The doctors said to just use the pills they gave to us every month we visited. But those small white capsules offered no release from my mind and tasted like cardboard coated in sugar. Mum said just try and get back to normality, do something I love… But everything I used to love seemed to die, like a flower in the winter; it cannot survive long against the icy winds and my storm-ridden mind. My friends have no idea, or rather the people who surround me daily, don’t know who I am.
My dad, well, he’s dead, and I blame him, he started this mess, if he didn’t die I wouldn’t be here like this, I wouldn’t have a caged monster in my head, in every moment of my life, I wouldn’t consider what pain felt like and how much pain it took before your heart gave up. All he had to do was stay at home that night, no one asked him to go out, no one asked him to be a hero and no one asked him to die for a stranger.
”But no one asked him to stay. You didn’t, your mum didn’t, your brother didn’t,” the voice of a monster snarled in my head.
I hissed, my breath fogging the glass of the mirror that reflected green eyes that were no longer my own as I brought the knife to my forearm, trying to get the monster in my head to leave in the crimson blood, that dripped into the porcelain sink. The first cut, the first scar on my soft, white flesh that previously had no battle wounds.
Nothing could save me, no one could help me. I was trapped, my mind no longer belonged to my body, they were two separate beings, two separate people, and I couldn’t distinguish between which one was stronger. Every day since that night when the two men in uniform showed up at our door, hats removed, their faces set in stone, eyes already telling us the tragedy that would consume my soul — I began living in a nightmare state, in which I saw the world in two ways, how my body lived in it, and how my mind perceived it.
My body continued as normal, my legs would drag me through my meaningless life, my arms would comfort my six-year-old brother, and my body would continue to live, even though Dad is dead, even though I did not want it to, I would continue to breathe the air, he no longer could and that was enough for me to survive, that was enough.
But my mind was different, my mind was a battlefield and I had long ago given up the will to live.
I loved music and dancing. I loved who used to be my friends and I loved life, I loved waking up to the birds in the morning and falling asleep to the rain battering my windows. I loved to live, but now I love no more.
Since that night, music all sounds the same, just one monotone drone that means nothing, all food tastes like cardboard, when I dance I feel like I’m falling, my body freezes and becomes lead and no one can catch me. I no longer know who my friends are, because I have become so distant from what is real and what is not and life no longer holds any joy. When I wake up in the morning all I can see is black and no sunshine can penetrate the wall I have built, and no matter where I am and what I am doing, it always, always sounds like it is raining, and I feel as if it will never go away.
I have become numb in my mind to everything but pain, and pain is my only comfort because, in pain, I can make sense of everything once more, when I am in agony, I can grieve and so pain, pain is now my friend.
I don’t want anyone to know what exactly I have become, I don’t want mum to see that her little girl is gone, I don’t want the doctors to see the medicine isn’t working, and I don’t want my brother to see what death has changed me into, I don’t want him to see the failure I have become.
So I hide away the pain from them, I’m a depressed, pain inflicting eighteen-year-old girl, who is so lost, I long ago lost sight of the way I came, and the darkness is so complete I can’t see my escape route. I’m alone and yet I’m surrounded, I’m hopeless and worthless, and I have failed everyone. I promised them I would be strong and yet every day I lose more and more strength, I’m losing the will to continue, my life has no meaning. I am broken.
I…am broken, and that simple fact hurts more than anything. I never thought I could be broken, I could never imagine what broken felt like, but now I’m broken and I wish I could only imagine what it felt like. I wish I never knew, how it feels to be broken, like a fort of blankets and pillows where a tap could send me downwards, even though I am still managing to survive against the winds. I wish I still had the belief that I couldn’t be broken, I wish I still was naïve in my belief that I, the person I had been, could never be broken, that I would be strong forever.
My blood continued to drip into the white sink, a single path stained red as the water began to wash it away, as it tried to swirl out of it expansive reach, but it didn’t make it and so it was dragged under, a mirroring of me.
Slowly I let the knife slip from my hands, and loud clattering resonating around the room as it hit the sink and I slowly sunk into the hard, marble floors of the bathroom as I dragged my knees closer to me, silently the tears flowing down my cheeks, leaving imprints on my white t-shirt.
I didn’t know what I was doing with my life anymore, I didn’t know who I had become in life, and I didn’t know what I was going to do, how I was going to get out of the hell hole I was in, and to be honest, I don’t know how I got here in the first place. Dad was dead, and as much as I blamed him, I was lying to myself, it wasn’t his fault, but it was easier to blame him and shut everyone else out, then it was to let everyone in, and that is what I was going to do.
I could be alone and isolated if it meant saving everyone else getting infected with my darkness.