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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Suffering from Dysthymia and self harm,he finds photograpy as a way to tame his mind.

He pumped the canister twice,the gel ran between his fingers,he scrubbed violently as if to remove the skin from his hands.Blood red water gurgled spiralling down the plug hole like a twister on the Oklahoma plains.The pain in his head was not like before,this time he knew what to do,the darkness had been eating away at his soul since his teen years.He always felt different,alone,stood away from the crowd.Tried as hard as he could to be invisible.

The lines on his arms oozed a rich red blood that eased the pain,it ran between his fingers the warmth was strangely freeing.He was emotionally a wreck,it had been a bad week.The darkness began one night,just out of the blue,”It just creeps up on you”,he said,”Your mind slows down, so you dwell on things”This he knew,it had started when he was fourteen,friends,(he thought)began to talk about him,snigger when he passed,stopped talking when he approached.”I began to hate even going out,i began to shut myself away” This is when the mind takes over! This is when your life shuts down.

“I have no-one!” The four words he repeated to himself day in day out.Lessons dropped,results crashed,who cares!Then came unemployment,bad results meant poor job prospects.The mind works wonders,darker and deeper.deeper.Thats when the cutting started,his dad used an old fashion razor that took single blades,he found one on the sink one morning.”I picked it up and just ran it down my arm!” The release he felt was unlike anything he had experienced before. “It wasn't painful,it was surreal!” The cutting started off as scratches,a quick hit so to say,his mind's quick fix that did not last too long.”My moods darkened,i saw no escape,cutting was my way out”

Quickly the scratches became deeper,short deep cuts now,short so harder for his parents to notice but deep enough for the blood to flow.The trickle of blood became a sense of freedom or control.”I determined when i cut,well so i thought.” The darkness of his mind would not let him escape,it drew him deeper into black.Rarely when he went out long sleeves were worn as well as fake smiles.

She smiled back at him,and for the first time he thought he could survive.”She was just was there at the right time!” The cutting did not stop,just lessened,”The darkness never goes away completely.”She became his night and day he evolved into somewhat “normal” whatever that was.She never fully understood his cutting but she accepted who he was.She listened,she loved,she gave her all.For three years normality reigned,part-time work ensured money for nights out,nights in.Slowly at first he noticed the change,she said “I understand your pain”,but really she could not comprehend the darkness that consumed his thoughts. He watched the way she glanced at him as he past by,mind racing,twisting thoughts black. The way she held her head as they talked,her body very slightly leaning towards him,barely noticeable to anyone but him.Longer thoughts spiralled round his mind,shutting him down falling apart.”I knew what was happening!”,”I was not in the right place”. She cried at the door,”It's not what you think!”,she had walked for an hour to get to him,that did not matter,”Let me explain!”.He closed the door.

Blinds closed,the darkness inside and out,same lyrics playing over in his head. The pain was eased with every cut but never fully cured,”I see no escape”,”No-one cares or understands!”.All alone now he slowly sank into a pit,surrounded by walls no-one could penetrate.The darkness now consumed everything,he could not eat,he could not sleep.”Are you ok?”his parents would ask occasionally,a simple “yes”was enough.He was truly alone. In the pit,now no way out,the walls closed in,tighter and darker,constricting his very thoughts. The end was near. A bottle of cheap wine,a few beers,a bag of various tablets he had “acquired” from his mum over a weeks.”I knew what i was doing”,”I could see no other way”As he drank he popped some tablets,his mind still spiralling downwards self destruct mode engaged.The same lyrics pounding in his head,thoughts of her crying at the door,the loss of the only true friend he thought he had. The cloud washed over him a sense of freedom he had never felt before came with it.It was time to go.

“Hello!!”,”Hello!!,are you OK?”,”What have you taken?” Blue lights,strapped in,corridors,”That's what i remember” He was put on a drip,made to take what reminded him of BBQ charcoal,and more tablets.Nurses checked in on him every five mins,and he could make out a figure sitting in the corner of the room,did not know who or why. Questions and more questions,what did they care he thought,he closed his eyes hoping never to open. “Morning,How are you feeling?”,The light hurt his eyes,his stomach churned,he had lived,unfortunately he thought.The nurse was bright eyed with that caring and disappointed look on her face.face.Heres another loser taking up my time and another bed look.He could now make out the figure in the corner,his broad shoulders,greying hair,suit jacket,slumped,sleeping uncomfortably in the hospital chair.”We will have you out of here today”,”We just need you to speak to a physicist first”.He felt he was getting in the way of proper medicine,he just wanted to escape.“Yes”,”Yes, I knew what i was doing”,”No I wont do it again”,he said what she wanted to hear,the psychiatrist was on call all night and at the end of her shift.She just wanted to escape just like him,well maybe just not quite like him. “Here's a letter for your GP,if he needs he will refer you”and that was it ,free to go.Back into the darkness.

The reality of what had happened in the last 48 hours struck him like a bolt of lightning striking and shattering the tallest of trees.He began to see the grey in his father's face either from worry or lack of sleep,he did not know.His father had not left him since he had found him,he watched over him constantly like a shepherd over his flock.”I felt really humbled,his love was unconditional”,”I never saw it as i was growing up”.He saw for the first time the impact of his attempt at taking his life on others.”For the first time,I felt wanted again”,”I could see the pain that i had given”,Normality soon regained control or as normal as you can get,the daily routine,getting up,going to work, pretending everything was ok Inside. Inside the darkness had just turned from black to a subtle grey.He was still cutting himself but this time he was careful as he knew his dad was keeping a close eye on him.”It was my release!”,!It helped keep the darkness at bay!”

The first time he really took photographs he paid no attention to them,”I just uploaded them onto my computer,then started shooting again!” Photography kept his mind busy,no time to slip.Camera in hand,landscapes were his thing,”I remembered camping when younger,amazed at the awesome country side we had!” He could get lost,immersed in the wilderness,greatness of what he could see.Now older he could capture it almost hold it in his hands.Luckily Northern Ireland isn't that big and has such an amazing amount of treasures if you know where to look.”I came across an article about depression,someone used the photos they had taken to express how they felt and come to terms with their illness.”I remembered some photos id taken and looked back over them.”What he began to see would begin a turning point in his life that eventually would bring some true normality to his life.”Stones”,”I took this photograph on a day at beach along the North Antrim Coast road”,The stones now when he looks at them reminds him that live is not just one dimension.The stones remind him that life is made up of many choices,some good others not so good.”The Stones picture helps me as i see it now as life's compartments,milestones if you like,some small,some large!”,”At the end of the day the stones form the beach,our life is the same made up of large and small milestones making up one life!” Photographs,something as simple as photographs have changed his life,helped him to overcome,not totally mind you a mental illness that has finally been diagnosed as Dysthymia.

Submitted: July 31, 2015

© Copyright 2022 David Adams. All rights reserved.

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