A couple years ago

A girl asked me why I didn’t wear makeup

And when I shrugged and said I didn’t like it

She told me that I should at least use concealer

At least just for pictures

Because of the bags under my eyes


What she doesn’t know is that those bags

Are sources of pride for me

Because they encapsulate the struggle

That I went through

As depression’s black, inky tendrils

Tried to drag me under a sea of despair

When one day, it actually succeeded

When one day, I drowned

When one day, I decided to die


You think that we don’t cry when we decide to do it

You think, perhaps, that we are relieved

But we are not

We weep

We sob at what drives us towards the decision

We cry for the life we’re losing

We bawl in disgust at ourselves

I didn’t need more black, inky tendrils

Trailing down my face

As I made my decision


Of course I felt guilty

Of course I wished I were stronger

But you must understand the feelings we feel

I couldn’t deal with the self-loathing

The feeling that everything I do is wrong

That every word I say

Action I enact

Choice I make

Is wrong and is constantly being judged by those around me

I was tired of people judging me

But more importantly, I was tired of judging myself

School teaches me to compare myself to others

When there’s no comparison because each of us is different and that’s okay

But I listened and did what I was told

And I saw only those who were better, who would always be better

They were mountains where I was hills

They were hills where I was anthills

They were anthills where I was an ant

They were a shoe! And I felt worthless.


So you must understand why

Soon these feelings would disappear

As my life snuffed out like the dying end of a burning cigarette

Best to put out the cancerous agent than to allow it to burn

Better to let it die than to allow it to harm you

Is that not right?

If we are all fire, then I am the raging flame that burns itself out

If we are all fire, I am little more than a candle that eats itself alive

Dripping wax falling like blood drops

My blood drops

Into oblivion


 If we are all fires, I was bound to die when the floodwaters came roaring in

Keeping your head above the water only works for so long

Eventually, you must learn how to swim

I didn’t, so I drowned

And in doing so, I learned

Oh, how I learned

I learned that

You don’t go across the river

You go up the river

You don’t take a bottle of pain medication

You take Nembutal or Seconal 

You don’t walk into the river and breathe water

You turn on the ignition and breathe carbon monoxide

You don’t tie the bag around your neck

You tie the noose and step

Each method only promised to increase the agony, however

Because there’s no painless way to lose your life

Not if you’re the one who’s stealing it


But I wanted to anyway, I wanted to so badly

And to expunge the thoughts, I thought of my life as an investment

My body, my soul is one in which my parents have been pouring time and money

And if I die, the stock market crashes

I remember when it happened years ago

And how anxious and sad my parents had been

And I thought how, this time, I could stop that sadness

Because this stock market was one I controlled

And so when the wave came for me again, I was prepared

And I told myself that to survive

You don’t always have to swim

Sometimes, all you have to do

Is keep your head above the water


So when this girl asked why I don’t use concealer

Concealer for what? The bags under my eyes?

Those are battle scars

Evidence of the war I fought every day just to wake up

To get through the day

The war my body fought to open my eyes night after night

When it would’ve been so easy to let them flutter shut forever

Why conceal that?

The world isn’t a fairy tale

But happily ever after can exist

It just comes from inside of you

The road to it isn’t easy

And I’m not in the business of pretending like it is

So screw the concealer

See me for who I am

Or don’t see me at all

But I won’t help you in making myself disappear

If you choose to shut your eyes, that’s on you

Because I never concealed myself

This poem is about: 



I see you. I hear you. Don't give up the good fight.

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