Mens Sana In Corpore Sano

I have left pieces of myself with people I don’t know.
I have taken pages from their books and scribbled my name there.
I’ve been falling through a certain kind of mediocrity.
Happy pills and pleasant facade, reaffirming chants.
Bugs of all kind persist in my brain, who’s to have the chunkiest bite?
Theories and arguments duke it out with appearances.
Who will win the fight? The scars on my body are tired.
The more I think I’m better than this, the more I sink.
Why’s it so hard to love myself? To be satisfied and to be happy with myself?
Always picking apart myself with such cruel hands.
Reminding myself over and over, of course I’m worth it.
Indeed I am, I know that. I know I ought to love myself, just not how.
Faltering, there are cuts sometimes. On my brain. Few can creep inside.
But I catch a glimpse of the way a lock of hair falls on my cheek,
I see the way my lips curve and the peek of my teeth.
I see a dress that fits me well, and I
hear a conversation that assures me
that I’m the brightest mind present there.
And it’s all right again. I can love myself again.
But it started with a sad story, not of my own.
An unfulfilled wish breathed upon a dying star,
of so many lives yet to live but lost.
And so I took it upon myself, to wish it into life.
I fancied myself a hero on a journey, to right the things that went wrong.
And then it ended, with such finality, even before
the journey began – I caged myself in thoughts so dark,
I could only see myself when I was undone.
And so it was, and so it remained for ages as I thought,
I was here for them when I was nowhere to be found.
Cold in the morning sun, I dragged myself
through the dredge of what ifs and if onlys
until I was face-first on the ground.
And through it all, I clutched the story and fought
the darkness with a hope of doing the right thing.
And then it too, fell apart, because I realised
I’ve been living with my eyes closed all along.
And like a burst of fresh air I found some people, so unlike and alike,
Through trial and error, I began to see the folly of my plan.
And so I learnt to let it go, and so I learnt to reap the seeds I sowed
and soon saw myself as I am.
It is an uphill journey I’m on still, but not as murky as it was before.
I’m seeing what I can do and not, seeing what I am
and not what I ought to have been.
And when past wounds come to haunt my days
I don’t return them emptied, lone and unsated.
I sit them down in my cozy home and offer them a smile
And some tea, for their journey back home.
But then it spirals
I break the pattern
All seems lost, the progress I’ve made
Gone, nowhere to be found
I’m angry I’m pissed. I want to yell and shout.
I can’t I can’t—
Why must it happen so—oh.
Oh no I’ve done it again
Disappointed myself
It goes on
I hold the umbrella open
Even when it’s sunny
Even in the spring
Careless, I’m directionless
Drunk off the habit of inactivity
It takes strength
To raise a hand
To hold a pen
To see myself
I m depleted
Where did all my joy go?
I do nothing, I expect nothing
Lies; I think, I think, I think until I’m sick
Desperate, so slimy
Waiting for a miracle
Happy to just sit
Happy to just exist
Dissatisfied to only exist
It takes strength
To get up
To take a bath
To hold the pen
To write
To speak
To feel
Oh, to feel!
Something other than
So adjustable
A pushover
A crybaby
A daydreamer
A defeatist
A whiner
Just a tired person.
A sorry person.
Almost a non-person.
Caged in the maybe
Trapped inside a mind
Hold on. Hold on, please.
For what?
Where is it.
I don’t know…
And that’s it, isn’t it.
Perhaps. Maybe.
Just a tired person.

Titiksha Chakraborty is a postgraduate student of History.

Featured image credit: JL G/Pixabay