Wandering Beasts by John Kenn
A belated SUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ONE AND ONLY JESSALYN flowerstrickensunlight You’re You’re the person I can tell literally everything and who went with me to hell and back and kept going. You’re so fucking amazing and clever and sarcastic and funny and genius and beautiful and please never forget it She’s also my prison wife
also I was out-of-this-world cute the other day wearing asongofmyself's space skirt 💖
(even though the lighting is terrible and i took this picture to show my mother my outfit i’m feeling vain so social media gets to see it)
(i’m not having a mental breakdown) (shut up)
The things I could write would start out with a long explanation of my life until this point and the most meaningful lessons I’ve learned along the way. There aren’t so many, considering I’m only twenty years old and participating in the typical upper-middle-class-white-American-post-high school-success-college-brunt-succeed-to-enter-workforce-and-live-the-rest of-my-meaningless-life-in-a-cycle track. But just the acknowledgement of this cycle in this sentence is a tribute to this era, age, country, mindset. To the things I could write.
It’s typical that this type of piece would come out of world suicide prevention day last week, but you can’t ever escape the ache of how little or how much that one word can cause. How much: looking back, there is a whirlwind of emotions, thanking friends, family, therapy, medication, deity, that this day doesn’t cause any of them the immense pain it could have. Looking back, a memory and a need for it to be a prevention day, so 14 through 17 year old you knows she isn’t crazy. So 15 year old you never starts to plan or hide. So the silence doesn’t overtake the skies.
How little; that’s the present. How, in this moment, 16 year old you feels nothing. Not even the cut of the word as it escapes from her tongue. Suicide. It means nothing more than a collection of syllables that might represent the ceasing of pain. It doesn’t mean it will never get better. It means, at this moment, the world offers nothing.
I’ve heard depression described in countless ways. By now, the majority of those without the illness understand that it’s not simply “being sad.” There’s the beautiful “Black Dog" comic/video, and of course Hyperbole and a Half Allie Brosch’s meaningful piece. A friend recently asked me if her comic was accurate to my experience. For the most part. But that’s how I realized that this had to be a thing I would write.
I’ve heard depression referred to as water, as darkness. Forgive me for the grotesque image, but depression is a scab. No, not a cut, not a wound. The scab. Depression doesn’t occur out of nothing, out of a vacuum. It appears from the wound. That being said, the wound comes from a multitude of ways. Internal, external. Chemicals combined with a conversation, a failed test, a lost job, broken friendship. The wound opens.
This is not depression. Depression is when the wound starts to scab. It itches. It’s raised. Bandaids do nothing at this point. It’s in an unavoidable place - your arm, your leg. Even if it didn’t hurt much to attain, its now occupying every thought. It’s there, and it’s becoming increasingly persistent. You feel your fingers itching to touch it, to rip it off, to scratch it, to put lotion on it. Anything to cause it to subside. Everything rests on this one, frustrating, scab.
Try to read. The scab itches. To work. It burns. To talk to others - it is your every thought. It’s all you want to talk about, but why would others want to hear about your scab? It’s your small, insignificant, itching demon.
You rip it off. The relief is good for a moment. It starts bleeding again. Slowly, red, fresh blood. Easily stoppable. But the hole stays in your skin until it starts to scab again. And thus the cycle begins again.
Some of us can’t keep our fingers away. We replay this scab over and over, not allowing it to ever fully heal, to integrate with the rest of our skin. Some of these scars are in hide-able places, but some are permanent and we can’t cover them. We’re mortals. We get hurt, cut again. Some of us are clumsier than others. And when the wound keeps bleeding, something must be wrong. Too wrong. Resulting in stitches. Amputation.
It’s a graphic metaphor, but depression too often appears with gruesome counterparts. Besides the insomnia or oversleeping, under eating or over indulgence, physical, literal wounds are abundant. No two scabs are the same. They might be similar sizes or in similar shapes, and we might have advice for a scab of that size or shape. But ultimately, each scab leaves each of us with unique wounds, ones we can only face ourselves.
My scabs appeared from various wounds. Some of them were simply from having thin skin - my body bursts into cuts from each heated moment - anxiety. My body withered and the scabs took even longer to heal - anorexia. The very appearance of cuts and scabs called for the need, the frustration, the unattainable acquiring of perfection. And thus more scars. They can layer. The scabs that do heal serve as reminders, but sometimes they’re in spots we forget to look.
My scabs have occupied most of my thoughts for over 5 consistent years now. For some people, they have become a touchstone of connection. Rough skin fits into rough skin. For others, we have turned to sandpaper. I’ve lost friends due to the roughness of my touch.
Literally, I have a hard time keeping my hands off easily pickable pieces of my skin. I attribute this to the aforementioned anxiety. To go into the messy details; attaining perfection through grades, athletics, body; it’s not the story that brings the words. It’s the memory. It’s not the pain that creates change. It’s remembering when the pain ceased to exist and there was nothing. It’s remembering a few of the days when amputation, beheading, seemed like the only way to make the scabs stop bleeding, itching.
Wash it away. There are laundromats for a reason. We bring our dirty shirts and pants, let them become renewed. There’s a lot of us crowding the place, and how we arrived there isn’t important. The way we pay, quarters, nickles, dimes, is meaningless. We finish our laundry, don our clothes, see where we can go with our sleeves rolled up or down. Shoelaces tired or ready to trip. Suit or sweats. We’re there. It’s not how the story began. It’s how it doesn’t end.
My male *significant other,* *not* my *boyfriend*
The girl I have a crush on has a crush on a girl who has a girlfriend but it’s okay because I have a boyfriendthing so really there’s only one person missing out here and it’s the girl I have a crush on so basically: orgy? #bisexualproblems
and remember kids its never too late to become a raging degenerate homosexual
asongofmyself i am thinkin of u
I just gay gayer every day
And also I’m Sirius ok bye