Plato once quoted Socrates as saying "By means of beauty, all beautiful things become beautiful". I believe the same can be applied by means of ugly. If it is poured into you enough, the words whispered and bounced around in your mind on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis, then you become what is spoken. Ugly.
In every life, there is a memory so monumental, a moment so great, that time seems to stand still. What happens though, if you become stuck in that moment, if that very memory of wretchedness wraps its cold wet tendrils around your heart so firmly that every breath you take brings you back there again? What if all the colors that were once so vibrant fade to shades of grey, the birds stop singing, and your happiness is sucked into a vacuum of mangled memories?
If the ugliness of 'what was' serves as your everyday foundation, seeping into your thoughts, the very words you utter, and every person becomes the enemy, then what? Simply put, you stop living, forget that you're breathing, that there is a heart pumping an essence into veins filled with a life that you cease to notice; it is no longer a tangible existence, rather a memory of what was.
Since finding my way back to life, I often look at others, those who once blended into the landscape of my own misery-unnoticed by someone breathing the same dead air-and I wonder if they even realize how accustomed they have become to carrying the dead-weight of pain and misery around?
Therapists (and those who pretend to be) look at an overweight person and say "eating to cover their pain", when they truly have no idea that it's not a means to mask, rather a way to feed the hurt, give it fuel in order to have a moments reprive from the gnawing hunger of emptiness buried deep within a starving soul.
Over-eatering, alcoholism, self-mutilation...regardless the addiction, it is born of a need, an attempt to grab onto something a world of gray cannot name, will not allow you to grasp hold of.
How do I know? Because I've been there, done that. That girl you see stuffing another morsel into her already overstuffed cheeks, is me. That person sneaking a bottle of liquid spirit into a shopping cart, furtively looking around to see if anyone noticed, is me. That teenager walking around with self inflicted battle scars running up and down their arm, me again.
Don't judge, don't judge, don't judge! Every addiction, every bit of baggage we choose to drag around, is born of a need, a way to grasp hold of life, regardless how tentative that very hold may be.
Whether someone is holding on with all 10 fingers, or just one, it doesn't matter. It's the moment they loosen the grip that our chance to reach out and help has passed.
Tell me, if you look into the eyes of desperation today, regardless of the body they belong to, what will you do? Turn and walk away, or offer a smile/word of encouragement?
"By means of beauty, all beautiful things become beautiful". What are your means? They can be the very thing that starts time for someone whose clock of life froze in a moment of pain.