It had always been easier to write about anguish…

It had always been easier to write about anguish. It was the most distinct feeling, even while being the most ambiguous. Either way, it pushed the words out, regardless of whether or not it all even meant anything.

The pain of it was riddling. It always was; impossible to figure out and incapacitating. It came over in waves, and it took only seconds for the tide to reach its peak. There was no warning. There was no solution. There was only emotion, which asked only to ebb and flow as it pleased. Such things could never be controlled.

The beginning of the wave stemmed from the shifting of tectonic plates deep within her heart. The pain was viscous, overwhelming, impossible to swim in. It rose like bile from the chest to the throat, strangling, ready to choke, further up to the nose, which rejected it – and sniffling was the result – and then to the eyes, which watered with emotion, and afterwards, to the head, which frizzled with painful discomfort. Anguish spread like a wave, like a virus. As a wise man said through a wise character, this was the thing about pain: it demanded to be felt.

Those unfamiliar with it would never truly understand how absolutely crippling it was. It required its own space. When her hand eventually cramped up from the writing, the only other options were the foetal position and the “knees-to-chest with arms wrapped around the calves” position. Neither was preferable. Neither was appropriate. But the worst part was the eyes. Those stared clear and true at nothing. Anguish incorporated the art of looking without seeing: of functional blindness. It commanded the monopoly of her senses like an attention-hogging toddler. Pain demanded to be seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled, stroked, to encompass completely. And she got mad when people did not know how to respect her space.

After writing till the climax where her hand ceased to work, the only remedy was to last it out. On lucky days, sleep claimed her. On others, the only thing to do was to wait for low tide; for the tyrant called pain to release its grips on her heart and promise to be back soon, to relieve her of her well-deserved comfort.


[I wrote this in July of 2015 – for those of you who are ready to begin bombarding my inbox and DMs with “What’s wrong?”s. I’m not ready to start explanations.]

3 thoughts on “It had always been easier to write about anguish…

  1. What if… what if pain is the only drain that could move you to spill out your emotions, which in our eyes is a mosaic of beautifully crafted words?
    What if your pain is the only stain that is conspicuous enough to let the fabric of society know when it’s gone wrong?
    My dear, what if pain demands to be felt because pain is the paradox of gain and in the pain, we learn strength of spirit, strength of character, and for you, strength of voice.
    What if the survival of pain is antecedent to greatness of survival?
    After all, they’re what-ifs so they may not really matter.
    But what really does matter is that in your pain we have seen something beautiful; we have heard a voice that speaks out in amplitudes of insight; we have seen a personality that stands out; we have seen a misfit that blooms; we have seen a special kind of anomaly…

    Then again, what if?

  2. I’ve often wondered
    why misery inspires
    the most beautiful art.
    Maybe it’s God’s
    desperate attempt
    to balance the scale

    – Efo Dela

    Something I wrote a while back

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