Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” A quote which depicted my life perfectly. The choppy current of my mind constantly dragging me back into past mistakes and tragedies that prevented me from achieving my goals. I had no escape from the negative thoughts that lurked in the darkest corners of my head and caused me to fall into a place I never want to go back to.
For a long time, I used to paint pictures on my thighs and wrists. Red lines that crossed every which way, ones that were deep and crimson and others that were a light rose petal red. My paintbrush was a razor, a piece of treasure that hid under my bed or at the bottom of my backpack. Each stroke told a different story, stories that I couldn’t talk about, stories that caused me pain, stories that I couldn’t put into words. I hid my paintings under long-sleeved sweaters and bracelets because I knew no one would understand the abstract masterpieces I created on my skin. Eventually my mom noticed my off-kilter behavior and I was thrown into an agonizing hell consisting of counselors, diagnoses for depression, anxiety, PTSD, BDD, trichotillomania and lists of other problems I hadn’t heard of. Within a couple of months I became a stranger to my friends and a misunderstood freak to my family.
I felt like a prisoner in my own body, screaming for someone to let me out, but I was the only one with the key. Things began to worsen and suicide was a pending thought, always running on the high-speed treadmill of my brain. It was a frosty winter night when I decided my life had no value. I planned a day when I’d erase myself off the earth. That was until I stumbled across a poetry blog and began to scratch my own rhythmic lines on paper, rather than my wrists. Each poem I wrote released emotions that were lodged into my head like bullets and brought relief that lasted longer than any razor’s saving grace. The poems I created made me feel useful and I realized my opinions mattered and I mattered. I started publishing poems on poetry websites where I was drenched with love and support from complete strangers. For once in my life, I felt like I belonged somewhere and eventually this led me to helping three other kids rekindle the non-existent school newspaper. I now write articles for my school and I feel incredibly accomplished every time my pieces get printed because I know I can influence people with what I have to say.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” A quote that so many people who are struggling in life can relate to. A quote that gives me a desire be a lighthouse for society that can move lost boats, to calmer seas with my words.