Writing Competition - Second Place!


Heartbreak and Recovery

Maybe if I leave the room, it’ll make the sound I want. But would it be a sound? If a tree falling in the middle of a forest isn’t heard by anyone, it isn’t a sound that exists.

What am I doing?

Why am I doing this to myself?

Is it because of who I am or that I’m only human?

The first recorded war was in 2700 BC – there were, most likely, wars before then but writing wasn’t invented as we know it to be now. So for almost 5000 years, human beings have been intentionally hurting each other; one of the things human beings have been consistently good at.

I did question how psychopathic behaviour can be considered normal in these situations. The thing about morals and values, is that they’re usually only as good as our own personal interests and circumstances. I guess you can justify a lot of evil under the guise of righteous choices.

So is this okay?

Is me sitting here, waiting for that phone to sing its desired song, right?

Is this conflict inside me only a natural thing for someone to experience?

I’m so lost inside this world, so naïve to everything around me. All these feelings feel foreign, even though they have manifested from within me. And then I’m just expected to be okay with that? Because this is life and we’re all strapped in tight for the ride.

At my age, physical pain and emotional pain are no different. I believe as you grow, you are able to distinguish the fine difference. From that first war, our society and knowledge has only grown and evolved; tactics turned to psychological terrors, breaking the most strongest men down until the whistle of a kettle or the ding of a toaster triggers unforgettable memories. People sought out people’s weaknesses and found the mind.

So, what is wrong with me?

I haven’t lived through wars. I haven’t lived through trauma. I am only dealing with pain - emotional pain – pain that isn’t really there – my feelings.

Please answer, please answer.

I’m pathetic, really. They aren’t worth my time.

But what is this feeling? Why can’t I let them go? How do I stop this?

Just don’t talk to them, block them out, cut them off.

If only it were that easy. If only I could shut my phone off and not have the voices in my head and the butterflies in my stomach.

Butterflies can’t feel pain, did you know that?

Although butterflies know when they are touched, their nervous system doesn’t have pain receptors that register pain as we know it.

It is fascinating really, for something to feel no pain but have such a short life.

Then, does it mean this is what it feels like to live? One long life filled with pain.

No, I don’t want that.

There is no point, it’s like slamming a revolving door. We need to learn and then we need to move on.

She is no good for me, I know she isn’t. I’ve been drinking arsenic every day, and convincing myself it’s water because I care about her. I’m hurt because I care about her, if I didn’t, then it wouldn’t hurt.

I’m not a victim, I don’t need saving, I simply need to navigate my pain until I come out on the other side. Because I’m tired of trying – I’m exhausted. Where is the good in kindness, when it’s good for others yet cruel to myself?

As long as I am willing to acknowledge my problems and have the urge to improve, there’s always hope for me – even if I don’t see it.

So, when she saw my message and didn’t reply, it did hurt. But it was okay because I accepted the pain. That’s the thing though, with progress, it’s not a straight line. It can be two steps forward then three steps back, it can be steps in the wrong direction until you figure out the right one.

And life is only progressing.


by Millie Fisher

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