Content Warning: Self-harm, mental health
I love you. You know exactly how much. I love the skin you roll between your fingers and the dips you wish you could cut away. I love the bruises you trace when you find them. I love the scars you collected, even the ones you gave yourself. I know you tried to fix the pain you thought you deserved. The lines on your thigh tell your story. I love the colors you pull from your flesh when you’re feeling particularly self-destructive.
I love your destruction. Touch the calluses you shaved away and the cracks that keep forming. You’ve torn down the bricks you layered up year after year. I love the way you pick yourself up after gasping through five things you can see, four you can feel, three you hear, two feelings, and the taste of blood. I love the way you stopped holding words inside until they have nowhere to go but through your eyes and you blur them with tears.
I love your tears. You know the feeling of heat, salt, and silent cries as well as you know your favorite song. Nowadays, I see you force the world to slow down when it tries to run away with you. You run your hands under cold water until they burn and grab hold of yourself until the room stops spinning. Your tears aren’t pathetic now; they’re your release. And once they’ve dried, you command your world with fire and anger.
I love your anger. It burns as you swallow it down and the fissures that are forming show in your eyes. I love how you took the fear and turned it into rage. You learned to be angry for yourself. You learned to be angry at those you thought deserved your silence.
I love your silence, the way you learned to weaponize it. You fight back and protect yourself. I love the way you revel in your quiet now. There are days when you need to be quiet. There are weeks when it feels like a blanket, and days when it feels like a stone. You can cover yourself when you need it and cast it away when it becomes too much. Just like you were taught to be quiet, you’ve learned to be loud.
I love your noise. I know you threw away your jackets. I love that shields no longer feel necessary. I love that you still can’t find yourself beautiful, but you don’t feel small. You twisted yourself into and out of shape, but you breathe easier today. The skin that, for years, felt like it was splitting at the seams trying to keep you in has expanded to hold every inch of you. The clothes you drowned in have vanished to show the sun at last. You don’t know if this is happiness, but it feels like peace. Your prayers are realized hopes, and no longer desperate wishes to God.
I love that God no longer feels like a chain but like a cold hand. You haven’t stepped out of the woods yet, Dreamer, but, look, there’s the edge of the trees.
Leave those Echoes behind. They only repeat who you used to be.
Photo by Universal Eye on Unsplash