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Surviving Recovery

I grasp the barbed wire, sharp metal pierces the flesh of my palm. I do not gasp out, wanting the blood to drip even faster, the pain to be even deeper. As it is proof that I am fighting. That this battle is true. Is as real as the pain I feel. Not just an emotional war anymore.
Many stand behind me. Each one an outcast as much as I am.

Each one, wearing oddities for clothing, having accents which they have been mocked for, each one unique, each one completely different from another. Everyone having a complete backstory, which nobody has ever thought to ask of them before. So their shoulders droop, yet their faces are hopeful, as I hold the fence that kept us all shying away from the world.

They duck under, wanting to go farther. Farther into the brightness which has left them for so long. I walk in between the wires, one leg above the first wire, bending my back below the higher one. Everyone waits in silence for me, staring as I stand straight.

I step forward, yet again. My steps quiet yet strike such loud pounding through my body, matching the beats of my racing heart. Dead ends and stop signs line the cracked pavement, from one brick building to another, across our path. Dissallowing us through. Keeping us from going on. The crowd around me seems to be disappointed, not wanting to be challenged.

So I pick up the closest one, and move it to the side. Weight not a thought in my mind, even as I strain to pick the metal up. I move sign after sign, and someone comes behind me, and helps pick them up. I know naught of anyone’s name here, we are all just a conjointment of mixed up and confused souls.

Someone else steps forward as well, and pushes more signs away. After many many signs have been strenuously moved, scars slashed across the pavement. I guess it cannot take metal being scraped against it. Some things are just as pliable and damageable as skin. Possibly everything is.

We all walk forward, smoke and dust covers our vision and our bodies, surrounding us in fear. We all begin to second-guess. Sweat drips off of my brow and onto my eyelash. My gloved hand wipes it away. The smoke gets denser, in reaction of instinct, my arms wave in front of me. I hear indistinct voices surrounding me in discomfort.

I hit my hand off something, forcing me to step forward, closer to the object. I see my own reflection. Hair wild, calamity of hope, sadness, self hatred, strength, and pure love spread across my face like a wild fire. My ears pop out as they do, small yet always in the way. My lips seem to be speaking, but I cannot hear my own voice.

I scream. Nobody comes my way. A silent scream is the worst. And it is when a person needs someone most, after all, but when you cannot be heard, nobody can come.

I claw at my face, and I see it all, in the mirror I am facing. Turning away, I walk fast, listening to the voices of my fellow misfits. I see behind us, with no fog, or anything blocking our way from falling in reverse. So I do a one-eighty, my heel burning against the pavement in such speed. I yell out, this time in a hearable voice, which is full of demand and decision.

“Everyone! This way! We can do it!” I walk forward, one foot right after each other, in a straight line. No bumbling in odd directions. I am going to get through. All of us are.

I break through the fog, almost walking into a pit, an abyss, which looks impossibly deep. To the dark chasms in which our hearts are still hiding. We need to get through there to trust again. We have to get through. The crowd comes out of the thick cloud. Amazement sprinkled into their whole aura. I state my thoughts.

The belongings which many are holding seem to be an obstacle. Some drop their things, others shake their head. My voice automatically tries to convince them it is worth the sacrifice, that we can get rid of our tools and toys, that we can do this. That I have faith.

Tears stream down my face, and theirs. Masks start to melt off. We cannot hide when we are this vulnerable. Our costumes change, showing who we want to be, truly want to be, instead of who we crave to be.

I crawl down, a chain left from other wanderers before us. Some turn away, with their belongings, not able to give up just yet. Maybe another time, they say. I realize that they be never, and I realize this is their choice. A few stay with me, and crawl on the chain after I get down until the light does no longer shines. My hand screeches with angst, as the cuts bleed more at this usage.

After what feels like a millenium, I start to fall, my hands no longer able to grasp anything. The darkness, the bleak black, starts to fail. Purple seeps through, and my vision starts to see more color, less hopelessness. I yell up, trying to let others know. But my sound is just caught in the air as it races around me. My back hits something. Hard. Multiple somethings.

I am no longer falling, I turn over. Rocks lie scattered on the ground. And a dim light banishes away fears. I see something, and I hear the beat. I go forward, and reach my hands out, seeing my damaged heart lying in wait for me.

More tears trickle down my cheeks. I take my heart, and I hide it in my jacket. I hear other thuds, and I see more lights, shining on the bloody masses. Each person stands, I hear them grunting. All the noise assaults my ears after so much silence.

Everyone looks, and automatically feels the need to walk towards what is rightfully theirs. Whether or not they have treated it rightly in the past, or if they even will in the future. We are born with our hearts, and our bodies, they are ours. What we do with them is our choice.
I walk away from the light, knowing that I can climb back up somewhere. I hear shuffles of footsteps following behind. I put my bloodied and dirty hands ahead of me. Cold stone forces it’s way against my palms. I reach higher, as I step closer.

“Guys, we have to climb back up, come on! Grab your lovely hearts, and lets go!” Panicked stomps and trips sound behind me. I feel a hollowness jutting into the wall. Fingernails scraping, I pull my body up. Raising my other hand above me, I grab into another crevice. Arms shaking, I continue to pull my body and raise higher and higher through the darkness. I hear slight gasps of fear, and fingernails scratching against rock.

My fingertips brush nothing, my heart stops for a moment. Doubt clouds my sight. I feel around more, grass. Cool, wet, grass. My hand slips. I let a small shriek loose. My hand gets a grip into the dirt beneath the roots of such slippery demons.

I reach my other hand up as well, a moment of trust in myself and my strength is prominent, thoughts having left my mind. My chest rubs against the rock, and then is released into air, I grip the grass ahead of my body. Moving my other hand forward as well, I drag my heavy body onto the ground.

A happy scream of pride sounds from my lips.

Sweating, I pull my dangling legs out of the edge of the abyss. I crawl on all fours, looking down at my fellow recoverers. I see shadows darker than the dark that surrounds them, coming closer, becoming larger. A hand reaches up, my own wraps around the pale, moist wrist. I pull with all my strength. She comes up fully, pulling on the ground to help herself. Hands start to grab at the oh so green grass. The woman and I start grabbing the others’ wrists. Each face shows with a revived brightness. After no more hands pop up for a while, we all sit to look at the scene before us.

A horrible dark chasm. Then, as we turn to where we can walk now, we see a gorgeous scene. Flowers have sprung at our feet. The grass is extremely green. And the sun is rising. We all gasp. Not stereotypically in sync, but in such a way, it sounds like harmonical music. Gorgeous pride swelling all our chests. Smiles splash across the maskless faces. Amazement tingles in my whole body. We’ve done it.




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