How Reaching Rock Bottom Saved Me

Valentina Costi
Valentina Costi

I went in a little further than I should have. Not once have I ever understood it, but all that was left with me were blades. My friend had trusted me to take them away from her for when she lost control. There is a sense of beauty that comes with trust. It is ingrained in ourselves. It is embarked with our deepest insecurities. Trust is naked. It’s bare, minimal and simplistic. And yet it is secretive, embarrassing, and complex. It is where our fears take on vulnerability. That is what my friend gave me that night. It was almost empowering. The feeling of gaining that form of trust. The feeling of knowing that I was worthy of taking her blades away from her.

The next day was when it got harder though. I could feel the blades lying in my garbage bin, egging me on. I resisted for a while until resistance no longer seemed an option. After digging through, I found them. They smirked as I drowned in defeat. I touched the edge, gliding my finger across it to get a feel of the sharpness – to get a feel of what I was getting myself into. I started small and with a delicate hand. I could feel it digging but it wasn’t hard enough to make me lose feeling. So, I dug a little deeper and this time, I could see the red liquid emerging slowly. I sat there and watched it for a minute or two until I chose a different location. There it was again – cold, wet, bittersweet blood. Temporary feelings of enlightenment flooded through me and for a brief moment, it all made sense. I had no control. Not over my life, my parents, my career or my academics, but I had control over this. This feeling did not last long though. I could feel the wetness of my face as my vision began to blur.

Why had I done this? How had my life taken this turn? So I stopped. I lay the blade overtop my favorite book and left my room. I didn’t understand anything anymore. I didn’t understand how it got to this point – not until I came back into my room, lifted the blades, grabbed my book that lay beneath them and began to read it again. That’s when I was reminded of it all. The beauty of the ordinary and the beauty of feeling.

Drinking lately has caused me to lash out. It brings my anger and frustration up for the world to see. In the moment, I let it be. I let it out. Friends stand astonished, looking at me as though I’m a stranger. They’ve never seen that side before. The darkness. But maybe there is a beauty that lies in anger such as there is beauty in laughter. Frustration and tension that’s boiled inside finally gets a voice and in the moment, the world is black. But in the morning, when the sun begins to make its way through the sleek fabric of my curtains, all I am left with are the cruel words. All I have left are the facts. The events. The stories. The feeling passes but the words will always be left in the air. Once spoken, they can’t be taken back.

But what if that is the beauty? If all we ever see is the light, we will forever be afraid of the dark, for it is unknown. What if we knew it was there? How would that change our perspectives? Our thoughts? The way we made interactions on a day-to-day basis? Perhaps the sole acknowledgement of the existence of darkness will allow us to understand it. Maybe then it won’t come out in large grenades. Maybe then we won’t feel so alone in our pain. Maybe then I would not have resorted to self-harm. And maybe then, it will finally be beautiful.

I never touched those blades again and to this day, I never felt the urge to. The beauty I speak of doesn’t come with physical pain. It comes with the acknowledgement of real emotions. It comes with the exposure of our shadow side. The side we keep hidden away from the world.

A friend of mine once mentioned that he believed you could never really know anyone to a full extent no matter how long you’ve known them for. Not your best friend from grade school, your parents, your sibling, or your significant other. But what if we could? The fear is that we would become outsiders. People would cast us away as the crazies. No one would dare to say they could relate, even if they could. But what if that is the one thing that could actually join us all together?
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A university student who believes she was born into this world to eat potatoes and raise cats. Further known for her caffeine addiction and six hour long naps.

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