An Issue Of Physical Border Crossing In The Odyssey, The 1001 Arabian Nights, And In The Book Of Joshua
When I was fourteen I voluntarily put myself in a box. It wasn’t the typical tattered brown box you get delivered to your door that is way too oversized for the small item you’ve purchased on amazon. The box that I put myself into was painted using three shades of pink which later changed into a muted green. The box that I am talking about is my bedroom. A place where I had let myself be vulnerable and deeply felt a rush of loneliness whenever I was alone. This was my outlet; A outlet where I could express self-hate onto myself. A lot of people look at their bedroom as a safe place and a place to escape the world for a bit, I did also. But the problem I had was that I believed since it was my room I had all the rights to do whatever I wanted in my room, I believed at that time I had the power to do whatever I wanted in my personal box. That’s where I went wrong in my life. I didn’t have the rights to be destructive towards myself. If only I shared my room with someone else I might have never got this bad.
I was an intelligent one 4 years ago, but of course I never admitted it to myself back then because then I wouldn’t be where I am today. I knew just how to smuggle alcohol from my parents’ cabinet, I would pour the poison into a thermal reusable hot cup, then run to my room to escape. The burn of the Red label Jonnie Walker rushing through the back of my throat as it brings up triggering memories. I never preferred whiskey as my choice of poison, it just always ended up that way. My parents only had yellow left in their alcohol cabinet possibly because I drank all the vodka already. Eventually I got used to drinking whiskey lukewarm, I got used to the burn on my lips.
I was good at hiding my damaged mental health. My family and friends never found out because I would only expose my nakedness in my bedroom. Nobody knew I had open wounds internally and externally. I hid them well, long sleeve shirts in the winter and long shorts in the summer. I hid my mental illness so well I hid it from myself. I found nothing wrong with ruining my body with substances and blades. My mind was so twisted I thought it’s a teenager stereotype and all teenagers go through the same thing but just in their own boxes and never in the public eye. My room has a distinct smell from various situations that happened there. The bedroom used to have the smell of spoiled milk and an alcohol factory. The milk incident was a result of an anxiety attack I had while I was holding a bowl of cereal and milk. I still feel the cold milk running down my shaking legs, the way it splattered onto the green carpet. When I close my eyes, I remember the vivid details of events that took me down into this deep rabbit hole. A rabbit hole that went even further down then the one Alice fell through. It’s funny because in tenth grade I was told to write about a character I related most to, with no doubt in my mind I picked Alice from “Alice in Wonderland”. She connected with me because I thought we were both alike. Both lost souls who liked wandering around and getting are heads in things to make pain feel more tolerable. The only difference between us was that I never ended up in wonderland like the iconic Disney movie stated.
I ended up in my own parallel universe. I was in my body but couldn’t feel a thing, as if I was being numbed for months at a time. As I laid in my bed with my face upside down hanging off the side of my bed I couldn’t feel the blood rushing to my head. Having out of body experiences felt like second nature to me. I craved the pain of the razor tearing my virgin skin apart into little detailed shreds. Every marking on my body had a meaning to why it was placed just there. My body was the canvas ready to be painted by the artist. I always loved painting something about starting from nothing to something. I found it beautiful how I can create a picture capturing all that I felt. I craved the feeling of being touched at midnight. When the moon was shining at its brightest, when the rest of the city was sleeping. That is when I liked to be explored and when I was the most vulnerable. The thrill I have got from being with another guy in my bed every night was indescribable. I let myself be broken down into nothingness and I was okay with it. That’s the saddest thing that I must admit “I was okay with it”. I craved anything that made me feel like I was alive. I needed to know I had a heartbeat at every second of the day. The adrenaline of alcohol used to rush straight to my head after the first shot. I remember sitting in the corner of my bedroom, sitting on the floor mapping out how I would execute my life. It was detailed yet had room for the imagination to roam around. My life after that event brought me out of my box, out of my bedroom, away from a “safe zone”. I spent my 16th birthday in a psych ward. It was different, no candles were blown, and no surprise parties were held. No panic attack happened from the anxiety I get when people celebrate me. I was in and out of the hospital for a year, which means I didn’t have my bedroom as a shield from the outside world. In that time, I realized the sentimental value my bedroom held. It was a special place where not only I put my head down to sleep but a place I experienced growing up as a young woman. I knew I needed to change my negative mindset towards my bedroom. I felt a weight being lifted off my shoulders from admitting my wrong doings to myself. I took it upon myself to do whatever I needed to do to get better. I was ready for the adventure of finding my soulful self again, even if that meant packing my bags and going away from my special box for a while. My bedroom brought back triggering feelings for a while. The urges didn’t end right away, it took lots of fighting for to win over my “super demons”. It was hard waking up every morning knowing I will have to use all my energy, just to go through the day without harming myself or others around me. It took many sleepless nights thinking about what the word ‘living’ means to me. Many used journals written all the way to the brim, I found the little things that made me feel better. Guitar was one of the hobbies I picked up for my self-help. I would lock the door and sit on my bed playing guitar all night long. It was really the only thing I was passionate about for a long time. I found it beautiful how you can pick up an instrument and be able to learn so much about music in so many ways. When I played guitar, it made time stop for a while. The way the guitar strings ran through my broken fingers made me feel fixed for a little while. I found my voice which I had lost for what feels like decades. Guitar made me feel grounded, it made me feel powerful and talented. I began writing songs and playing ukulele as well. I gained confidence in myself which really helped my recovery process.
My journey to self-love didn’t happen overnight, it took years. But every step to recovery was a beautiful celebration. A celebration with multicolored candles and confetti. My parents eventually were able to go to sleep without a tear rolling down their cheeks. My three amazing brothers were thrilled to have their big sister back, and I was excited to be there for all of it and be the brilliant daughter and big sister I was born to be. I learnt a lot about myself through the struggles I faced. I realized my room isn’t all mine anymore, instead it’s a room that should be shared with self- love and my friends. It should not be an outlet for lonely nights of self -harm and drinking. A bedroom should be a place where fun memories are made. A place for self-exploration is supposed to happen.
I made it a mission of mine to find myself again. It started out hard and seemed not worth the struggle but eventually my hard work paid off. I enjoyed reading books by my window and dancing to loud music in my room. I finally started to enjoy spending time with myself. The relationship I have now with myself is a special one. I know myself better than anyone knows me. I can walk through life without setting off triggers for myself. Furthermore, I can identify the things that make me happy to be alive and healthy. I feel comfortable in a space by myself and comfortable around my friends. I enjoy the small things in life like sleepovers with my friends and singing in the shower.
The box I put myself into is no longer in my room. Instead it is framed to show how far I’ve come. I don’t regret putting myself in that box, since it taught me a lot about myself and my needs. Yes, I let myself be vulnerable in my room but it taught me how to love my soul. I became comfortable in my own skin and for the first time ever I truly fell in love with myself.
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When I was fourteen I voluntarily put myself in a box. It wasn’t the typical tattered brown box you get delivered to your door that is way too oversized for […]