The Fault in Our Scars

There is nothing beautiful about her pain. To find something romantic, something out of the ordinary, the least you expect is for that something to be tangible. For it to be visible enough for you to direct your opinion of beauty towards. Her pain was so completely incoherent, it couldn’t even be spelled, couldn’t be articulated, broken down, defined in any way. It was an illogical, entangled jumble at the bottom of her backpack. She plugged it in to her ears and played music. A melody without a sensible rhythm; a wail of agony cloaked in the garb of a tune. There is nothing harmonious about depression.

Her whole life was a long race towards nothing and away from everything. Running away from anger, running away from abuse, running away from shame, running away from anguish, running towards love and running away from love. And despite all that running, she couldn’t find a way to escape from herself.

She is a very rational human being, she insists. She dutifully types in her experience on to a search engine. The internet taught her everything; surely it held answers her tiny, pigeon holed, clearly ill brain couldn’t comprehend.

“Why do I feel worthless?” Enter. “What do you call the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that won’t go away?” Enter.  “Why do I vomit nothing at 3 am?” Enter. “Why does nobody love me?” Enter. “Is it possible to die of a broken heart?” Enter. “Why is everything and everyone I ever encounter so messed up?” Enter. “Who will cry when I die?” Enter. “Symptoms of clinical depression and/or anxiety.” Backspace.

Buzzfeed tells her she’s a type A personality. Bookmark.

She tries to find a cure. In a book. In a teacup. In a park. In  a new city. In a new continent. In her phone. In social media. In a movie. In a person. In three people. In everyone. In everything. In anything. But not herself.

As she idly scrubs a tear soaked shirt in the kitchen sink, she recalls that the first time she heard the term ‘depression’, it was when her mother described her aunt’s emotional breakdown upon losing her husband. She was nine. And for ten more years, she was convinced that the only reason one was allowed to legitimise one’s sadness in this manner was if one lost someone dear to them.

When she turned 19, she realised that death wasn’t the only way to lose someone dear.

When she fell into a swirling vortex of an unending series of destructive and harmful thoughts, someone she loved told her to quit fancying herself an Alice; this was no rabbit hole, this was her being a drama queen. Stop overthinking and over analysing. Count your blessings, name them one by one. You have food on your plate, a whole and unbroken family, a sound education, a decent number of friends and acquaintances.

“I’m tired all the time.” Jeez, stop working so much.
“I am losing weight.” You young girls eat like squirrels just to look hot.
“I throw up everything I eat.” A model’s solution for a model figure, ha?
“I am losing hair.” Try this shampoo, it changed my life!
“My head aches all the time.” You’re probably not sleeping. Or maybe you have sinusitis?
“I sleep all the time or not at all.” You young folks can’t take your eyes off your screens long enough to get some shut-eye. Who are you texting till 2 am?
“Everything hurts.” You are not depressed, maybe you’re PMSing?

The blood between her legs had to be the reason for the pain between her temples. Else, she wasn’t allowed to lay claim on an illness she was too privileged and blessed to experience. Did you know, that for every minute you whine about being low, some kid dies in Africa and some poor lady is raped in India? Sorry, she didn’t know, she apologises profusely for existing.

Her father built her a roof to shelter her from danger. Her mother tucked her in to a warm bed at night to protect her from the demons underneath her bed. They forgot they couldn’t shut the windows of her mind, they failed to slay the demons in her soul.

She lived out a quarter of a lifetime before she fell off the edge of a cliff; before she realised her fall wasn’t from slipping in his eyes but from a cold, calculated push.

She was wrong when she said her pain couldn’t be visualised. Her spread eagle, blood soaked body was a tableau of rich depth. But she was right, there was nothing beautiful about it.

Pain is a bloody corpse, lying dead on a street, full of people that pass by without a glance. Pain is me banging on your door, begging you to pick me, choose me, love me. Pain is throwing up at the stroke of the midnight hour and at the crack of dawn. Pain is bleeding and eating and over working and sleeping and staying awake and cutting and crying and binge drinking till you can’t remember your own name, but clearly seeing your pain float at the bottom of a glass. Pain is the throbbing in your skull, pain is the ache in your arms and stomach and toes. Pain is a ghost ripping your lungs out from your chest.

Pain is you looking me in the eye and telling me that my pain is not real.


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