There is darkness in me.
It hurts. It pushes against my skull, a visceral pulse of mental pain. I feel it inside my chest and throat, where bugs dance against my flesh, and trapped insects crawl up and down. Under my skin, there’s a creeping sensation. Inside my heart, a deafening beat. There’s depression disguised as exhaustion, and anxiety disguised as agitation. I attempt to exhaust all stores of physical energy to hide the mental energy I’m expiring to resist engaging in compulsions – to check, to exercise, to tap, to run. So racing thoughts are expressed as racing words, and fast-paced actions, and shaking to relieve the tension. And I start tapping, because I can’t resist. Does tapping burn calories? They say fidgeting burns calories but is it enough?
I used to be so healthy. I used to be so good.
I wish I could run with a broken wrist. I wish I could feel my bones, see my bones, count my bones.
I need to run. Running keeps me thin.
Worthlessness directed at myself is disguised as sarcasm directed at others. Suicidal ideation disguised as jokes to disappear, jokes that “I’m ready for death”. They laugh, but I could die tonight. I’m not strong enough to see it through, and so the worthlessness only compounds. Why are you so stupid. Why can’t you do anything right. Why can’t you lose weight. Why can’t you be thin again. If you were thinner people would notice you. If you were thinner people would be pleased with you. If you were thinner, you would be closer to death. If you could just do better, just be thinner, then maybe this time you would die. Just kill yourself. Just do it already. Just do it.
Ana feeds me these words, and I know these words are lies. But in this moment, they consume me. This is the moment when I hurt myself, to relieve this agitation that I’m using to disguise the anxiety, but agitation makes others confused and angry and hurt, and their reactions hurt me, because I don’t know how to relate to people, not really. I just pretend to. I’ve learned how people work. But I don’t understand it, not really. I’m a chameleon of more than emotions, I’m acclimatised to a variety of personas. I will make you see what you want to see. I will be who you want me to be.
My brain hurts tonight. It hurts from holding in all these thoughts, and fears, and feelings, the waves of sadness and anger and despair. I worked so hard to build walls when I was younger, but now the walls are crumbling, and I wished I’d built them stronger. I built them well, at first. Now they lay shattered around me. It’s because I’ve let people in, and in return, only been let down. It feels like it’s because I let people break me instead. Break me down. Beat me down. Berate me. Bully me. Hurt me. Abuse me. Shout. Scream. Sever ties.
It hurts. Physically, in the places where I bleed, it hurts. But inwardly, the scars I gather tenderly to my chest – they hurt too. Irreparable tears in my personality leak out pain and anger, and then this pain and anger needs to be suppressed (so I don’t eat), or relieved (so I cut).
I’m hurting tonight.