Under the cover of the night, I bow my head slightly. I feel as if the weight of the world is on my shoulder, and I want desperately to let it push me to the depths of my despair.
The sorrow. Endless reservoirs of tears stored in the hidden crevices of my soul. I trace the scars on my arm, slightly faded over time, but never far from my mind. I no longer hide them, though I don’t flaunt them either. I am not proud of them, per se, but I refuse to be ashamed.
Ashamed. I am, though. Not of my scars, but of me. Revisiting old memories is like picking at a scab, opening a wound to let it bleed freely once again.
The redness of blood fascinates me. It’s so rich and vibrant. How can it come from such an arid place? A thin smear of blood on otherwise white skin. How I miss it, sometimes, the release that comes with the bloodletting. In another lifetime, it was my friend, my comfort, my lifeblood. Ironic, that. Spilling my blood is one of the things that kept me alive.
My heart is full. It’s aching with the exquisite agony that used to tear my soul apart on a daily basis. I hug my arms around my body, trying to feel something, anything, other than the dull, aching, thud of hopelessness as it thumps gently against my ribs. It used to grip me with such a fierce intensity, I feared that I would crumble and give in, because at my very heart, I am so very weak.
And I am tired. I am exhausted. It’s not just a physical thing, though that, of course is a part of it as well. I am so. fucking. tired of the doubts that plague my mind. I hate the ugliness that I see inside my soul. I wish I could scrub it with a wire brush until it was shimmering with a radiant hope. I am so. fucking. tired of not being able to breathe for fear that if I inhale too deeply, I will finally swallow myself whole, leaving no trace of me behind.
I am so. fucking. tired of always been on my guard, careful to not go over the line, whatever that line may be. In addition, I need to know where the exit is at all times, so I can escape if the terror grows too daunting for me to contain.
I must watch and wait. I must never, ever, ever be too sure of myself, lest I get taken by unpleasant surprise. Fight or flight, fight or flight, fight or flight, fight or flight. There are two options, or rather, there are three. The third is to stay as still as I possibly can, desperately hoping that whatever darkness is out there will pass me by.
Darkness out there? Darkness inside. It’s inside of me, and I have to cope with it every single fucking day. The monster that I thought I had conquered, or at least tamped down sufficiently, is rearing its ugly head once again. It says to me:
“You’re fat. You’re grotesque. You’re a failure. You’re a piece of shit. You will never be anything more than what you are right now. You suck. You might as well not be here.”
Now, if it were just saying this once or twice, I could deal with it. Unfortunately, it tends to wear a groove in my brain until all I can think about are my flaws. Of which I have many.
The voice, it beats me over the head–from inside no less–until I am driven to my knees. I am ready to give in, if only for the sheer silence that is guaranteed to come from eternal sleep. Other times, the voice is more seductive. She whispers sweetly in my ear how much better life on the other side is. I can rest, finally lay down all my burdens and fade into sweet oblivion. Oh, it could be so good if I simply gave up.
Death. She has me marked. I have no concept of what life actually entails. Half-life. It’s all I’ve had for so many fucking years. Truth be told, I never thought I would live very long. I still don’t. I have a hard time picturing myself growing old, yelling at the kids to get off my damn lawn. To be fair, I’m pretty damn crotchety right now, so it’s not like I’d have that far to go. Still, when my mom turned 55, I thought to myself, “That’s when I’m going to die.” Seems like a reasonable age to me.
I am a fake. I am not a real human being. Real humans feel something, anything, other than complete and utter misery. Real humans know how to love, to laugh, to interact with other real humans. I know because I’ve seen them do it with effortless ease. Real humans get married and have children. Real humans don’t have to use every ounce of willpower just to open their eyes every morning. Real humans aren’t obsessed with being real.
Why is it that every time I make progress, the old life sings to me, wanting to claim my soul? It’s so damn seductive and so damn easy to slide back into its waiting embrace. It’s like an old lover who knows how to press the right buttons. It’s a dance that I have danced for almost my entire life. I know all the steps by heart, and I can do them in my sleep.
And though I loath to admit it, there is something comforting about wrapping the blanket of darkness around me, snuggling down, shutting my eyes, and refusing to open them again.
It’s so fucking hard to become real. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable. It’s like shedding dead skin before the new one has grown in. I don’t know if it’s worth it in the end. I don’t know if anything is worth working this damn hard just to get out of the fucking bed every…whenever I get the fuck up.
I grieve. I grieve for the girl I never got to be and for the woman I fear I cannot become. I grieve for the wasted years. I grieve for the wasted years yet to come (and yes, I am pretty pessimistic that I won’t waste even more years stuck in this awful place). I grieve for my damaged soul that seems to be dying a bit more every day, despite my efforts to stop the decay.
I look at my life. I see the emptiness and all that I have not accomplished. I see the friends I have hurt and betrayed, and the lovers who have hurt and betrayed me. I see the roads not taken out of fear, and I see the roads best left untaken, and those are the ones I deliberately chose to travel. I see a big yawning chasm between how others see me and how I see myself, and I have no idea how to stitch together the two disparate halves to make a semi-coherent whole.
I have tried so many times to understand that I may never know why the fuck I am alive. It’s not something I should think about for very long because it drives me to the edge of the abyss so that I only need a tiny, tiny push to topple all the way over. There is no fucking reason for me to be alive. I have to accept that and just move the fuck on. There may be no bigger picture. I live. I die. That is the very primitive cycle of life, and why should I think that I would be anything more important than one little cog in that wheel?
I want to let go. I just want to fucking rest. I want all the pain, sorrow, hopelessness, and despair to just disappear. I don’t want to try any longer. I don’t want to have to work so goddamn hard just to be human. I don’t want to pretend that I can be someone.
I just want peace.