To Breath.

January 25, 2009
By Anna Mari, Somers, CT

I stumble into the bathroom
Drop my books,
Kick the door.
I slam the bath water on, breathing hard.
Everything is crumbling. . .
Frantic gasping. . .

Panic is building, bubbling.
I try to fight it back, calm, calm, calm!!
I can't breath. I can't breath.
Books and papers strewn about me.

They are staring at me
Mocking me.
FAILURE! FAILURE! FAILURE!
They shriek.
no. no. no. no.
My chest burns.
I'm okay, Its okay, I beg.

But they won't let me go.
The panic is drowning me.
FAILURE! FAILURE! FAILURE!
I cover my ears. Breath.
But it won't go away.
I can't. no. I can't. I can't.

The panic has me now. . .
Hot tears on my cheeks.
The room spins, blurs.
I gasp out a silent Scream
And scream and scream.
Until my heart clenches,
And I choke on a soft sob.

I am a failure. Nothing but a failure.

Nothing.

When small blade comes to skin,
dragging across, a gental caress.
It doesn't hurt.
Then, all of a sudden, they are quiet.

And I am alone again,
With just the dull burning
in my chest and arm.
I feel. . .very small.

Defeated.

I am breathing easier now.

The author's comments:
This poem is inspired by the internal battle we all face with what we fear most, ourselves. Self Injury is the ultimate result of a vicious, tormenting weakness that overpowers our sense of hope, after months of fraying resistance. It has a cruel tendency to exploit the deepest fears and shames that only we would know about ourselves. Self Injury is the physical embodiment the fear within us claiming victory over our rationality, and our hope. To Live with Self Injury is to live in a perpetual darkness, a strangling fog, were no one can hear you, no one can help you. We can break through that fog. I don’t have fame, I don’t have special talents or special opportunities, but what I do have, what we all have, is a voice. As Edward Everett Hale said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.” (Edward Everett Hale, 1794 -- 1865). I will use the voice I have, to do what good I can. Please, look for signs of Self Injury in your loved ones, you could be the string of hope they need.

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