an old friend

TRIGGER WARNING: Please be advised that this post contains thoughts on self-harm and suicidal ideation.

Last night, I tried to hurt myself. I was the epitome of composure and calmness and then, suddenly, I was not. Blurry vision. Stifled, choked mind. Emotions violently erupted. I was an embodiment of what seemed to be self-inflicted lies, of perpetual confusion, of self-blame, of self-loathing. But what stood out in the forefront of this raging storm was pain. Raw, numbing pain. Pain that I couldn’t physically feel. Pain that was there but would never show on my skin. Pain that would be etched in the crevices of my mind.

I pleaded for help. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was stumbling around in frigid darkness, my hands pressed forcefully to my temples. As if I could push it out out my mind. Shaky, shallow breaths. Blurry vision with no end to the tears. Tears which no longer felt like a release of the agony I was feeling. I was always crying and now I was getting sick of myself for crying so much.

‘I’m having bad thoughts…’

I remembered a knife. I find my way to the countertop, grab the drawer’s knob, and open it. It slides out quietly, swiftly. I plunge my hand in to feel around its contents, where I know I will find a feeling sharp and cold. Like myself. The first knife is a butter knife and it does me no good; I run my finger on the serrated edge as if to test its authenticity. I steady myself on the countertop, sobbing uncontrollably. My thoughts are not my own. I feel your presence behind me, watching me but not touching. I stumble back to the drawer.

I pull out a second knife. I know its black handle too well. I remember cutting into birthday steaks, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas hams. It reminds me of an old friend. Just as quickly as I realize this, you are holding my arms firmly, pulling it away from me. You are forcing me up the stairs. I trip over my feet, sobbing, screaming out at the injustice of it all. I am at the side of the bed now, and you are pushing me to sit down. I sit down and then you are pushing me to lay down. I am still not in control of my thoughts. You turn on the light and you come back to sit on the bed. You are never completely close to me, but you are there. You head into the bathroom and come back. You place a pack of floss on the bed by my side. I glare at it, hurling vicious attacks at it, thinking of disappointment, of self-blame, of abandonment, of death.

Yet, somehow, I go through the motions. I don’t know why I need to do it, but I have flossed my teeth, brushed my teeth, washed my face, combed my hair, changed into my pajamas. You are on the bed sitting, watching, pensive, quiet. I get under the covers and you pull yourself over to your side of the bed and lay there for a while. I am numb.  Eventually, you get up from the bed, but you don’t say a single word. You head to the bathroom to grab some toiletries, head over to your desk to check for other necessities, and then you turn off the light as you leave the bedroom and close the door behind you.

I am laying in darkness. And the whole time, I have a lingering question in my mind: when did I start to see a knife as my friend?



I am sleeping in an unfamiliar bed. Far from you. I wonder if you think about me. Do you miss me struggling to tiptoe and kiss your cheek? Does your heart ache when you toss and turn late at night and realize that my side of the bed is cold? Do you remember the gentle good mornings, planting a tender kiss on my forehead as you exaggerated having to wake up with sleepy eyes? Do you chuckle when you are suddenly reminded of a moment where I did something ridiculous and unexpected? Do you feel pained when you notice that I’m not there to share in your laughter and stories? But what I’m really wondering is, do you ever want to talk to me?



Let me count the baggage I carry with me.

  1. Anxiety that’s been burnt from the core to the skin because of daddy issues (how clichéd!) and now I have abandonment issues (no relationships ever worked out here!)
  2. Depression (but is it really clinical?) that comes up every now and then, having a good ol’ time with anxiety and tempting suicidal thoughts (but please, it’s just a phase!)
  3. Anger issues that still resurface from when I was an angry child (it’s a fancy schmancy defense mechanism that actually backfires!)
  4. Family problems from when I was a child in which my older sister was abused (she was just diagnosed with bipolar II disorder!), my mom divorced twice (she became suicidal after the second marriage failed!), and my ex-stepfather groped me (but I was his favorite child!)

But guess what? If I act now, I might actually get my shit together. You probably won’t be able to accompany me though. I guess I’m just too fucked up for some people.



I feel conflicted, broken, used, cast away, misledyet somehow I also feel that I brought it on myself. I surely must have done that. I start playing a song which would normally be considered an intense declaration of love but the tears start to flow when they pierce my eardrums. Stop crying. I crank up the volume and allow my ears to die a little in the reverberations coming from the speakers. I croak out some of the lyrics trying as hard as I can to get my mind off of the tears that just won’t stop. Why won’t they stop? 

The room is a complete abyss, pitch black and empty, and I know that I am alone save for the company of a goddamn love song. Tears continue to leak out from the corners of my eyes as I gaze up at what should have been the off white ceiling, now inked black in the artificial evening light that I have made for myself. Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. Windows partially closed, blinds completely shut.  I tell myself that I want to cry a little while longer because maybe then I won’t have any more tears left. Please just dry out. My heart has too much to say and I am fighting against it. I don’t want to know how hurt I’ve been. I’m not ready for that.



I am wearing bright golden yellow today because I hope it will secure the airy lightness I felt yesterday. (This is the first time I’m wearing this romper so I hope I won’t be too flashy.) I am the definition of productivity. I tentatively ask my roommate if she wants to come with me since I have some errands I need to do, but she declines and says she has a lot of things she needs to get done before she goes to work. (She’s just not interested in your company, okay.

So I go grocery shopping by myself and at the end of the spree, I allow one small exception from my shopping list—a bunch of almost ripe bananas. (Look at you, you’re already deviating from the plan.) They’re yellow just like my outfit so it must be another sign to continue this new, refreshed “me” that I am feeling. When I come up to the cash register, the cashier is warm and welcoming (maybe being nice is just part of the job description) while she rings up my items—two bags of two varieties of bagels, cream cheese, soy milk, eggs, bananas. She pays me a compliment, politely chirping about how this shade of yellow looks good with my skin and when I tell her I was shy about wearing it today, she playfully adds that it’s finally the romper’s debut into the world. I feel absolutely stunning now, pulsing like the sunshine that radiates down on me as I head out of the store. I am the definition of confidence.

I come home and unpack my purchases into their appropriate places—most end up in the fridge which requires utilizing the art of storing and packing to get the most out of the small space that is in front of me. (You bought too much. You must be eating more than you need.) I am the definition of efficiency. My roommate is still at home but this time she is folding up her bed frame and putting it away to make more room in the living space. (She just didn’t want to come with you, that’s why.)

‘Oh, you already finished grocery shopping?’

Yeah, I plan out my trips. I go from point A to point B to point C so I finish quickly.

‘…I could’ve come along then.’

(She’s really just trying to cover up that she didn’t want to go with you.)

I smile but I don’t say anything. (They’re all excuses anyways.) I sit down on the couch and we both watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother, something that she’s been trying to watch chronologically. I’ve already seen them all on my own but I don’t mind the replays. I absentmindedly glance at my phone to check for notifications and I see two from him. I am the definition of happiness. I reply back to him and follow up with a question when I find out he’s been up long before me, which is unusual in the first place. (What has he been doing?) He doesn’t answer my question and asks me another. (Why is he ignoring my question? Is he hiding something from me? What have I done now?)

And just like that, I am the definition of Bo.



When I write, it is usually an attempt to cleanse my soul in some far-fetched way. I take up a pencil—pen is much too permanent for my taste and I’ve never had that comfort—and then I put it to the lined paper of my journal, the one that I have slowly been trying to fill out since my years in high school. For all that I lack, my words compensate and channel some sort of energy out of me as a way of coping. I don’t really know what I’m coping from exactly but it sure seems like the pang of aching loneliness and the creeping feeling of abandonment. Everyone seems to be a fatherless child now in “these modern days” so I’m clearly not that special. But no one can truly ever know how I feel because there’s absolutely no way we can all feel each other’s emotions exactly as the other felt it. Maybe writers—or manipulators of any art—are damned souls in that sense, stumbling to put a word to how we feel because we’re constantly feeling it. Maybe we were meant to be blind to our realities because if we actually knew what was happening, we would die from heartbreak.