dedicated to every person who’s ever loved me. it means the world. thank you.
failing doesn’t get easier even after seventeen years. falling still hurts like fuck, the way the gravel rips my skin raw open and the first gush of blood still nips angrily across my tingling skin and my leg is still as numb as the first time i fell. the pain is still as acute when i come out of the hall with the sinking feeling of i’m going to fail. i already knew i was going to fail but this didn’t make the blank paper and swimming words any better. failing is still lump in my throat that makes swallowing the news so damn difficult. every day is a struggle when instagram feeds and twitter timelines are filled with someone’s else success. i want to be happy for you but your brilliance is a reminder of everything i want to be but will never achieve. i want to be pulled up into honey warm hugs and have a shoulder to cry into and a chest to nuzzle and i want a hand to stroke my matted hair and lips to whisper it will be fine i still love yous into the shell of my ear but it doesn’t happen. i go home to a microwaved muffin and i jump into bed and pull the covers tight over myself even if it is only two fifty in the afternoon. when i come to at seven i am disoriented and the dark sky outside is starless. dead the way i am, not a spark of light within sight. i have my dinner (microwaved again because i don’t trust my trembling fingers to light the gas and i know that my kerosene tears would start to burn if i lit up the stove) and the house is eerily silent. i am left alone with my thoughts so i jump back to bed and scroll through my phone aimlessly. i see my little prince and my heart aches for the way he will always be happy without me.
ping ping ping
1 whatsapp message
1 instagram dm
i ignore the whatsapp message even if it is from s, because i feel like i cannot face her today. my fingers slip into my ig dm and the words that come next draw all the breath out of my throat: at least tuesday is over, right? that’s what you wanted! my heart is pounding sixty miles an hour. you remembered, i want to say, you remembered. the tears are welling up and my heart suddenly feels better.
2 whatsapp messages
3 whatsapp messages
4,5,6 whatsapp messages
i slide open the text from a. it says i found something, venus and i am too tired to say much so i type a ?. the reply that comes is swift: a picture of finger heart with my name on it and i am going crazy because i find it oddly endearing. i laugh.
i open up s’s text and i read it and i cry because it’s been six months since i’ve felt anything. and i cry and cry and cry and cry and
i’m still crying today because
i’ve been found.
not poetry not prose just word vomit. it’s been what, half an hour and this track already means the world to me. at first i thought that this was going to be inspiration porn 101 you are great and good and loved so don’t be depressed! because when has depression ever meant anything except Easy Mental Health Topic Everyone Talks About But Doesn’t Actually Understand or diversity quota to act like we care for the mentally ill even when we make fucking ableist jokes every day. but i digress. i have been crying at my laptop screen for half an hour because this is something. idk. it’s almost two in the afternoon but i am tired and speechless. give it a listen. oh, and don’t forget the tissues.
THIS, they whisper, is Exhibit A:
- my eyes are glossy from staring at the 50k word document on my laptop, my homework shoved aside but not forgotten. how could i ever forget what killed me? everything that kills me makes me wish i was dead.
- a tear slips out of my eyes as i cook my own dinner. there aren’t any onions on the chop board, just my determination. the microwave timer has never turned slower.
- i am breathing so fucking hard even as my mum is screaming for me to wash the dishes and my hand is a fucking aspen leaf as it trembles but why can’t i die?
- i sleep till twelve on saturdays. i reply 7am messages on whatsapp with a sflr. then i fall back to bed, my eyes shut. the ceiling is still as plain as it was when i was eleven.
- i don’t fuck with racism or ableism the way my classmates do. the teachers smile at them more anyway.
- maybe we should wait till we graduate. so we can focus on our studies. your message flashes through my mind and laughter is bitter on my tongue when i realize that you’re better off without me. sometimes i wish i could hold your hand, but i remember you have your eyes on a girl who isn’t me. am i selfish for wanting you to myself even when we agreed to see how it worked out?
- i was never worth it.
- every romantic encounter was always met with silence. it still kills me to think that i longed for a break up over whatsapp. maybe this is what commitment issues look like.
- i open the fridge every day when i come back home, even if i know mum hasn’t done the grocery shopping.
- i haven’t felt happy in two and a half years.
newton’s first law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. it may be seen as a statement about inertia, that objects will remain in their state of motion unless a force acts to change the motion.
maybe this was what newton meant:
- depression keeps me gutted and motionless. some days i wait for mother to rip the covers off my body but it never happens, because i am a Big Girl who has to wake up on her own. instead i lay still and stop breathing. maybe if i pretend i’m dead long enough i might not have to face the world: too big too loud too much. it never works.
- somehow my fingers stay stuck on the twitter tab, no matter if four tests six deadlines seven thousand fucking expectations are looming over my head. nineteen doggos in and my will to die has not decreased.
- swallowing becomes so fucking hard when my skirt becomes tighter every day.
- no one understands when i say i am too depressed to eat/sleep/do my homework/continue to be a slave to the government. the glances sent my way are pitying and suddenly death seems to be a viable option.
- why does everyone make depression the subject of their mental health awareness project when they don’t give a fuck? i am not your token character to fill up a diversity quota. fuck off.
- how much force is is required to overcome the inertia of this body?
- i don’t know. i dropped physics.
this was just like every other camp: the-night-before-anxiety hit me full on like twenty textbooks, i dragged myself and tried to cheer up, butter cup, made one friend, changed my mind about how god awful this was supposed to be, fell in love with the warmth of everyone, blinked back the tears when the goodbyes came, and made my way home.
this is just like every other camp: the people were so different from the last, but i loved them anyway. i loved the way we’d have our nightly feasts, calories be damned. i loved the ways we’d play cat and mouse, bated breaths and flushed cheeks pressed against closet doors when someone was rapping, rapping at our chamber door. i loved the way we’d banter with one another, exasperated laughter and poker faces meeting the most awful jokes ever. i loved the way we’d have each other’s back, you telling me to sleep even if i hadn’t done enough, or the way we’d give our all even if exhaustion made itself home on our eyelids.
this might just be like every other camp, when we drift apart because we’re all so busy, and live across the country from each other. maybe your faces will start to blur a little in my mind and maybe your names won’t curl as comfortably around my tongue, but this is enough. you made me happy these for days, and i don’t think i’ll forget the taste of this love on my tongue, not ever.
it made me want to live, even if just for a while. and i’m thankful enough.
babes, this love will never end: my heart will always love you
of all the things i have lost i miss my fucking sanity the most.
this fever is lawless the way it siezes my brain hostage, shoving degree celsius after degree celsius at me and i am screaming screaming screaming limbs too weak to flail and the words that fall out of my parched lips are tearful prayers to gods i do not believe in. this is what desperation tastes like: the way my sweat ransom is not enough to set me fucking free, the way my body crumples and falls to ground when the cool water i used to frolick in bites against my skin, no longer gentle kisses running away the magma mount in my head. desperation is the way i wear my thickest jacket in singapore’s fucking weather ot the way i force myself to sweat till i am blind or the way i force myself to cry. women earn 79 cents to every dollar a man earns, my vision is barbercue hazed while my stomach sloshes, a sick sound that threatens to let itself be heard and i wish i was dead. they say everyone is afraid of death and i want to laugh because i crave death the way you crave life.
why dont you kill yourself then? they whisper and i am buzzed.
i fear pain. i would rather be dead than writhing in bed, ghostly images telling me that have me thrashing in bed like the wild animal i am.