The Face of the Story-Courtney.jpg


I tear at and peel the flesh from my fingers to my knuckles until I bleed. I try to offset my disinterest in nearly everything by doing as much as I possibly can until I collapse from exhaustion. I keep my mind and muscles at bay for as long as I can.

Loneliness and darkness that fill every pore and the looming pain in every limb and bone aren’t the scariest parts of depression and anxiety. The scariest part is collapsing inward because you’ve lost the will to exist. I’ve sat in silence in bed, listening to nothing but my own heart cracking into a million mirrored shards of glass that cling to and gut everything they catch on their way to breaking. I’ve struggled with daily thoughts that have told me I should not take up space in place of someone more deserving.

The only thing more draining than having a mental illness is pretending like you don’t. Smiling, nodding, laughing louder, and doing everything to distract from the fact that you feel nothing but unworthy.

I am flawed. But in this life, I can heal.

I got the tattoo on my inner left bicep as a daily reminder that something so fractured and grueling can provide its own brand of beauty. Light and growth will always break through.