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Stealing Pain, Chasing Demons and Learning to Breathe

By , Oxnard, CA
I sat on my bed, tears streaming down my face as I clutched my pillow in the darkness. I had locked the door and said I was going to bed early; I didn’t want anyone to see me like this. The past week, or few years really, has been tough on me. I lost my father, best friend and was undergoing maltreatment at home. Always being put down and treated like I was nothing, a failure, I began to give up. What’s the point of trying anymore, I thought to myself, if no matter what I do, I don’t measure up to my family’s standards? Releasing my pillow, I looked up at the mirror on the wall. My eyes were stung red, my cheeks wet. God, I looked like a wreck. Depression was consuming me alive and would soon swallow me whole.

I took a breath; the air was stale. A few stray salty droplets of water fell from my eyes and crashed onto my swollen lips. On the side of my bed was a notebook with a die tied to it. Every day that passed I was to roll the dice and whatever number appeared, write it down. It would mark the days I would soon spend with the one I truly love. Not only that, but it was a simple of hope. This was that there would still be another day to come and each better than the last as I get closer to the fulfillment of my dreams. I picked up the book and opened to the page where I had been marking. A soft apologetic smile played across my lips and I began running my fingers along the side of the page in mindless thought. The cool of the pages was somehow soothing, yet I knew I must reset my die count. That was the one thing about this little game. Each time I crashed and fell, deciding to pick up a blade and take it to my skin, days would be docked. Kind of like, go to jail and lose a turn in a monopoly game.

Just then a call came in on my phone with Marcus’ smiling face, the light illuminating the dark of the room. He was checking up on me to see if I was okay. I honestly feel terrible for worrying him so. However, whenever I would apologise for such, his reply would simply be: I’m your boyfriend; it’s my job to worry about you. I could never argue the point further, just one look at him and I would melt, giving in. Clutching my phone, I laid the notebook aside and swiped the screen, answering his call. He asked if everything was alright and I felt like I should just keep my mouth shut. But as I had been putting off not telling him what was wrong for week as it was, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I told him everything - All that was troubling me, plaguing my mind and very soul, the reason for my tears, the scars. With a sigh he simply spoke to me in that soothing voice of his, “I want you to forget about resetting the dice right now. Right now just focus on me, okay? I’m here. I promise everything will be okay. Take a deep breath and try to calm yourself. I’m here,” he repeatedly softly, “I’m always here for you, Angel.” I took a deep breath, inhaling then exhaling a few seconds later. The purpose was to clear my mind; put myself in a more relaxed state.

I don’t want to hurt anymore, I had told him, I’m tired. He was understanding as ever; I could hear his reassuring smile ring through his voice. “I will steal your pain away; I promise.” This was a promise I knew he would without fail fulfill. I couldn’t help but have the lyrics, “I want to hold you high and steal your pain away” mulling through the back of my mind. That was our song after all, however, I believe now it holds a new, stronger meaning. Soon we hung up with an “I love you” and I felt a sort of calm sweep over me. Simply knowing he was there gave me the hope to continue on and lift my head up. As the night drug on, I allowed the night to take its toll and give into its siren song of sleep and by far it was the best I have had in months. The demons infiltrating and infecting my mind and very soul were chased away, the pain clutched in my heart, stolen from me.

He is the reason I am still here, breathing and happy to be doing so. All the hurt, the antagonizing pain, it dissipated. Though at times it rears its ugly head, all I have to do is this of Marcus and all the pain, my demons within, they flee. However, there is one thing I have to remind myself to do: B R E A T H E. I realise that taking that breathe means my life, even if it’s only for a mere second before I’m pulled back underwater into the black depths. My only company thus being the very demons and pain I once vanquished. It’s the only way I will survive and have the strength to claw my way back up to the surface to face the sun. Learning to breathe has to be the hardest yet most vital thing I have ever learned to do. Keep calm and remember to breathe. Inhale; exhale. Take one day at a time. Everything will be okay.



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