be softer with yourself. || 1/7 the sadness was everywhere.
when i look back on my history and struggles with self-harm and self-destructive behaviours,
the things that stand out to be the most prominent above all else, are the senses of
the want to do it again.
the vulnerability of pain.
the sickening familiarity.
living in a world where everything is on fire.
the fear of what i was doing but lacking the will to stop.
and the overwhelming longing for the sense of peace that you get from simply being yourself again.
sometimes i can still feel the
exile - i ended up here because the outside world rejected me. the palpable distance that i felt from everything and everyone around me.
isolation - being told that being alone for a while would make me feel like myself again. hearing the echo in my voice from being the only one, reinforcing and proving my now known certainty that i was alone in the middle of all this pain.
emptiness - going to parties and downing a fifth of alcohol by myself in one go. everyone around me was too busy cheering me on to wonder how empty i had to be in order to do it.
loneliness - feeling so alone that i started filling the gaps, the spaces, the silences, and everything in between with my own thoughts. my own monologue, the floor entirely mine. but it was always just my voice. filling the silence didn't make anything better. it just made me lonelier.
the want to do it again - i had found myself addicted to self-destructive behaviours. addicted to the endorphins from being physically hurt.
the overwhelming sadness - i first realized it was taking me over in second period geography when i was studying a map of the world from my atlas. through the silence of the class, i asked it, "where does it hurt the most?" it didn't even hesitate before responding. "everywhere." the sadness was everywhere.
the vulnerability of pain - i thought that because i was like this, i was made of stone. but it turns out that the ones who self-harm are the softest, the most gentle. we take all of the pain that we have, and we are afraid of it. we don't know how to get rid of it without hurting anyone else, and so we hurt ourselves. we put ourselves through it because we would rather take the hurt than use it to pain anyone else.
the sickening familiarity - knowing that i have, in fact, been down this road one too many times before.
living in a world where everything is on fire - i fell, and everything around me went up in flames. i resided in the fire, and eventually go used to living in a burning world. but when one lives in the fire for long enough, they adapt to it. i grew to believe that everything and everyone must be on fire too, that the rest of the world must be on fire, but it's not.
the fear of what i was doing but lacking the will to stop - the scary thing is that i knew exactly what i was doing to myself. i knew that this might kill me someday, but i didn't seem to care. i grew to fear what i was doing, but by then i had grown accustomed to the behavioural pattern of self-harm. the power to stop it had disappeared along with my will to care.
and the overwhelming longing for the sense of peace that you get from simply being yourself again - i wasn't myself for months, years even, and nobody noticed.