Tuesday, December 31, 2013

what happened...

Have you ever looked in the mirror and been shocked by what you saw? Staring at the face you see every morning and night while brushing your teeth, or applying mascara, or brushing out your hair, and being astounded by the change in the reflection -- a change you didn't even see happening.

This happens often now. I look at the face I thought I knew perfectly, because it's mine -- the change is terrifying.

The eyes no longer sparkle and smile -- they're dull and frightened. The forehead is no longer smooth -- it's scrunched up and worried all of the time. The lips are chapped and pinched, instead of soft and full. All of the skin is tight with anxiety, the cheeks are hollow, and the eyes are only bright when they're filled with tears.

It's a face I don't recognize.

I sometimes stare at this stranger in the mirror and wonder what happened. When did I become so frightened, so sad, so hopeless?

"What's happening to you?"

I've literally asked her this question. The girl in the mirror offers no response. She just stares back at me, until I'm completely freaked out and I shut myself in my room, far from any reflections or reminders.

I don't even know who I am anymore.

Monday, December 30, 2013

i don't get it...

Often when discussing personal problems, I get told, "Just be grateful for what you have and then life will be happier for you."

It's always seemed like great advice, and so I've taken it multiple times. Given the numerous stories and testimonies shared on the subject, it seems like it should work great.


Maybe it's that I'm naturally pessimistic (or as one professor called me, a true nihilist -- I still resent that), or maybe it's because my world seems incredibly dark right now. Or maybe I'm trying too hard?

For some reason, counting my blessings instead of sheep not only keeps me up at night, but it also triggers high levels of anxiety and ever more frequent feelings of emptiness. As counting sheep merely bores me, I've started preferring that to listing good things that happened during the day or ticking off the things I've been given -- boredom feels better than emptiness.

Saying that it's simply listing good things isn't the process, mind you. You've got to sincerely foster an appreciation for the things, people, and opportunities placed in your life. And I've tried that. I've tried looking around at my life and truly appreciating what I have -- sometimes I even find myself thinking, "Wow. Look at you -- you're one lucky girl." And I believe it.

Then, right after that, the pain starts again, the emptiness becomes a choking cord around my throat, and the dark closes in, heavy and cold.

Somehow, being grateful for good things brings horrible, devastating guilt. It's as though by attempting to feel happiness, the sadness deepens. Light and joy seem far above my head, and either the floor beneath my feet is dropping at a rapid pace, or my arms are shrinking: either way, I can't reach what I desire. Instead of feeling my chin lift hopefully, I feel a weight increase until I can barely stand, arms wrapped tight around me as I hold myself together on the floor.

Why? I don't understand it. I don't understand how searching for happiness -- maybe not even happiness, but just some relief -- and doing all of the good things I can do only makes things feel worse.

I don't get it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I'm too tired to talk.

People ask me if I want to talk, how they can help. It's exhausting. Talking, that is.

All I can do is cry.

It's not a silent kind of quiet. It's the sitting curled up in corners and chairs, tears streaming down my cheeks and sniffling to keep my nose from running. People ask if I'm okay, if they see me -- no. I'm not. Do you want to talk?


I can't bear the advice anymore. I can't bear the lists of how hard things are for other people (you think I don't know that life is hard for everyone? you think I don't feel trapped because I can't help other people more?) and how it seems to become a competition for who has it worse. I know your life is hard. I get it. Why did you ask if I want to talk, anyway?

I can't bear the criticism -- I'm so afraid of it that I can't speak. I can't even take the encouragement. I can't handle the "chin up," the "buck up," the "grow up and get over it."

Nothing's changing. I'm doing everything I know to do, and some things I don't know to do (if that even makes sense). Nothing's changing.

I can't bear the torrent of emotions that will break out of me if I speak. I can't cry that hard for that long -- I don't have time. I don't have the desire. It won't change anything.

I'm not brave. I'm not special. I'm not important. I'm not different from any other person -- I get that.

It'd be nice, though, if someone just didn't say anything. Didn't expect me to say anything. Just for a little while. If we could just both be quiet.