[TW: self-harm mention].
This piece is part of a special series running until the end of March in honor of self-harm awareness month. 

What happens when you relapse? When that cold sharp metal against your skin again becomes your comfort. When the bright red blood trickling over your thighs again becomes a release. When you can’t look in the mirror because all you see staring back at you is a failure. A failure aesthetically because you once again realize how unattractive you are. You’re a failure emotionally because this is all in your head. How weak do you have to be to not be able to control your own thoughts? A failure socially because you’ve been at this university in the Caribbean for over three years and you haven’t made one close friend?

You haven’t been to see the sights or experience the culture and cuisine because you’re pathetic. You don’t know how to mingle. But you have. And just like a broken record you’ve replayed interactions with old lovers. Right here, miles away. Take down the walls open your heart your mind and your legs. Let him ravish your body and soul. Take what he wants what he says he needs until he’s satisfied and you, you’re just left with a hole. Watch him romance and wine and dine in the context of a relationship he told he wasn’t ready for to make discarding you that much easier. Spend more nights and days in the warm, comforting darkness that is the space under your covers and blankets in a room with curtains as thick as the wall around your soul that shut out the sunlight. Cry yourself to sleep once more as the world continues to happen un-noticing, un-caring 5 feet away outside that door.

Collapse back under your shell but while you hide remember. Remember that you were once here and you made it out. Remember that those thoughts aren’t meant to be controlled but can be counteracted. Remember that not everyone will reciprocate the love you have to give. Remember that having a large circle of friends doesn’t speak to the quality of those relationships. Remember that in order to let the sunshine back in all you need to do is pull the curtains. Remember those cuts you make will heal.

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