I took a sharp intake of breath when I saw this prompt in my e-mail inbox. Probably because this one is the most personal. I have made mistakes. Not small ones but big ones. Huge ones. Ones that linger over me. Haunt me. Mistakes that keep me up at night. That peruse the space in my mind while I lay flat on my back in the dark. What am I supposed to do? I can’t turn back time. I can just live with it. I’ll have to. And people say that things will get better with time. That these things – these struggles and days full of pain – make you stronger. They don’t. They weaken you over time. Chipping away at your surface. Slowly disintegrating you, as if you lay in a vat of (very) dilute sulfuric acid and just let it burn you slowly. Eventually you’ll be covered in scar tissue. Healing but never the same. Just like a tendon tears after too much strain, it can heal but it will be more susceptible to tearing. It won’t function the same. It won’t be as flexible as it once was. As strong as it once was. That’s the reality. Maybe pain and suffering does make some people stronger. And I used to believe that I was among those people. But after a certain amount, you realise that some people bounce back easier. And some people don’t. I’m fragile. I’m breakable. I’m not cut out for this. This thing called life. These mistakes have cost me, and I’ll never be the same again.
This is a reply to Mistake.