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Falling In Love With My Hands

By @YellowMeadow

(Trigger warnings: self mutilation, suicidal ideation)

She sat in front of the mirror, alternating between examining her reflection as she sat on the worn concrete floor, and looking over her hands, mottled and pale under the blast of the AC in the small space. It may as well as be a glorified walk in closet, on the smaller side. Just enough room to fit her, the mirror, and a few dusty articles of clothing she’s been too scared to wear.

She’s been struggling lately. Feeling a lack of purpose, a lost sense of drive, craving something more, and this showed itself the first evening she’s had in quiet in awhile. Usually there’s chatter, quips, laughter, but this time she pulled away from a bed of quiet company, of just laying together as she thought, as she wondered what to do with herself now that she wasn’t being occupied.

And what came to mind were stories – trying friendships, unlikely romances, fantasies that delve into the grey of morality, racey sex, heartaches and lifelong challenges. The thought of spilling words out and telling yet another story in order to connect to those in the world around her? Because that was always the point, wasn’t it? Was so relieving. She wanted people to learn, to relate, to evolve and make connections through her stories, to encourage growth and wisdom and self learning, to help people understand someone else’s perspective. It’s exciting, it’s fulfilling, it’s hard but oh is it so worth it.

Or, at least, it was.

And with all this on her mind? She pushed away and got up, untangling herself from the pile she was in to go and see herself. She needed to have a talk.

She’s examining her hands again, thinking over how many times she wished she had taken a stone or a hammer and smashed them into useless bloodied masses at the ends of her limbs. She thought about the times she thought about cutting them off. About how many times she dreamed of the relief of never being able to write again, despite the knowledge that she’d be losing a part of herself the moment she did, one she’d never get back if she carried through.

Her head lifted to face the mirror once more, tilting at how curious she looked, at the lack of bags under her eyes now, and the clarity in her vision, as opposed as her usual haze. These days were new. Things felt different. She was changing, for the first time in a long time.

“That sounded pretty sweet for awhile there, didn’t it?” she asked, not expecting an answer, flexing her fingers just to feel them. “But that wasn’t the answer, and I think we knew that. I think we knew we would regret losing this – connecting to people like this.”

“But why did we need to so badly?” she asked, looking back down, turning her hands back and forth. “I think I knew I needed to write to survive, and I wanted to stop surviving. It wasn’t about not wanting to write anymore, it was about not wanting to fight for my life anymore – that was hard, wasn’t it?” she asked, looking back up at her reflection. “Living without a will to live was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had, but part of me needed to live, right? I could never carry through with ending it all. Fantasies stayed fantasies and…”

She hummed, her eyes flickering back and forth before settling on the mirror again. “I want to write again, for me, not just to survive. I want to tell stories again, longer than a few passages. I want to live through- through these,” she announced with a laugh, seeing her eyes sparkle as she held her hands up in display for herself. “This made me feel connected to the world around me, I miss that. I’ve been so focused on relief and gratification that I’ve lost sight of what I love. And I want to fall in love again. Can… we do that?”

Her eyes started to sting, her vision starting to blur as she saw how eager she was.She’s been holding herself back since the separation, afraid to touch on something she had come to resent now that she was in a place that she didn’t need to survive anymore, but now that she’s had some time apart, to contemplate, to get away from that self loathing that had become a part of writing, she was ready to delve in again.

Accepting this desire, this excitement, this need from herself made her feel loved in a way anyone else could rarely reach.

It let her know this was the right choice.

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