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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

Dear Demon

Thank you. It would seem unnatural to thank something that destroyed me. What good have you ever done in my life? When I was done with you I was dead. I was still breathing but the “life” inside of me was gone. So why the fuck do I feel the need to thank you? I guess because you gave me my life. Strange don’t you think, that something that almost killed me is directly responsible for my life? But it is. If it were not for you, where I am right now would be different. You taught me that even at a young age, when you are so scared of consequences, that people will help. All you have to do is ask. Unfortunately, as with many of us, asking is a lesson we quickly forget. As quickly as you were gone you came back. This time you were stronger, smarter. You came prepared not to leave. You smirked and tightened your grip even more every time I even thought about breaking up with you.

You teased me with the feeling of being numb. You took away my pain once. Once was all I needed to want more. No one told me that you would never take the pain away again. Instead I chased the feelings of our first encounter, day after day. You took away my dreams and replaced them with nightmares. Soon the nightmares became visions that I could not escape even when I was awake. The only way out was you. When I was with you the visions were gone. Everything was at peace. But you already knew that. That is how you gained control. Through false promises and false hope. You were not really taking the pain away. You were just hiding it from me.

I must tell you that you were the best teacher I have ever had. Even with all my years of schooling, I learned more from you than anyone else. You taught me the ugly sides of life. You taught me how to hurt people emotionally, and even worse, physically. Maybe emotionally was worse. I do not know because you taught me that it was OK. You told me that they wanted me to be alone, that they did not care. I now know that it was you who wanted me to be alone. You were selfish. You wanted me all to yourself. You taught me how to spend money faster then I could make it. You took every cent I had and when that was not enough for you I let you steal every cent I made. You taught me to say fuck you to the workforce. Not many places will hire a strung out addict who can’t sit still and never shows up on time anyway, so it was good that I lost the drive to work. But that meant I had to find new ways to afford our time together. There are many shameful ways. You taught me each one of them. Ways that I will never forget. You taught me how to lie. You were so good at that lesson that I even began to believe myself!! Kudos to you for that lesson. That was not an easy task. You taught me that I could control my body. I could sleep or wake on demand. But I do not remember much sleeping. You did not like to sleep. You taught me how to function without sleep. You taught me the biology of the human body. Not many people know where all of their veins are. Not may people know how to monitor their heart rate. Not many people know how to function when seeing multiple. You taught me all of that. You taught me that eating was hobby, not a necessity. I learned very quickly how to go through the days with nothing in my stomach.

Just when I thought I was done learning, you guessed it, you had more lessons for me. You taught me that I did not have to care about myself. You had enough care for the both of us. You taught me that possessions are just that. Who needs them? Not me. All I needed was you. That lesson has translated well into my current life. I do not long for the things I can’t have. Instead I appreciate what I do have.

In turn you taught me more. But not without a cost. First you did everything in your power to make me yours. You built a wall between my family and me. A wall that looked impossible to climb. But it was not impossible. When you finally exhausted the fight in me, my family took over. After years of sitting back and feeling helpless, they joined the fight. Because of you I learned that nothing is stronger than love, not even you. Love breaks walls. You taught me the importance of family and we have never been closer. Because of your stingy behaviors, you drove countless friends away. But that is OK. You taught me the difference between a real friend and a fake friend. Real friends still stand next to me despite you being a part of my life. You taught me to destroy enemies. Anyone who told me I was wrong got ripped to pieces. Anyone who hurt me felt my anger tenfold. School? What was that? Oh, I was there. But I was there with you. I learned that school is not important if you do not care about yourself. You were very good at teaching me how to hate myself. With you I learned how to feel like a piece of shit. I learned how to feel like a stepping stone that the world throws away. I learned how to be alone. I am sure I can think of many more lessons but you were there. You were the teacher. You remember.

You blinded me with your love and taught me that no matter what, you would always be there for me. So I trusted you. I gave you all of me. Family, friends, school, jobs, money, possessions. I gave it all away for you. I loved you. I thought you loved me. But none of that was not enough for you. You needed more to feed your ego. You needed to make sure that I knew just how much you cared. But what else could you possibly take away as payment for the peace you brought me? The simple answer, you took me away. The core of who I was and who I had made myself to be.

You took away the sparkle in my eye and replaced it with a black that no one could see through. You took away the muscle I had worked so hard to develop. You took away my ability to look at myself in the mirror. I could not stand to see the skin and bones I had become. You took away my mind. Visions and thoughts that would scare even the best of us. Still not enough for you? Of course not. It was time to take away memories, then the ability to form new memories. You took away the ability to function. Without you I could do nothing. When I did not have you I hurt. I hurt so bad that all I could think about was without you I would rather be dead. You made me crazy. My body was beaten, bruised and bleeding. My teeth rotting away. My heart strained beyond belief. You tore me down, broke me into a million pieces. You rebuilt me into a machine that housed you instead of a body that housed me.

The only thing left to give you was my life. I did not fear death. You taught me that suicide was the only way out. Fuck it, right? At that moment something inside of me began to burn. I do not care about death, but I am not ready to die. It was time to end our relationship. It was time to find myself again.

Physically removing you from my life was the most painful thing I have ever done. Everything hurt. All I could do was lay there and cry. And cry I did. For weeks and weeks. Once the pain was gone I learned that there were other people that you did this to. They became my real friends. That’s right, you were never a real friend. You were one of those fake fucks that was only there for convenience. With their help I picked my weak and broken body up and began to reverse everything that you did. My memory slowly came back. I learned how to eat and sleep again. I was able to hide the bones with fat again. I learned the comfort of a bed. As days turned into months, I was able to get a job. I was able to focus in school. I was able to graduate. I got everything back. The entire time you did a great job hiding from the blame. You managed to make everyone think it was my fault. You did a great job of making people think that I am a piece of shit. That I am loser that can never amount to anything. You did a great job of making everyone think that you were a choice. You have demonized me and that is a burden that I will forever carry.

Years were gone and you were a memory. Never gone but far enough away for me to be safe. Or so I thought. You came back with a vengeance. At what took years for you to take from me the first time only took weeks this time around. Once again you asked for my life. Once again I said no. Now I know to be careful. I can no longer think that I am safe. When I do, you come back stronger. You taught me that it does not matter how long I have removed you from my life, you can come back any time I get weak. So I no longer count how long it has been since we last played your game. Instead I wake up clean, fight to go to bed clean, and fight to do it all over again. Days are easier to control than weeks, months or years.

I have witnessed more death than anyone my age should. All with you of course. You wouldn’t have had it any other way. Death is your hobby after all. You showed me over and over in my nightmares what was to become of me. Loss, pain, anger, death. Those are the only things you know. You lied. You still live inside of me. Inside of me as memories. You are in my nightmares. You scare me more then anything in this world. My mind will never fully recover from you and your game. I can never put back every last piece of me. You caused to much destruction. But that’s OK. You were only doing as you promised. Allowing me to escape from my misery.

So thank you. Thank you for all the bad you have done. You see, there is a silver lining. You gave me the drive I needed to prove everyone wrong. Because of you, I fight day after day. I now have a beautiful and supporting wife, family, two wonderful children, a good paying job, a house and so much more. Hopes and dreams. Everything anyone could ever ask for. I have all of that because you told me I couldn’t. I proved you wrong and every day for the rest of my life I will prove everyone else wrong. I do not need possessions or money. I no longer need you to help me hide from the pain of my past, the abuse of my father, the memory of watching my friend take his last breath at age 13. I no longer need you to help me hide from the things that I fucked up and the things that I should have done. All I need is to remember is what death looked like when you showed it to me. Showing me death was your biggest mistake. You are the most dangerous part of my life. It’s funny that I used to think you were a gift. You are not a gift. You are a demon that lives inside of me. You are curse. A curse that will never go away, at least not while I am breathing and I refuse to stop breathing.

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