Self-Help

FREE : a poem on my life

I wake up screaming,

drenched in sweat; arms shaking.

This nightmare that has gripped my soul is never-ending. The sheets despise me, the bed holds a grudge. Maybe that’s the reason they wouldn’t let me rest. At least they’re better than the voices inside my head.

 

“You’re good for nothing you coward!” ” Can’t do even a single thing right!” Even the years in my morning coffee don’t please them any more. I put on a happy face, pretending it’s all okay. I plug in my earphones to drown them away. They’ll be back eventually, they always are but when I’m around people, they leave me alone.

 

I leave the apartment, ready for work.

The glasses my shield, armour my hair. People walk by me, I smile. Hoping someone might notice the pleading in my eyes.  But today’s not that day, I sigh and move on. Reach the office, head lowered. I charge on, minding my own business. I don’t want anyone to think I’m not normal. A greeting there, a handshake here. A smile compensating for the puffy orbs.

 

I sit at my desk, type those worries away.

Something is soothing in not thinking about my life’s a mess. A glance at the clock and it’s past lunchtime?! No one came for me – well they’re busy. “Ha! You’re invisible! Nobody cares!”, the voices start toying again with my head. The day ends, people start to leave. I feel an emptiness as everyone says goodbye.

 

It’s all in my head, everything’s gonna be fine. That’s what mom said, I’m alright. It’s just a phase, it’ll pass soon. Although now it’s been too long…No, don’t falter stay strong. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing now for months. Guess she forgot to mention that the voices stay.

 

Earphones in, people out. I hear my colleague calling, but I’m too far now. There’s weary compliance in my mind. The voices command straight for home

 

I fall down the bed yelling.Again.My throat feels like someone has ripped it open. It’s getting worse, I cannot live like this!! I need to talk, surely someone would listen. Scrolling through the phone, I text an old friend. Then another. They’re all sleeping though. Peacefully. I feel cheated though. I throw the phone away then, as it finally hits me.  Tears fall, I scream and punch the walls, as dreadful feelings start to form – No one cares.

 

We do.

Who said that?

Ah, it’s those voice again but at least they’re here.

“Follow us, and you’ll be free of all the pain taking root in your body.” I lunged at that sound, with all I had left. To the balcony, it beckoned and I ran. Anything to numb this pain, anything to free me of these shackles that bound my soul.

 

I close my eyes as I fall. I can feel a smile lighting me up as I soar.

The last thing I hear is sirens roar. For the pains gone now.

It’s staining the ground red, with every last drop that’s left.

Graphics: Pratiksha Dev

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