Hashtags

Leelu Ravi
Hashtags

“I go to Instagram
and tap
the hashtags
#cutting, #depressed and #suicidal
#self-hating #starving #breaking
#fat #ugly #loser #trash”

I go to Instagram

and tap

the hashtags

#cutting, #depressed and #suicidal

 

#self-hating #starving #breaking
#fat #ugly #loser #trash

#42.5pounds #goal

And see the pictures of cuts

some still bright-red and bleeding and drip

Dripping

Dripping

Drip

 

Some are dried up and closing, but the caption is

@screamingforair: I’m thinking of opening

 

Comments range from

@sui.cidal: I’m there for you bby

to

@re_cover_y: what’s wrong I’m here to talk if you need me

 

and sometimes there are replies by the user

usually hearts and ‘thank you’s,

but usually, there are no replies by the user

which means that

they are too wrapped up in their own agony to accept help from the outside

and who can blame them? In the real world

if you don’t care about yourself then no one will

Yet still–

Yet still, I say, “I love you, you’re in my prayers, please put those blades down. You don’t know how strong you are, and you make COUNTLESS NUMBERS of people smile everyday, even if you don’t see it. You are gorgeous and beautiful and nothing can change that, so stay strong! I love you.”

 

It seems fake, but it isn’t.

Every single word I type, I mean.

I know that they bring joy to other people’s lives even if they’re not happy.

I know that they’re strong to be this scared and vulnerable and broken and to still live life,

every

single

day.

They are gorgeous, they are beautiful

even the shadowed, baggy eyes and emotionless expressions in the photos they post don’t change that.

And I do love them, even if I have never met them.

I don’t want them to draw blades on their skin ever again.

Even though sometimes it seems in vain to wish it

I still wish it

and wish it desperately.

While I’m saying

Scars are beautiful, because they show struggle overcome. But please, no fresh cuts.

Don’t post emoji of pills and skulls.

I don’t know if you want to, or are going to, or wish to, but please, elaborate

because I AM SO SCARED FOR YOU

a life lost

here

there

scattered like falling snow

‘Life lost’ seems like a euphemism, and it is

what ‘life lost’ really means is

screaming and sobbing and rejection and desolation

and terror.

He’s quaking.

She’s so scared.

A mix of resolve and ambulance sirens and heart monitors

Beep

Beep

and no more beeps.

This isn’t just a life lost, this is human agony at its very worst.

WHY CAN’T YOU WAKE UP AND NOTICE?

 

Anyway, moving on to the posts of the girls and guys with eating disorders

they are all protruding hipbones and mirrors without faces, without heads, from the shoulders down to about mid-thigh.

(Figures that would be beautiful,

beautiful, thin or fat or otherwise)

 

@fat.ugly.loser says: I can’t believe I ate so much I feel like a whale #fat #ugly #anorexic

and because there are no visible cuts and scars and agony

the positive comments on these are a little less than the ones on the cutting posts.

But once you know what to say, then it’s easy to say it.

I tell them ‘you are gorgeous,’ because they ARE gorgeous

I tell them ‘you are not fat,’ because they are NOT fat or even close to fat

 

 

and also because, honestly, there’s a set thing to say for self-haters and cutters,

a guideline, a way to format that will not fail you,

but eating disorders seem like a whole different ballpark and you don’t want to trigger something

so scared of failure, no one attempts…

 

But once you know what to say, then it’s easy to say it.

I tell them ‘you are gorgeous,’ because they ARE gorgeous

I tell them ‘you are not fat,’ because they are NOT fat or even close to fat

I tell them ‘I love you’, because I do love them, and all I want them to do is to see themselves as I see them– gods and goddesses, with strong wings beating against the scary demons trying to get them down, supreme and glowing in their strength!

But even if I tell them, they will not believe me…

 

And the last kind, with no cuts or hipbones or pills or guns

are the ones which simply say

@marie_the_wreck: I hate myself i’m so fat and so ugly and i don’t deserve anything. no one wants to even talk to me in real life, they think all i am is weird.

 

I comment: They might think you’re weird, but I think you’re amazing! You deserve every good thing in this world, don’t say that you don’t. You aren’t fat, but even if you were your prettiness wouldn’t be affected at all. You are NOT worthless, you are NOT a waste of space, and I love you.

These are easier for many to deal with more than the ED and the self-harm posts

because everyone, at some point, even if for a fleeting second, believes this about themselves

The only strand holding this spool of thread together

is the positive comments from either the recovering users

or the users that peer into the yawning chasm and try to rescue everybody inside.

Which is me.

That’s me.

When I feel useless, or a waste of space

having a bad day or a failed test and when I’m in absolute shambles

helping others not feel useless helps me not feel useless

The opposite of a grave digger

I dig people out of their future graves

or at least I try.

It seems like a hopeless job, what with so many people who hate themselves

and most of them will not, or cannot take inspirational messages

but if my words

can give them one more day of staying clean

a sign not to kill themselves

or simply bring a smile or a burst of warmth in their bleak life

if I can help them a little bit,

even a little bit,

then it is worth it.

The pen is mightier than the blade.

 

 

 

 

 

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