Beautiful despair

In the background, sketch of a woman in B&W. In front, color wheel.
Zlatka Paneva, My Emotions Be Like… via Saatchi. Alt text available.

When you are suicidal — which is to say, when you are in pain so big you want to die — you feel ugly. You see yourself through other people’s eyes and you see ugliness: neediness, despair, pleading, immense vulnerability. There is nothing about these states our culture deems beautiful. They are all marked in the most negative way possible. All of them. We run away from needy, desperate people. All of us.

There are excellent reasons for this so I won’t judge us, the running-away-ers, but if we are those who are needy and desperate, it makes our pain infinitely more intolerable. Infinitely. We want to die to avoid the shame of this seeing ourselves like this. The rejection. The humiliation (it often comes to being preached at, condescendingly).

This is something we can avoid. Yes, we are needy. Yes, we are desperate. Yes, we are pleading and vulnerable and others treat us like spoiled and annoying children. All of this, yet we are beautiful. In the face of a culture that devalues pain, we are beautiful. We are the counterculture. We are the heroes. We are precious rocks and bird and flowers. We are fucking gorgeous.

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