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Demons. Lurking in the shadows. Hiding under our beds. Creeping up from behind us. Waiting to jump at us. An endless stalk from the dark corners in the world around us, and the deep recesses of our minds. You can’t run from it, and even if you do it will somehow return. A little stronger than before, a little more vicious, a little hungrier. Everyone is haunted by a personal demon. Each unique and distinct, almost bespoke tailored to their owner. Feeding on hopes and dreams, wants and needs, aspirations and goals. It’s an endless battle to keep it or them at bay or lest be swallowed whole by the endless abyss.
I’ve always thought that I’m unstoppable. Like a force of nature, or a typhoon. I’ve always been in a rush to do something non-discriminant thing or achieve some goal of sorts. Never quite taking the time to realise where I am and what I’m doing. Essentially always making sure my demons never caught up to me. I guess I instinctively knew that if I slowed down and they caught up, I would shut down. But no one can run from anything forever, its just not feasible. I got burnt out, not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. That’s when my demons just launched themselves at me.
My demons aren’t and were not kind. They tore me apart worse than any failure of physical injury ever could. It was a lifetime worth of turmoil finally hitting me as hard as it could in the stomach. I keeled over in pain and hit the floor, and I didn’t get up for two years. All my failed aspirations, dead dreams, lost hopes and wishes that never came true are genuinely more awful when I gave them some acknowledgement. Funnily enough, after all that utter crap finally hit me, after all those demons finally got what they wanted I didn’t recognise myself anymore. I was a shadow of who I was, my confidence tanked, my ego shrank, my desire to keep pushing forward all but left me. It was almost as if I had completely forgotten who I was and what I stood for. Unfortunately, it made me awful to be with and be around.
Essentially the whole time I lived in India, I was consumed by my demons. It made me an awful person to be with an around. I always felt a little hollow, like my orbit was off-centre. I tried replacing it with more goals and dreams but that massively backfired and pushed me closer towards an abyss I would never have escaped from. I tried replacing it with a person, someone I cared about. But in retrospect, that wasn’t the smartest idea either. My life should never have been revolved around someone else. It ended up wrecking a lot between the both of us; more dreams, more hopes and a vision for the future. Everything I tried just added to the turmoil. Inevitably when that backfired on me, I was even more lost and even more hollow. Ever pulling myself closer to that dark, dark place.
Thankfully, I got granted a miracle. I got accepted into university in England. A clean slate. A fresh start. When I arrived, I slowly started to build myself back up to what and who I was before the tsunami of emotional shit hit me. I was essentially starting from scratch, a blank canvas with a rough outline drawn in pencil almost. Layer by layer, I painted who I wanted to be. Building myself up slowly, with each layer of paint. Ironically as grew and developed in that first-year of university, I confronted the demons that haunted me, tearing them apart the same manner through which they did to me.
Slowly, bit by bit, piece by piece, my substance started to come back me. I wasn’t hollow anymore, I wasn’t sat by that abyss. I started to feel like the force of nature I was, all those long years ago. A tad slower, and much, much smarter. The scars of emotional trauma are lifelong and serve as a reminder of how bad things can really become. It’s something I will acknowledge for the rest of my life, to make sure I never let things become that awful and toxic ever again.
My demons never left me though. I never really expected them to. I guess I never really wanted them to either. It’s comforting in an almost twisted way. But if my demons are chasing me, then I must be doing something right with my life. Adapting to what’s thrown at me instead of conforming the plan of a 10-year-old version of myself, who thought they knew what the world around them really was. Sure enough, I don’t run from them anymore. I look at the bastards dead in the eye, grab them by the balls and tell them to fuck right off.
I might not be unstoppable, or invincible. But I will achieve what I strive to do, and my fears and broken dreams will never stop me. Life’s just too short for that.