I was talking to a very close friend of mine today, and we somehow stumbled onto the subject of one of our favorite musical groups, Twenty One Pilots. The lead vocalist of this musical duo, Tyler Joseph, is covered in numerous tattoos that cover his scars from self harming. He did this, perhaps, to keep his fans from worrying or being scared. He also wrote a song, that we believe to be an "unofficial letter" to his fans as well, titled "Guns for Hands" that sort of falls under the same subject of self-harm. Now, as you can probably guess by the name of this post, this song, as well as the discussion I had with my friend, inspired me to write. I will not share my insight into what the song means to me, because that is not the purpose of the piece, nor the song. However, I encourage you to listen to it for yourself, and try to discover what it means to you.
As I started to write the piece, all I found myself thinking about were a couple of my friends who have practiced self-harm. Then my mind jumped to the many people that I have seen with scars on their body from cutting into themselves and how they tried to hide them. Personally, I believe that if self-harm is something that you have gone through, and if you have resolved your issues and come out stronger than before, that your scars should be your trophies. They should be a badge of pride or honor, as they represent exactly how bad things were for you and how you explored the darker parts of your being to find a way out. How you felt looking at yourself in the mirror, thinking: "I need to stop this," and resolving to never put a razor to your skin again. How you told your family and friends what you had been doing to yourself and why, and seeking out help for the first time. And finally, how you came out of it all okay, better even. A stronger person with the experience of going to a place that only you know, and the memories of being able to fight through all of it despite the impossible odds.
Ultimately, I tried to capture all of that in this piece. How you go to the darkest places, before you can become your best person. I love the outcome, and I hope you all do too!
She says that she is ashamed.
I fail to see the reason why she wishes to hide the pain, when it will all be the same at the end of the day.
Why she needs to cover them up.
They are a part of her now, the scars. The marks on our wrists are a consistent a reminder of what made us who we are.
The pain has twisted her mind.
But just like it twists all of us into creatures of instinct and rage, it releases us into beings of maturity and age.
We are never the same.
So be proud of the mistakes that you have made. For they will help you tame the shame that you will feel inside, and replace it with pride.
And in time, she will learn this too.
As we all once did. The suffering will be unparalleled, but the experiences she passes through will hold true.
And she will be whole again.
Instead of fear, what she will hold dear is the legacy that they left behind. Ideas and morals that were instilled in her when she journeyed through the darkest parts of her mind.
Just like the rest of us here.
Here in the realm of higher possibility and opportunity. This resilience bestowed to us by the marks that almost shook the foundations of our personal security.
But without them, we are nothing. And so we leave her be.
Alone to face this pain and fear, that are slowly removed from her body with each and every tear. But with the hope in the back of her mind, that one day: she will get here.
After asking my friend to pick an image for me to write about, I asked for a song to write about as well. And like I had requested, she picked the first song that she could find. I am not sure what the correlation between this song and this free form piece is, but I enjoyed what I had created. Thanks!
In an ocean of darkness I lay, praying for the day that I can come away from it all.
I think about it every night and day, just ending the pain once and for all.
But I resist.
I wait for some reason, in the pitch black dreariness that has me rearing.
My ears ring from the screaming winds that never seem to be receding.
Then I find myself pleading.
Scrambling and fumbling around for any means to escape.
Then before my eyes, in an instant the cape of darkness reveals something brighter than bright.
I trust it, and follow diligently.
Without difficulty if leads me away.
And before I know it, I am once again on my way to being okay.
A little while ago, I told a close friend of mine to give me a random picture to base a piece on. I did say any picture, but I didn't expect to see what she sent me. The following image, and free verse poem/writing are meant to work together to tell a story, and I think I got it across adequately. Enjoy!
“Gas tastes foul.”
This single thought runs through my clearing mind.
Peace the ultimate goal, one that needed a boost to find.
A tank of gas and a single match acting on instinct; blind.
We fear death, but are eager for war.
Then in the ashes of fallen “enemies”, we find ourselves seemingly knee deep in endless gore.
Atrocities happen, history takes note: “Never again,” they swore.
Yet here I sit in protest, against history repeating.
The crowd around me grows, in mass meeting.
And before I know, I can feel my opportunity fleeting.
I close my eyes, and watch my reality slipping,
With the match in my hand, and my body dripping.