Shroud me in pain

I try to be normal. I try to keep up with the marathon of life and not let down the cheering crowd. But I’m broken and I can’t heal and keep up at the same time. Something’s gotto give. I carry on stealthily through sheer grit and focus, but as soon as I relax, I’m bombarded with everything I’m suppressing. Stuff that I don’t have answers for. Stuff that I can’t talk to others about. People say that I can talk to them whenever and that they’ll be there for me, but it’s mostly vapid talk designed to make them feel better about the guilt of my pain. So it’s easier to smile and juggle half a dozen projects to give off an air of hopefulness. But I always look forward to sleep. In the cover of my blanket, I can let down my guard and for some hours I don’t have to be at war in my head. In my dreams, there’s always a happy ending. But the happy ending heralds an angst-filled beginning; a new day. A new day with more unanswered questions and even more demands for implementing answers. Every single day is exhausting. I spend every waking hour thinking, researching,reading – basically running away from my daemons that call me to just give up.
Every time I hear about someone who committed suicide, I think; when will I finally cave in? It’s a scary prospect but it’s always at the forefront. Always. Like it’s a default option. So if I don’t keep afloat with goals and projects, I fear I’ll sink like Jake Dawson in Titanic.

I’m starting to think that maybe I jumped ship too early with the recovery. I took my first major milestones and ran with them. I forgot where I had come from. I forgot that I had suffered from severe depression, C-PTSD (chronic PTSD), anxiety, agoraphobia, you name it, for over a decade. A few months in summer made me forget about all of that and I tried to catch up with everything I was ‘supposed’ to do. I tried to erase my years of suffering by filling my days with activities to show how quickly I’ve bounced back.

And now. I’ve been suicidal since late October. I spent the entire month of December in bed. And I do mean the entire month, in bed. I’d only get up in the middle of the night to get me a sandwich to have enough energy to stay alive. I’d forcefully sleep throughout the day because I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t have the energy to fake that everything was alright.

Recovery is a lonely process and the very mind that urges you to just give up is your only companion.  I try very very very hard to not let sadness seep in. I try very hard not to think about what I’ve gone through, and this means that I don’t get to process my pain. It lies in waiting.

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
— Ned Vizzini (It’s Kind of a Funny Story)

Focus on me

illuminate

Monika Serkowska ( Falling Apart)

“Don’t be confused by the nature of solitude, when something inside you wants to break free of your loneliness. This very wish, when you use it as a tool for understanding, can illumine your solitude and expand it to include all that is. Bound by conventions, people tend to reach for what is easy. It is clear, however, that here we must be unafraid of what is difficult. For all living things in nature must unfold in their particular way and become themselves at any cost and despite all opposition.”

Rainer Maria Rilke (letters to a young poet)

Moon

I’ve discovered that I can’t convince someone to not fear my darkness when they haven’t embraced theirs. I’ll retreat to my shadows. You’ll have me when you cross over.

dark cloudss

Iron Curtain

by the

I’ve always acted stoic. When I had no friends, when I’d be picked on, when my parents broke my heart. I never let it show. I convinced myself that it didn’t matter. I convinced myself that it was ok to go through life unheard,unseen, misunderstood. I’d look every fear in the eye and charge right at it out of spite, because I didn’t want anything to exert that control over me. I was the quiet nerd with her nose buried in novels during breaks to keep myself occupied whilst the girls congregated in the hallways or bathrooms. I’d be stonewall so much that it was like living behind the Iron Curtain that separated Western Europe from the East during the Cold War.I guess it was technically bullying, but every time they tried to hurt me, I’d stand my ground. I would not flinch, not cry, prepared to fight till the death of me. Or on the days when I was scared and wanted a conflict-free day, I’d keep out of sight so as not to let anyone see my pain. Yet my heart would drown in tears and my soul became so drenched in suppressed tears that I became so mushy inside. On the outside though I was the Sahara desert.

One survival mechanism I developed during my tenure as bullied (LOL) was to never give my bullies the satisfaction of seeing the pain their bullying inflicted on me. If I acted that way, perhaps my wish for them to be a figment of my imagination, a portion of nightmare, would become true.

That survival mechanism turned into a habit, which turned into second nature. You betrayed me? Cool. You’re invalidating me? No probs. You stood me up? Don’t worry about it. You don’t give a shit about me? Ts ok.

And that’d be the last you see of me. Sometimes I forget I hurt. Actually most of the time I’m not aware, like someone who’s been stabbed in the back with a knife yet doesn’t feel anything.

One thing that still gets to me is why I don’t have more girlfriends. Majority of my friends are guys. I’m a people’s person and I know many people, but I’m always shut out of girls’ circles. I pretend it doesn’t bother me. I see how girls comment on each other’s insta, how they dress up for aroosyo and I find myself pining for such a relationship.

I know it’s something I’m doing – or not doing. Is it because I live so much in head? Is it because I’m not a makeup or fashion fan? I try to keep up, watch makeup tutorials to try to recreate the eyebrows on fleek look or contouring or whatnot. But my enthusiasm always fizzles out and the expensive makeup I’ve bought end up expiring. I don’t feel so beautiful on the inside, so it’s only a matter of time before my brain catches on and decides to drop the act.
Is it because I’m so blunt?So obsessively steeped in philosophical musings?My incessant obsession with finding the truth in all matters?

I’m not often visited by the ghosts of my past who bring up these questions, but I’ve learnt that when they do come visit, to let them in. To hear them out, and drain my heart of the well of tears – a little each time. I allow myself to feel my human emotions and I let the bottled up tears rain on my Sahara desert exterior, leaving seeds of hope planted in their wake. And when it’s time for the ghosts to return whence they came from the bottom of my subconscious, my outside is a bit softer, my inside a bit stronger, and I realize that I’ve overlooked the phenomenal friends I do have whilst pining for childhood dreams more rooted in wanting approval than in actual friendships.

I have a codeword that I only use with friends; yo. I don’t know why I do that, but if I use that with you, or randomly check in on you, know that I count you as a friend. And I think the fact that you accepted me inspite of my eccentric randomness and blunt questions, makes me realize that I’ve got the type of friends people daydream of, and write poems about.

It’s when I realize that those ghosts of my subconscious don’t come to torture me by making me revisit stuff, but to allow me to see that my oddity has attracted gems of humans, whilst keeping the scum at bay.

“Bring me the sunset in a cup.”

I’ve always been on the outside, looking in.

sunsset

As a child I had the mind of an adult, the austerity of a seasoned seaman. I’d ask why I was here, who I was, where does the sun disappear to when we sleep? You’re too young to understand, I’d be told. How could I be too young to understand the answer to a question I conjured on my own?
I’d return to my window seat in life , dejected, losing my gaze to an ever receding horizon, searching for the setting of the sun.

As an adult, I still sit in that window seat, answering my own questions with a childlike enthusiasm. I ask people questions that I know the answers to, not to tell them the answer but to point their gaze towards the horizon, to make them long for the unknown. You ask weird questions, I’m told. Live your life like everyone else and don’t bother yourself with pointless questions that’d get you nowhere. But how could they be pointless when they’ve helped me discover the very purpose of my life? How could they lead nowhere when it’s been the only vehicle that’s taken me everywhere in life?

I listen, understand, and stand with others. And although I cherish my solitude, I wish that for once, there’d be someone to sit beside me at that window seat, to watch the sun setting in the horizon so that I can know that my life has not been a mere dream.

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