I’m frustrated all the time. It never ends. There’s this stretching in my chest that feels like something longing to break free, and I don’t know if it’s sadness or anger. I know that scientifically speaking, heartache is in the mind, but a pain has settled in that fist-sized organ in the center of my core just the same.
Sometimes, I long to be rid of emotions altogether, to wake up feeling nothing and fall asleep feeling nothing. I imagine the in-between to be a void where no emotions go in, and no emotions come out. And in this pretend world, I’m never made to feel guilty for being hollow.
You see, the constant struggle for emotional equilibrium takes its toll. I don’t like who I become. When I pass mirrors, I raise my middle finger to my reflection. It’s an acknowledgment that I’ve turned into this pathetic asshole that even I can’t stand. She smirks back at me; it’s that sad smile—the pitying smile of someone who has been in your shoes. Disgusted, I quickly look away.
At night when I try to sleep, my mind runs through every scenario gone wrong, every mistake made. I’m reminded that words are both my savior and my enemy. When I’m whole, they add beauty; when I’m shattered, they become weapons. I conjure the disappointed faces of those I’ve let down—the people I’ve hurt; it serves as my punishment.
Each time I close my eyes, I suffer the irony that I’ve made my own bed, and can’t even sleep in it. I just stare into the dark, waiting for the light to return. My forehead creases, my brow pinched in worry. I place my fingers against the wrinkled skin and try to force the tension to subside, but it resists. My shoulders follow suit, remaining tightly coiled, my spine compressed under the pressure of depression.
As when I’m sick, I try to remember what it felt like before—before my chest ached, before my body tensed, before my mind became a film reel of all my greatest failings. But I can’t catch even the slightest glimpse. I’m blind to before.
In front of prying eyes, I learn to hide my feelings beneath a layer of indifference. And some days, I feel as if I can’t love at all. There’s this part of me that wonders if that’s good or bad. Is it okay to feel nothing? Was this always my natural progression? But this numbness is only ever a temporary reprieve, and soon the sorrow returns, looking to make up for lost time.
I let my paranoia drag me into a downward spiral while I push away the people that call themselves my friends. None of it is real, I tell myself. None of them are real. I pick fights when I fall apart, lashing out in every direction. Even as I shout at undeserving ears, I know what I’m doing is a mistake, but I can’t seem to stop. It’s as if I’m purging my pain, retching every ounce of heartache from my body. Only, when I’m through, my misery has multiplied tenfold.
What’s worse, is who would stay? Who would accept that this is what I am—that from time to time, I lose myself to this sadness that pulls me so far under that I question whether I’ll ever re-emerge? The answer is…only a fool.
I write this from that place, the one where I accept loneliness with open arms. The place where the people I love cannot find the version of me they recognize. I write this with hopeless tears and a dull pain that feels like a black hole sucking everything good straight through my chest into absolute nothingness.
I write this so you’ll remember that it won’t last forever. One day—in the not so distant future—I’ll be me again, and you’ll be you. And on that day, I hope you’ll forgive me for who I became when sadness found me.