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  • "My brain chemistry, my childhood trauma, my self-harming behavior are not my identity." The Beth Gilstrap killing it, killing me, in "When I Feel My Breath Start To Go" at Little Fiction|Big Truths.

    You may find "When I Feel My Breath Start To Go" here, though there is excerpt below as well, because no excerpt just doesn't seem right.

    January, 2018

    My partner and I have gotten into another argument and I have retreated to my bedroom. I’ve hung white lights over my bed like a valance to make it seem less sad that we are sleeping apart. A print with a Dumbledore quote. Paper snowflake lanterns. Polka dot linens. But the space can’t save the moment. I curl myself as small as I can on the far side of the bed. Knees into chest. Hands in fists on the top of my head. My whole body tightens and coils. I cannot stop crying. I almost vomit. In my head, a thought on repeat. Don’t hurt yourself. I squeeze my hands as hard as I can, leaving deep crescent marks in my palms. My partner puts his hand on my shoulder. I tell him I don’t deserve comfort, but my words are so jumbled he doesn’t understand. I layer up and walk. Sometimes, it’s all I know to do: walk until my brain quiets. I walk in twenty-degree weather for an hour until he comes to find me. Makes me get in the car. I thank him for coming to get me. I take my Clonazepam and Celexa and try to sleep myself better. I stay in bed for two more days.