In Their Own Words


When will it end? When can I feel whole?

Do I only continue to chase these standards?
But what if I falter? I fall below? How will I ever get back on my feet?

I try again and again, to strive for the best but this constant pressure built on perfection is bound to fail me.
When I reach mediocrity, when I reach the bottom, in what way do I go up?
Will my sense of self be gone the harder I work? Once I mute emotions, screaming for escape?
When will I stop?

I want to stop. I want this world to stop.
But it is not possible; the one that I hope for the most.
The unrealistic, the break in this cycle – never to be found.

This bespoke box I have carved for myself over the years is denting. The craft I’ve worked hard to create, the perfectly planned process to adulthood, ready for me to follow.
No diversions I hear, keep yourself locked, keep the face of certainty, even when met with uncertainty, all that you’ve done is mere nothing to what the real world holds.

But all of these emotions? This tension, this choking pressure of the cold, harsh water, suffocating me as I fail to reach the surface is only the beginning?
If that is so, I rather opt to not take part in the future. A future destined for me to fail.

My body is weak, my mind weaker, nothing seems worth it, nothing as far as I can see.


I tear at my skin to feel, but then I wake up every day and I don’t want to feel.
I am not alone in my mind. There are thoughts, voices, the ones that once praised me for my achievements; the same ones shunning, loathing me, for my inadequacy, for being unable to keep up; For being a failure.

I yell, I purge, I push out, I hurt others; unbeknownst to them my actions are of the cage I am trapped in.

I say I want to leave this state, this numbness, this damage I’ve taken to the point of my death, But truthfully?
I lose the strength to leave.
I have no more feeling left to change, to feel what is to be felt.
Everything becomes too much, and I can’t help but feel alone, sick of myself and everything around me.

Things are so much louder when it’s quiet.
But even with this solitude I crave, I fear being alone.

How do I find strength within myself to hold on, to keep going with days and keep this cycle continuing?
I don’t know who I am or who I’m supposed to be, but the blood and scars comfort me.

I’m holding on like an autumn leaf, as the seasons change, my strength leaves.
My thoughts are beyond me succeeding in academics,
I want to be free from these shackles, away from everything,
but I know, it cannot be.

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Harshika Lumare

Grade 11

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