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Scars on my chest

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As someone who has struggled with mental health issues such as depression, ADHD, and anxiety disorder, I have tried a variety of coping strategies, the majority of which were unhealthy.

Growing up in a country where mental health was highly stigmatized and treatment was extremely expensive, things like drinking and smoking were ways to escape reality, a way to put the problem off until tomorrow.

When my depression became too much to bear and I felt suicidal, I would physically inflict pain on myself to shock myself and externalize the pain. The adrenaline rush that followed didn’t cure me, but it did silence the noises in my head for a while.

All of those coping mechanisms were unhealthy, and I knew they weren’t good for me, but I didn’t care at the time because all I wanted was for the pain inside to stop, for me to be normal, for me to feel like I fit in with the rest of society, and for me to feel something other than the overwhelming sorrow I felt on a daily basis.

This piece was written with that in mind. Many other people, like me, are going through or have gone through something similar. In this piece, I share my pain and how it feels, as well as my thoughts and fears, so that you do not feel alone and that you know there is a way out.

If like a cat,
I had nine lives,
I have already lost four,
Four scars on my chest that marks my downfall,
Four times I wanted to die…
but my body decided to pay the price.

“Hurt me,
Hurt me so I can feel what the heart feels,
Hurt me so I can show you how to heal”

These are the words my body voices through the scars,
That bled and blistered
Before they became memories.

“Suffocate me,
Suffocate me so that we can have a reason,
for why sometimes it’s hard to breathe,
Suffocate me,
so that we can make sense of why
we run out of breath
every time we want to scream but nothing comes out,
Why we can’t shout
Even when the pain becomes too much.
puff, puff then exhale!
and ruin me,
ruin me with those cigarettes that paint a tar
that reflects the darkness
in this broken heart of ours.”

My lungs breathe these words
as I drown them in a cloud of smoke.

“Drown me,
drown me in that liquid
that poisons the body but numbs the soul,
let me absorb those tears that only flow from a bottle,
going in instead of out,
fill me with those toxic fluids,
that prevent our thoughts from being lucid,
fill me up so that when we die,
I can say that I’m the one who killed you”

My liver whispers these words,
every time I decide to hide my pain in a bottle.


There are scars engraved on my chest
with a hot knife that ruins the skin
but protects this life I love to hate,
for even tho, I want to die
killing myself is the only thing
I hope I will never try,
for even tho this heart of mine is full of hurt,
It is also filled with dreams and hopes
that are worth living and suffering for.

My life is a contradiction,
I want to live but I also want to die,
I want to give up but I also want to fight,
I want to fall but I’m also curious how it feels to fly-
For now all I can do is sit
and see which side will win.

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