pain

A Note To Self To Be Read At Midnight, That Will Send Away All The Monsters Under Your Bed

Painting by  Anwen Keeling

Painting by Anwen Keeling

It is okay to stare at your mismatched socks and and tousled hair that you didn’t have the strength to brush in the day, and laugh at yourself.

As long as you laugh, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to dig out the supersized tub of ice cream and dig in like the jiggle on your hips and the convexity of your tummy doesn’t matter, for once and just that once, if the cool spoonfuls you shovel into your mouth somehow warm your soul up.

As long as you’re warm, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to watch reruns of the same show for the six-and-fortieth time and cry when it ends, like you life depends on it – and maybe it really does, if it keeps you safe from the abyss, for those six hours of pixelated escape.

As long as you’re safe, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to bring out the box of tissues you’ve hidden deep inside your closet without feeling ashamed for once and watch the kinkiest internet porn, if the twiggy blonde on the screen and her vapid eyes, if the twenty minutes of bicep building, intense tugging somehow helps you fall into a nightmare-free sleep.

As long as you’re at peace, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to read your favourite childhood story and remember how the colours on the illustration still stand out vividly in your mind’s eye and just how funny Merry Mister Meddle has always been, if it helps you forget how gray is the only colour you notice anymore.

As long as you remember that leaf green was always your colour and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to stand naked in front of your mirror and shed your inhibition like an unwanted trenchcoat, and truly like what you see, despite the extra weight on your ass and the acne on your left cheek, if in that brief instant (unlike every other) you finally recognize yourself for the gorgeous human that you are.

As long as you know deep down that you’ve always been magic, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to think of ancient, inconsequential things that hurt you in the past, and let the misery wash over you – a tidal wave of self pity, until you’re crying and you don’t quite remember why, if in doing so you can let go of all that fresh pain you don’t want to acknowledge.

As long as you can breathe again, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to stare in fixed fascination (like the  whimsical two year old neighbor you secretly resent) at a glow-in-the-dark band, if in doing so, your insides feel like they’re glowing too.

As long as your soul, for a while, shines bright, and it gets you through the night.

It is okay to do all the weird and not so wonderful things you do.

And not have words enough to justify them (and, to be honest, not feel the need to justify them either).

To feel fragile and invincible all at once, to feel your heart pulsing in your chest and your thoughts swirling like the colours of the wind.

If just for that moment, you feel alive, or even just feel (something, anything) then it’s worth it.

If just for that moment, you’re okay with being weak and recognizing that it doesn’t make you any less beautiful, then it’s worth it.

If, after that, you can finally fall asleep, it’s worth it.

Whatever gets you through the night.
Whatever gets you through this night.

Tanvi Deshmukh is a nineteen year old girl from Pune, India, with an affinity for words and books, cats and coffee, Nepalese food and hippie music, and the colour green (along with Oxford commas). Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English, she loves poetry, volunteers at an NGO and plays the keyboard in her free time. Along with devouring books of all kinds, unless of course, she’s in the middle of heated discussions on feminism, patriarchy, gay rights, or what to name the neighbour’s new dog.

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