldn’t cry. My eyes were dry and puffy, my leg ached and stung and I was embarrassed by myself. I blushed and felt ashamed. But so incredibly clear.
I thought I wanted to die at the time, but I don’t think I fully ever believed that. I just wanted out and away. Which is exactly what I did and years later I’m surrounded by friends that care, and people from all over the world that care about me almost more than my flesh and blood family does.
I’ve gotten to experience things and be recognized by people I’ve adored my entire life. I’ve gotten letters and emails and messages from people I’ve never met that tell me that I, ME inspires them to be a strong person and that they look up to me like I’m some sort of mystical being.
I’m humbled and beyond honored by it. I didn’t do anything special other than simply live. I talk a lot about one simple book giving me more than I ever imagined when I wouldn’t stop talking about it, but right this second as I’m sitting here writing this…It’s true and I’m grateful.
It’s like the little family I never had and it makes me smile, even when I’m down. And that’s pretty damn neat.
So, if you made it all the way to the end of this, thank you for being here. If you ever feel down and out, don’t ever give up, okay? You’re a beautiful and amazing person and I’ll be damned if anyone makes you feel different. Including yourself.
Smile more, lovely reader. Life is too short to be wasted on negatives and unspeakable evils. Be happy. It’s worth everything.