The Hidden Blade


Sleep was quite mediocre. No exercise, barely ate, drank alcohol. My body was probably somewhat ungrateful today for the way I treated it. However, the meeting with Tom was quite interesting for me. He now lives in Japan, is married and researches AI security. Cool shit. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my life together and get anything done. Yeah. So many people, so different paths in life, and mine is kind of insane. Maybe I should classify it based on how many times I’ve taken the knife in the last few months. Although: better not. The answer to that might unsettle me. Or depress me. Or both. Probably both. I have always pondered how to explain to bystanders what the appeal of the blade is. I was never one of those people who deliberately inflicted such injuries that left lasting marks on themselves. I didn’t want to be one of those people who were accused of just wanting attention. I did not want scars revealing that I was often not master of my own emotions. Nevertheless, there were always moments when I needed the blade to create an antidote to emotional despair. Because this is precisely what it represents for me and probably many others: a sort of counterweight creating a pain which can be controlled. A pain that numbs the emotional chaos for a short moment and distracts from one’s own thoughts, fears and demons. As soon as the tip of the blade touches the naked skin and the pressure on it increases, everything else fades into the background for a redeeming moment. This is the reason I have so often reached for the knife in the past whenever I saw no other way out. It is always easy for an outsider to condemn others for their actions, to insinuate that their subjective feelings of suffering have no meaning and could never justify such destructive behaviour. I have experienced so much emotional despair over the years. Not only my own, but other people’ s as well. A not inconsiderable number of them were also all too familiar with the use of a blade. With about 18 million people with mental illness in this country alone, it is hardly surprising that probably more people have already had closer acquaintance with a blade than one might generally assume. It is always easy to condemn those affected and dismiss them as too weak or incapable. However, it is easy to overlook the fact that these people consciously inflict injuries on themselves because their emotional pain is significantly worse. A pain with which they may have to struggle every day. For years. Those who are still alive in spite of all this, who have perhaps even somehow managed to maintain a halfway steady life, are probably many things, but definitely not weak. We often forget far too quickly that behind every decision a person makes there are countless factors that lead to it. From our limited observer’s perspective, it is impossible to recognize them all. Instead of judging, we should try to get a better understanding. It is easy to feel superior because you think that only those who are weak suffer. But superiority does not arise from stagnation within one’s own empathic cluelessness, but much more from recognizing how limited our self is in its perception. We need less ignorance, but much more the search for causes and insights. A credo that is applicable to every area of life without exception. Well. It took me a lot longer than usual to write these words. Because they mean so much to me. But also because a slightly altered version of them will end up on Facebook. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, but it feels like a sensible decision for me. Maybe someone will recognize oneself in it and can take a little vigour out of it. Maybe someone will understand that they are not as weak as they often feel. This is something I have to work on every day, too. At times with more, at others with less success, simply a constant process. But it is a necessary one. I’ve been through so much shit over the years and no matter what my head tries to tell me, I know I’m not a total failure.

You are a decent human being. Behave accordingly.

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