Victory. In it to win it they’ll say, that’s what everyone strives for right? But what about the people who wish to die? For them, victory has an entirely different meaning.
There was this girl who had a daily battle, more dangerous than war. It was a war against herself, a war against her mind. It was something you can’t put into words, something only those who do it could ever understand. There is no way to describe why you do what you do; it’s not that easy. It’s almost like describing color to a blind person. Everyone is going to have there own variation and own meaning. Nobody saw through the girls broken smile or fake laugh that she put on every day. Every night she’d lock the door and draw her dark red lines, she’d tell you a million times not to worry and that everything is fine. She’d try and fight the demons in her head, but they never stopped screaming. She’d have to listen to them or else they’d get mad. They’d tell her the red lines make her look pretty. Eventually she needed it, the demons no longer had to egg her on. It fueled her, it was no ones voice but her own. She needed it she needed the red lines. A swift movement and it stops, and then tomorrow it begins again. First she did it because she was angry, depressed, frustrated, sad, and desperate. But then it became an addiction, drawing those red lines even without a reason. During the day, she walked straight, she talked to her friends and it seemed as if her world was so bright. No one knew, that when the sun set the demons came out and she’d fall back down the rabbit hole. So here was this girl, alone and scared, her world was always dark but she didn’t seem to care. After a while you just get used to it, and say why not, what’s a few more lines? Soon enough her arms were filled with red, and she got careless at trying to hide them. Everyone would ask what happened and she’d say “oh it was just the cat” and everyone would move on. She hated what she’d become, but still she continued to draw those dark red lines. Lying to all of the people she loved about what she was doing to herself. The depression numbed her and she just wanted to feel.
The struggle has always been to keep fighting, but my definition of victory is much different from yours. You see, that girl was me. And those red lines were cuts. Hundreds of them lined my arms for years. I said I was fine even when I was crying. I said I was happy even when I had scars on my wrists. The scariest part is the realization that you have completely lost yourself. It’s not the loneliness or the darkness that overcomes and fills you or even the never-ending pit of emptiness. The scariest part is when you lay awake at 3am, because you no longer have the ability to sleep and you can’t even cry, because you don’t even care. When I was little I could never understand why anyone would purposely hurt themselves, but then I started cutting. I wanted to feel the pain, to see the blood, to have a scar. I wanted to put everything I was feeling emotionally into something physical. You see, I wasn’t dead but I wasn’t alive either. I was a ghost with a beating heart. It was a solidarity experience where every night I had to return to my room in hell with only my name on the door.
Years later I have scars to remind me of the battles that I fought and won. Most people assume these are scars I’m ashamed of or scars that bring back past events and memories, but that’s not true at all. These scars are a constant reminder that I survived, that no matter what life throws at me I can beat it. My old world is engraved along my skin, but if someone asked me what surviving looks like, I’ll show you my scars.
I may have died, but I’m alive now.