Katherine Henson, penning as k.e. She self-published her first book, “wildflowers: the first collection” in 2016. Katherine has been writing for as long as she can remember, and it is both her love language and preferred choice of communication. For Katherine, writing has been a way to escape and discover; through body image issues, depression, anxiety, and loss Katherine has used her words as a way to be honest with herself, while also helping others understand that they are not alone.

No One Else Can Play My Part

I have never shared these moments. Never put them into words and sentences. Never opened the wound for the world to venture through.

But today, today I do.

Because I know that I am not alone. 

The road was dark, midnight was coming close, the snow had stopped, but the storm raged in her heart. 
The road stretched further and further out in front of her. The tears crept across every crease of her face and fell into her lap.
The pain wasn't going away. He had left her. He had betrayed her. He had walked away from every promise that touched her soul.
The road kept going, her headlights searching for something more than darkness. 
Heart pounding, eyes closing, hands shifting, body numb. Metal wrapped bark, and silence came again. 

She was gone.

The bottle rolled around in her hand. Who knows what they were this time. All she knew was she didn't like what she had to feel without them. They left her numb, and to her, that was better than the movement of life. 

One, two, six, she lost count. She couldn't remember the last time she was actually happy, but whatever was to come next would wash over her dazed and deadened.

She was gone.

She sat at the end of that twin bed, tightly pushed into the corner of that twelve by twelve dorm room. Hundreds of miles from home. Thousands of miles from reality. Every thing she was in that night was a silent war. Every thing she felt was numbness.

She knew what was next. It was almost reflex. As if when the darkness fell she only knew where to find the blade. That's where the answers were in the darkness. That's what the darkness held; another scar.

Tonight it would be her upper arm. Two years ago it was her thigh. A year from then it would be her stomach. But tonight she traced old, familiar lines of the darkness she had yet to overcome.

She was gone.

Maybe it wasn't always subtle. Maybe ending it wasn't going to come in a single moment. Maybe she couldn't end it in the blink of an eye - but she could make sure that she felt pain. That she could welcome the darkness with open arms and call it home.

She starved herself. She left herself with bruises. She belittled herself. She was reckless. She put herself at the will of men. She closed every avenue of survival. She simply stopped living for survival - she simply stopped living.  

She was gone.

Maybe her greatest attempt to end it all was the silence she lived in. She learned to paint on the perfect smile and fake the prettiest laugh. She knew how to play the game.

She sat there. Surrounded by people who loved her. Memories and laughter floating around the room. A nameless weight called her heart home, and the darkness beckoned her to come back inside. She didn't know who she was anymore; maybe she never knew. 

She was gone.

There was a battle raging on within her own mind, and neither side wanted to survive. Even the darkness seemed to lose the will to wrap her up. Days would come when she wasn't even strong enough to swallow the pill, or retrace the scars. A day when she wasn't even strong enough to die. Living felt like hell, but she was too weak to end it all. 

That is nothing beautiful. Too weak to fight and too weak to die. 

But that is what she lived. That is what she walked in. That is what she breathed in every morning when she rolled out of bed - a prayer that today would be the day she was strong enough to end it all.

She was gone.

I can't tell you where it all started. I can't even tell you that I've slayed the beast. I am still fighting the last mile of that darkness. I am still waking up and wishing it to end. 

But here is the difference - I am still fighting. I don't know where all the pain, anxiety, insecurities, and darkness started, and I don't know when it will end. Maybe it never will. Maybe I will spend the rest of my life fighting that last mile. BUT the fight sets me apart. 

No one else can play my part because no one else knows the rendition I am living. No one else can write the moments and stories that I can. No one else can remind me of what it felt like to suffocate from my own existence, and what it felt like to finally breathe again.
No one else can play my part because no one else can fight that last mile of darkness. 

Maybe the moral of the story isn't that I just wasn't strong enough to dieMaybe the moral of the story isn't that I just have to suck it up and live. Maybe the moral of the story isn't that I'm just another broken and weak human being.

Maybe the moral of the story is that all along I was simply proving to myself that I was strong enough to survive. Maybe the moral of the story is that despite the blanket of darkness I wrapped myself in, I was always strong enough, brave enough, and worthy enough of surviving. Maybe the moral of the story is me - a surviving battle, a reminder of better days to come, a shout of overcoming. 

No one else can play my part because I am the moral of my own story.

As I write these words, the only thing holding tears from falling is the hustle and bustle of life around me. My heart pounds with each letter and each vivid memory of the times I tried to end it all. The pain is still real. The scars still burn. The knot in my throat still tightens. 

I am still here today. I am still fighting today.
But there were times when all I knew was that I did not want to be here today, that I did not want to keep fighting. 
These moments are still raw for me; inscribed on my heart with a reminder that the darkness is real.
BUT they are a living, breathing, anthem that I am stronger than that darkness - that no one else can play my part.

never meant to survive

a love letter to the heartbroken sixteen year old