woman leaning on bed

I Have Never Known Damage This Closely

Trigger warning: mental illness

I have never known damage this closely. I have never known this feeling of being cracked and bulleted all over, as if falling in a blank space this deeply. Empty hands, nothingness in the fingers, no one to help stop a trust fall. A back flip is all it takes for me to crumble into millions of tiny molecules.

It has always felt like a part of me has gone missing. Something was stolen from me and never restored. My heart, my soul, my feelings? What is it that’s walked away from me and never returned home ? This habit of always giving myself to everyone who seems to be missing a part of themselves, this flaw of believing every individual who turns up to me with teary puppy eyes but a knife pointed at my back, this naivety in me that makes it so easy for everyone to manipulate me like a puppet they use to entertain themselves on a boring Sunday evening, seems to have costed me way more than what losing trillions would have.

This atmosphere sickens me in the stomach, punches me in the lungs and screams constantly through my ear drums:

You are not complete.

You are not happy.

You are pretending.

Everyone hates you.

Everyone hates you.

Everyone hates you.

And I start believing the words that flip out of the empty walls into my pillow every night. I start believing the mouth underneath my bed that whispers this evil mantra to me every night. I start to believe the lights in my room that feel like judgmental eyes scrutinizing my every move.

You are empty. You are empty. You are empty.

Yes, I am empty. Yes, I am empty. Yes, I am empty.

This empty room will make you cry.

This empty room will make me cry.

This lonely right side of the bed will cradle you to a death bed of loneliness.

This lonely right side of the bed will cradle me to a death bed of loneliness.

And

I

crack.

And now, I am curled up in my bed, chest to knee, as if I’ve crawled back into my mother’s womb out of fear. My pillow is drenched with water. I can almost drown my head in my own pool of tears and let it float in the grief that’s leaking all over the place. I have lost my happy self and I do not even know where have I misplaced it or who the mastermind is of this whole act that’s been carefully well-executed.

This gnawing feeling in my chest, blooming into an extra large bed of nails piercing through my clothes has been termed several things by several people. Severe anxiety. Severe depression. The power of Nazar (evil eye). Or simply as an overreaction or something unreal that people blame me for letting my mind produce by itself, which justifies the fact that some people ask me, “Have you gone insane?” or say, “It’s all in the mind.” It will fade away, they say.

Some call you strong and brave for surviving so far. Others call you insane and weak. And now you are just sitting in the middle of this bridge, hanging in this large hole with the help of a thin rope that may break at any time and swing you wildly into the deep currents of the river underneath your feet. You do not know who you are anymore. Brave or insane?

All it takes is for someone to just bring up the topic for you to crack and weep silently, frozen in the moment as sadness hugs you from behind, as truth runs down the lips of that one person who genuinely cares for you and notices you struggling. And yet those same words, that same advice, that is meant to uplift you and guide you from that dark space serve you as a light to walk out of this dark tunnel with, makes you uncomfortable because of how true the words sounded. You are suddenly unsure if it made you cry, because that was the truth about how much you have struggled or whether it froze you in a fixed spot of brokenness because your attempts to conceal how much you were drowning in yourself have failed and someone caught you bluntly in the act.

Whatever it is, however you would explain what just happened, this is what you would call real damage.

About the author
Youngest most influential woman of MRU 2019, published author & poet Follow Benazir on Instagram or read more articles from Benazir on Thought Catalog.

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