a woman's eye with tears coming down in black and white
Mental Health

Ripping Off The Words

Country of Origin: India

Trigger Warning: Mentions of Blood and Self-Harm

What’s a good picture for you?

mine is the one in which I’m the happiest.

it’s fascinating how the parts of us

that we don’t appreciate enough

are the parts 

most worthy of appreciation.

and I don’t just mean appearances.

the over consciousness of my mind 

that surrounds me with fear,

the kind

where I’m okay with staying longer

but I’d rather not.

I have too much to hide.

the fresh acne bleeding off my face

or the bleeding of my hollow bones

you won’t see a red colour on me

or feel my skin rough as stone

the cut on my arm that I got last night

trying to rip my skin off

ripping off my sight

of rational consciousness 

that the demons already overcame

but you won’t see it through 

the faux smile on my face

you won’t see those stretch marks 

on my thighs 

or my severe guilt-ridden mind

I hope you don’t tell me 

to look any more alive

already wise 

enough to still be here.

and maybe even stay longer.

no, I’m not depressed

necessarily at least

just not as happy as I looked

in the last picture we took.

you see

That’s the funny thing about pictures.

the stillness is too biased

towards the moment it was taken

that I might never know 

what the present holds

for since the moment in the picture

a lot of me, 

has moulded into one.

the people standing close

aren’t around at all

to be recognised.

the smiling faces

meant more than just people

they said, “it was a luxury

which couldn’t be bought with money.”

let alone, I try to put myself last

and even, maybe, win both

one day,

the photo-booth would count me worthy

even if I still am the person as I was 

a decade away.

so I put the polaroids 

on the last page of my book

as if those were the last

pictures I ever took.

Thank you to Apurva Makashir for their inspired edit on this piece and everyone else on the Mental Health team.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to the DG Sentinel, please visit our submissions page here.

A poetry and mental health enthusiast, 18-year-old psychology student Tanvi Sethi, writes for pleasure about how she feels. Simply put, Tanvi believes putting her emotions in words helps in dealing with them better.

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