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Mental Health

A sorry letter to my body

*Content Warning: This piece contains references to depression and self harm, which may be triggering to some*

Dear body,
I have always lived in fear and the consequences of it. I always judged you. The way you looked in the mirror and my idea of your distorted image. Things were never perfect for me.

The way your nose looked a little too wide and the lips looked a little too big than the others. You were thin and I despised you for my shattering confidence. You had scars all over and I hated you for how you couldn’t heal those marks for years. I took you to be the villain destroying every ounce of my self esteem.

Eye contacts were tough for me, they still are. I was called ugly and I blamed you. We grew together in this constant hate relationship until I started feeling like a walking mess. I remember how your knees trembled at the thought of going to your college canteen because people could see.

How I starved you for days, until stomach started paining. How I would take every taunt like the only thing you deserved. I was a bad master and you were a loyal slave, I thought.

I remember the day I took blade in my hands and cut that skin which felt like tearing open an already injured wound. It pained a lot. Yet I kept urging the blade to run deep. You sent million signals to stop, but I denied every signal until I looked at the blood oozing and felt proud of myself. Blood was dark brown and so was the wound I had given to me. The pain was like million needles piercing. I remember I would press the wound hard enough to give myself more pain. It is suffice to say that you cried tears of blood as I rejoiced.

I wanted to tell you and the world that I was suffering. And I was suffering hard. I wanted to tell everyone that I needed love, that I had forgotten how to love myself as they kept lecturing me about how nobody could save me unless I did. I was in dire need of help. I wanted someone to save me because I couldn’t do that to myself. How could I?

They taught me about self love when I was lying in the chasm of self hatred. They denied help, but you stood strong. Even when I would lie in bed for weeks, you stood strong to take up my every beating.

I was suffering, but you suffered more than me. Those scars have healed now because you didn’t want them as memoirs to bad phase of my life. You wanted us to move on. At times I felt angry at you for snatching away the only thing that mattered to me, my scars. I still look at my arms and find no trace of them.

You acted like Ma who wanted to hide anything bad from me. You acted like my younger sister who would check my arm every day to see if a new scar was added. She learned how addition and subtraction sometimes had dire implications. She knew mathematics was not just the algebra, it was sometimes the need for life. Now she loves subtraction more than addition, for how my scars have reduced to zero, her favourite number.

Those nails which I dug deep into your skin, I still feel the pain of… sometimes. I wanted to rip open my flesh and take the misery out of you that run deep in our veins. I was angry, at you, me, Ma, papa, family and the world. Friends left us with the facade of promises that couldn’t even stay true for a day. With them left our trust and faith, and now I still struggle to believe on love.

I feared I was becoming the ocean where I wanted to drown you because I knew you couldn’t swim. I talked to toxic people until I was so hurt that I wanted to kill you and me. I searched for hurt like a muskdeer, like a symbiosis was there between me and the sadness. There still is. I still want to make my body a canvas colored with red. I still want to eat pain and hurt like three meals a day. I have fallen for pain like a Stockholm Syndrome.

But I want you to forgive me. I want to thank you for staying true to me even on the days we both cried, you with blood and I, with tears. To the hands, who held me when nobody did. To the feet, who dragged me to live one more day. To the heart which kept beating even on the days I tried to stop breathing. To the lungs which were filled with my muffled cries and sighs. To the eyes which were filled with pain but still decided to see hope in the next morning sun. To the ears whom I forced to hear bad about me to hurt myself, but the inner subtle voice never stopped from saying,”one more try”. To the stomach I starved yet kept me surviving. To the fences I broke and knew there was a heaven inside me and out. To the shame and guilt I am learning to let go for being a woman. To you, for being.

In the worst, in the best. Even though my face has scars still, I am lean, my teeth protruded and my smile somewhat imperfect, I choose to love you. And I may not try though but I want to love me too.

Yours and proudly yours.
An abuser who learnt her mistakes too late.

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by Bharti

I am a 21 year old poet from India

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