Like a speeding car, going so fast that it’s almost impossible to control. You feel the pressure against the sole of your foot, the muscles of your calf tensing, as you press down on the pedal bringing it closer to the floor, just a notch at a time, tempting fate just a bit more with each tiny push. Trees and street lights zip past your window and the cabin of the car is illuminated for seconds at a time. The illusion of light, a placebo, an artificial sustitute for the light you long for, the real feeling that has been lost to you for longer than you can remember. Your heart’s beating just a bit faster than it should, your hands gripping the steering wheel so tight that you knuckles have turned white. Your mind in a daze and completely alert at the same time; rationality and logic asleep at the wheel. How can you be so careless? How can you be so irresponsible? You’re dangerously close to losing control; and the thing is, you don’t really care. The adrenaline pulsing in your veins gives you the high you need to feel alive.

You’ve been holding it all in for so long. So many betrayals, so many times when you’ve been treated like shit, so many insults disguised in silver lining, so many times when you were underestimated, taken for granted, considered naïve, fed sugar-coated comments infused with contempt.

You know; but they don’t know that you know. What’s the use in fighting it? What’s to gain in opening your mouth and speaking up? The illusion of ignorance works for you, it gives you peace of mind. If they don’t know, then they can’t expect any more than you willingly give. There’s always something more important going on, something that needs your attention more than you do, someone going through harder times. How can you be so stupid? How can you be so selfish? How can you be so inconsiderate? Are you the only one you care about? Is your happiness so much more important than everyone else’s? They play your guilt like the strings of a harp, only the melody being played is not one you recognize.

How long will you stand for it? How much longer until you blow? You’re ticking like a time-bomb and the clock is running down each second that passes. You’re testing your limits. You’re playing Russian Roulette hoping that the shot that goes off won’t be aimed at you. Control yourself. Keep it all in. Don’t let it get the best of you; there’s much too much to lose. If that beast, the real you, the one you keep hidden in a locked space in the dark, afraid and just barely breathing, gets out, there’s no locking it up again.

The doors are shut tightly, barred and knotted with a rope – control in disguise as something tangible. That rope is so thick you don’t think that there will ever be anything strong and sharp enough to cut it and let everything out. And even if there were, your grip is so tight, nothing can tear the rope keeping the heavy doors shut out of your hands. It’s become too much to bear though. The beast inside is banging itself against that door, adamant on getting out; even if it kills you in the process. It will not stand to be locked up anymore, enough is enough. It wants out, and you consider just freeing it. It’s grown toο big to control anymore. It’s your very own need for freedom. It’s the real you behind that door. And you’ve had enough of being locked away from the world by you.

You can feel the rope wrapped around your hands cut through the skin. Its rough weave burning you as you struggle to keep a hold on it. What if you let go? What if you just let yourself free? The thought crosses your mind. But you don’t listen to that voice. You know it well; it’s the one you must keep silenced so as to keep everything you’ve gained, everything you’ve worked for, strived for, bled for over the years. It’s the one who whispers to you during the night, urging you to take your life into your own hands and relinquish control. It’s getting louder by the moment. You’re straining, teetering on the edge of losing control of all you keep behind that door, so tired, so fed up that you can’t see any worse scenario than the one you’re already in if you do bust those doors wide open.

And so you let go of the rope and drop it to the ground, giving up control.

There’s nothing behind that door. Just the fear of a beast that never did exist in the first place. What once was beating it down is nothing more than a breeze that blows strands of your hair in your face. It was you all along. And now that you’ve lost all control, you’ve finally found what lies beyond the barriers you set up for yourself – you.

Your hand reaches out into the dark beyond what meets the eye, searching for something to grab onto, to hold ontο. If only, so you don’t lose yourself as you lose your self control. It’s just then, though, that you realize there is nothing holding you in place, nothing holding you back.

Light starts to seep through the darkness surrounding you and you only then realize that you’ve been standing there, eyes closed, the whole time. Blinking rapidly, you smile. Everything illuminated, you feel the warmth. Freedom is bright. Finding yourself finally after being lost for so long warms your frozen being, through and through, right down to your very soul.

The illusion of control, yours and what others had on you, has disintegrated, falling apart all around you, like dry, dead skin shedding from the surface of your whole body. That rope, that restraint you gripped so tightly in fear when trying to hold eveything in, is at your feet. It seems so unimportant now that it’s in the dirt.

Control is lost, left behind on the ground. You step over it, taking your first step into a new dawn, a new life, a new you.
You realize that there’s nothing left to lose.
And when there’s nothing to left to lose, you’re finally free to find yourself.

Author: Nikól Peri

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