Follow me down. Down the dark tunnel leading to the hidden parts of my soul. The stone stairs are clean from debris, but slightly worn from the constant use. I’m not used to bringing someone with me, no, but as of late I’ve been too uncomfortable to travel alone. You don’t need to hold my hand or stand too close, just please, carry the torch and whatever you do, for the love of God, don’t drop it. We’ll need it to find our way back out of here.
I learned a long time ago not to hang out too long. I can’t reside down here, alone with my dark thoughts. They will drag me deeper and deeper still. I then become worthless to anyone but my own dark fears and fantasies, dreams turned to realities.
It’s here I imagine the worst. It’s here my fears take over. It’s here I contemplate ending my own life again. Over there, see, those shelves hold memories. I can pull them down, relive them again and again. The shame returns. The humiliation, there. The mistake that follows me to this day. Self-hatred and loathing usually hold my trembling hands while I visit them time and again.
And look, there on the wall a special place just for dark fantasies. A book filled with empty pages waiting to be written. Surely this good thing will end poorly: let me write down the worst. He can’t possibly be interested in me: let me pen in ulterior motives. All the worst things that could happen, I can make them reality. All I need is this quill and ink, blank pages, and my imagination.
Right here is the mirror broken to a thousand pieces yet still somehow it holds together. Within it I can gaze at my reflection though not perfectly but still it’s how I see myself so it must be real, right? Each crack came about with each hurtful word spoken to me. I would never measure up. *crack* I’d never fit in. *pop* I didn’t look like her. *snap* I wasn’t smart enough. *crrrack* There I stand, broken for all to see.
Down this corridor is darker still. The flame of the torch barely holds back the inky blackness. It stretches its icy fingers into my heart and squeezes. After seeing myself in the mirror, it’s hard not to traverse this narrow hall. At the dead end the floor disappears and down I would fall. And all those ways of ending my life rise before my eyes. The pills, the drinking and driving, the attempted overdose, the blades oh the lovely blades and flowing blood. A siren’s call to a bruised and cut up heart. To wings that have been clipped and clipped again. They promise relief from the pain. Yet, having you here with me, I borrow the strength to turn away from this place.
You know what? That’s enough for today. I want to go back to the Light. Will you, could you maybe, hold my hand, after all?
tara caribou | ©2017
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