This Interminable War

Lulu Salvaterra
Because suddenly…
My thoughts became a bit deeper
My screams became a bit louder
And my light became a bit dimmer
It’s an odd thing to watch yourself slip away
A peculiar sensation the deprivation provides
But there isn’t an instant realization of the destruction you’ve caused
Even with the world around you pleading for you to stop
Your head praises you for the way you’re disappearing
Its’ validation only igniting the flames you use to burn each calorie
And yet that sense of delusive contentment that that millisecond of validation provides
Somehow makes you forget about the interminable despair your world is now constructed of
But yet the validation does not equate to satisfaction
For it will never be enough
I do not believe I am sick I thought
As my heart began to slow,
vision went black,
And my world went silent
I have to be good enough I thought
And even as they asked me what good enough would be
I couldn’t tell you
All I could tell you was it was something that I was not
Something that I was misled into thinking would be attainable by manipulation
That ruining my health would result in wealth
And laying in a hospital bed at the age of 13, was a step towards being enough
I turned into an engine only running off the validation of others
Hoping that draining myself would soon nourish my dismantled soul
And the world would serve my worth to me like I served it my joy…
It was not a fair trade
It morphed from a way to change my body to a way to change my being
It provided a sensation of stillness as my world disintegrated
Only hiding from the fact that it was the executioner of this hurt
And I hate it for what it did
But I long for the feeling of deprivation it gives
And I’m ashamed for missing the storm
But sometimes being stuck inside can be even more warm

Lulu Salvaterra is from California. She is 17 years old and a junior in high school at South Pasadena High School. Throughout her life, she has used writing to express herself. She struggled with speaking growing up and so writing became a way to speak without having to say anything. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others open up about their own struggles with mental health and inspire them to utilize the power of writing.

"Hospital Bed" by jeffadair is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!