Head against wall.
Feels like sinking.
Back into slate water.
It becomes inherent to disappear sometimes. Sometimes I find myself surrounded with people while I’ve become transparent. Camouflaged by baseboards and floorboards, accent colors and floral arrangements.
And so far as I know this is not the plot to Sixth Sense. I am no ghost. So far as I know the world can see me and I can see the world. Until I don’t. And I shut my eyes, stand still as a flagpole, breathe the weight of everything I won’t understand, and vanish.
Open my eyes.
To the visual of an endless pit, to me falling down said endless pit. Arms flailing, legs twisting, face perfectly calm. The camera pulls back and my distant body is swallowed further into a swarm of nothing.
The feeling, the need to be alone.
To crave the absence of a phone ring, a text, a knock upon the door. To feel tired and angry, sad or completely apathetic. A sometimes overwhelming feeling to tell the world go fuck off and leave me alone. Wrapped in a heavy coat made from every crap day and sleepless night.
It kind of creeps on you.
From a level-headed bloke ready to jump out of bed and take on the world, to standing in the kitchen telling my husband to leave me alone so I can be depressed. To which he asks what I’m depressed about. To which I reply I have no idea but I just feel like being depressed. And angry. And moody. Head in the oven, all Plath-like.
I’m not getting what I want.
Or fast enough.
I’m not where I want to be.
Clothes don’t fit.
It’s really hot outside.
No but, like, really hot.
And you can see the sweat stains on my shirt.
And I don’t want to go to the gym.
And I need a haircut.
And I want to get published.
And no one understands.
No one understands me.
So I can pause right there. Because it’s all too clear I’ve suddenly become a four-year-old. Short of stomping my feet and crying, I’ve pretty much transgressed into Alexander with a terrible, no good, very bad day. I look around at the puzzle pieces scattered at my feet – I’m not talking literal puzzle pieces so much as those metaphorical fragments that show where I started to drop the ball. The answers at my feet, after the stomping subsides and the tears dry, I eventually look down and see it all right there.
I decided to sleep in rather than go to the gym one morning.
Stopped returning a few phone calls.
Gave in to another episode of Stranger Things.
Stayed up a little later so I was exhausted the next morning.
Skipped my morning routine.
Had another three cookies. Then ice cream.
Avoided AA meetings one week.
Then decided to skip the gym another morning.
A few more cookies.
Avoided AA meetings for a few weeks.
Fed into anger.
Skipped my morning routine every morning.
Opened my mouth when every part of my gut said to shut up.
Decided to skip the gym a third week.
Little by little these little things add to greater things. An impressive list of amassed little things I either avoided to keep my sanity or participated in to achieve my serenity.
And so unbelievably quick my eyes burn with stale self-doubt. I question life choices and recklessly push things away, people away, to clear a ten mile claustrophobic radius around me.
I don’t need this routine.
I don’t need to silence my mind.
I don’t need to think before speaking.
I don’t need to be mindful.
I don’t need to work if I don’t want to.
I don’t need AA.
I don’t need to clean the house.
I don’t need to –
You get the idea.
That endless list of arms-crossed sacrifices. Because I decided I’m tired of following structure and having commitments, tired of forcing myself to follow through with responsibilities. I don’t want to be accountable for anyone other than myself. Maybe myself. Or maybe I can just disappear.
Head against wall.
Feels like sinking.
Back into slate water.
That’s how it works, I think.
Little sacrifices. Like I think I’m doing myself some big favor by letting go of all these obligations and commitments. Doing myself a favor by giving up the things that give me balance. Because I’ve been there done that, worn the threads thin, ready for something new. Saying to myself, I’ll just focus on me and only do what feels right. Which in the abstract is a novel sentiment. However, I quickly forget when I decide to only do what feels right for me, I end up a sad kid questioning his life wondering what happened.
Quite the opposite.
Those seemingly insignificant allowances for my ‘best interest’. Stay up late to watch more episodes. Skip the gym to sleep in. Eat more dessert because I like it. Stand up for myself by telling off the woman who made a remark I found offensive, because I’ll show her. Throw in a little lie since it makes me look better.
When it happens innocently enough, maybe once a day, you think nothing of it. Then eventually twice a day. Then soon the mind adjusts for these allowances. I don’t realize I’ve only succeeded in walking backward, not making life adjustments for my ‘best interest’.
I don’t listen when my husband says I’ve not been myself. I tell him he hasn’t been himself. I’m perfectly fine. I’m in control of my life.
While the truth is the more control I take over my life, the less control I have.
The more control I give up in my life, the more control I have.
But this moody boy doesn’t want to hear that because it’s frustrating and he’s tired of it.
I’m the moody boy if you haven’t guessed.
And I’ll keep my ears plugged until a piece of cotton accidentally falls out or I finally see I’m making life much more complicated than it needs to be. I finally see the most simple facts, those stupid puzzle pieces laying at my feet.
The one where I stopped doing all the things that keep me level.
The one where I forgot who I’m dealing with – me. I’ll always try to sleep in and eat the extra cookie because I like excess and indulgence. But I’ve learned I need to tame that beast.
And, of course, the one where I stopped taming that beast.
So here I am.
A stubborn, moody boy.
Uncrossing his arms, ranting his feelings, ready to let go.
To lose control and receive –
Whatever it is.