Monday, February 20, 2017

Galaxies Within, Yearning to Be Free

I was 16 the first time I cut.

I had stolen some alcohol from my parents in an attempt to fall asleep, to shut up the constant stream of negative thoughts that bombarded me at night.
It didn't help.
I lay in my bed, the world spiraling around me and the voices still whispered, vile words dripping with poison.

I tried everything to sleep through the thoughts that pounded against my skull like too many stars trapped in a vacuum.

Self Harm: Original Photography by Emily Smith
My thoughts drifted to a conversation I had had a week before. My best friend had explained to me  how cutting helped her cope with the things she couldn't control.

She said being able to silence the mental pain with physical pain was fascinating and that it gave her a peace about the world around her.

So I got up. I was sluggish from the liquor, floundering in my mind, but I trudged to the kitchen looking for my dad's medical supplies. I found some small, at home surgery kits and I took one hoping he wouldn't notice.

Once back in my room I pulled the sterilized scalpel from its crisp, clean wrappings. I studied it for what seemed like hours but was probably only minutes.

Then I slid up my sleeve and made a single cut along the upper part of my left arm.

The pain wasn't immense, honestly, I'm so clumsy I've had worse falling down the stairs. But it was instantaneous and unexpected and that made all the difference.

I cut several lines all over my arm to see if different places hurt more or less. I crisscrossed lines, making a tic-tac-toe effect. I didn't cut deep. I didn't want people to realize.

I made it look like a scrape from falling instead of intentionally, inflicted incisions.

The pounding in my head resided as red galaxies dripped out of my veins. It was like the solar systems that had been burning bright behind my eyes had found a source to escape the black hole they were constantly being sucked into.

I breathed more easily than I had in what felt like forever.

I sterilized the scalpel and wound with alcohol, washed up the blood and wrapped my arm in gauze. I hid the evidence and fell into the deepest sleep, flying through the solar system unhindered by the things in my head.