Who is the messiest of them all?

I told my friends once; at 3 am, in a dorm room lit up with Christmas lights, that I wondered sometimes I might be bipolar.

I stay in a drunken, flushed daze for days on end and then descend ever-so-swiftly into grey pits of white noise that eat away at my edges, making them rot.

They looked at me for a second.
A moment of vulnerability, of apprehension.

Then – in the spirit of slumber parties, I suppose – some girl in the corner said something snarky and they all burst out laughing.

So much for solidarity.

I sat stiffly all day once.
Spine starched straight like a pole, nails clawing into the flesh of my arms; gasping because I kept forgetting to breathe.

I was at the airport that day, waiting till I could strip myself clean of the miles and curl under the covers on my bed. Or my couch. Or the floor.

I went over to a café to buy some coffee – because 8 am and I don’t get along very well – but when the barista held out my change and my latté, I spilt both – over my dress and down the floor.

She just stood there, looking at me. Didn’t even try to hide the judgement that had already been passed.

“I have my days!”, I wanted to scream at her. To make her understand that sometimes it was hard to breathe; that sometimes the voices in my head rioted for days.

That anxiety can be a real bitch.

The days, weeks, months, years that passed by in my rearview while I took stabs in the dark trying to find my way – they vanished so quickly, like fog in the winter sun.

The chronic inkiness engulfed me, filling my lungs until they burst.
And when I finally emerged again, my bones were heavy with weariness, heavy from the dark.
I felt a thousand years older.

I bled my heart out, learned how to play with sharp objects, use them as tools; as weapons against my demons.
I drew crimson scars all over my body to keep them away.

Some people don’t care.
Some do. Some say they do, but they don’t. Not really.
Some make it even harder.

The Devil is real.

The monsters under your bed are real.

But they are yours alone to face. Everyone dreads the shadows, but the battle can only be fought if you’re not worn out from the monsters of daylight; the ones you sit next to in class, the ones you go to the movies with.

Don’t be so caught up with your own demons that you end up being one in someone else’s story.