Some nights, I choose to do my dishes without wearing any gloves.
Though I know my hands will not thank me for this choice later, I know that sometimes, this is the best thing that I could do for myself.
It helps me remind myself that pain is indeed real
And what it’s like to actually be able to feel again.
That hot water is indeed hot, no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise.
Letting the hot water flow over your fingertips puts you back in touch with reality once it starts to escape you.
It’s like touching your hand to the hot stove to remind yourself that pain is a real, tangible thing.
It’s not just in your head.
None of this is just in your head.
Sometimes, we need to peel the covers back,
And see things for what they really are.
Take off all of the layers between you and the truth.
Feel the way the heat seeps into your veins
And the redness the water leaves behind on your skin.
But also, take note of how sometimes, the pain isn’t visible, it’s only felt.
You know the water is hot.
It is burning you,
But you are not on fire.
You do not have scars to show
Or ash to dust off.
But this does not mean that you haven’t suffered.
This does not mean that there wasn’t trauma.
What no one can see is how you have been trying to scrub off the dead skin for years, but it just won’t leave.
And what no one can see is just how much ash you are actually sitting in.
You are suffocating,
And no one even knows it.
Pain doesn’t have to be visible to be real.
If it hurt you,
If you felt it,
Then it happened.
It was real.
And no one has the right to try to convince you otherwise.