If I were to write the story of my life it would lack structure. My life is a series of disconnected memories. I suppose this is true for many people. They are faded and lacking many details. They are like dreams and am often afraid I am mixing the two. I suppose it’s because there is a lot I wanted to forget, and a lot of living I never had. Am told I was the outgoing, outspoken child when I was very little. I guess I must have been competing for attention between my older brother and younger sister. I do have one particular cringe-worthy memory of that time. I put on a jacket, hat, and sunglasses to pretend I was a different person. It’s embarrassing to think about, but that embarrassment might be the only reason I remember it.
Much of my childhood only existed between two things. School, and the time I spent in my room. I did not have friends, not really. The only friends I may have had I convinced myself were only interested in my brother. I was just something that followed him around. I was a B student. Never doing more effort than was necessary. I slept on the bus to school, I did my homework before the start of class, I hid near other geeky kids or kids that know my brother. The worst was when I had to eat lunch alone. I know I did these things, but asking me to pick a single moment out of any of them would be difficult.
The most dreamlike of all my memories, however, were the times I was losing my mind. The times I had panic attacks or the times I was completely lost in despair. I’ve been on the ground, begging for anyone to help me, but unable to call out or even move. I have walked down the streets at 2am with tears endlessly falling down my face. It doesn’t feel real, nor did it then. It was like watching someone else, It would have been so easy to walk in front of a car, or step onto the train tracks. I know I know I once swallowed a fist full of pills then Immediately throw them up. I can’t tell you when this happened, but I know it did.
Perhaps I should leave it alone, perhaps they are better off feeling like dreams. But sometimes I remember something I completely forgot and surprise myself. Recently I remembered I was in some kind of choirs in middle school. We went to six flags, but this is the only thing I remember about it. Did I like it? Did I hate it? I don’t know.
I procrastinate, things I enjoy, things I want to avoid, everything. Every decision I make I must question, painfully, as hour by hour goes by. Then I sit unfulfilled at my lack of action. Read a book, play a video game, even writing this very sentence is a long dragged out process. It’s painful. I grow up avoiding things that may hurt me, it has become second nature in almost all my actions.
This is anxiety of course. I tell myself to just take that first step, and it will be easier. It is easier, but it is fucking painful it is to get there. It is exhausting. I feel like my heart has broken after just a few hours of spending time with friends or family. “It is better to avoid it altogether” that little voice in my mind says. I would try to silence it with sleep but then I fall prey to a cycle of dreams I can’t see to awake from. I would spend the rest of my life in those dreams if I let myself. They are not happy dreams, they are painful and sad, but they have a sweet taste to them, a control over reality you can’t find in the waking world. Still, I wake up day after day.
I had a dream that I felt I must write down. I was on a small boat with my brother and sister beside me on a completely calm and blue ocean. It was dark and there were no moon or stars in the sky. We pulled the boat up to a tiny rock island. On the island was chained a lion. The lion was sick and malnourished. Its ribs showed through its skin and patches of hair were gone, instead was rotting flesh. The lion was in its last moments of life. I called it a Revenant, because “It is already dead, it just has not accepted it yet.” We tried to step onto the lions Island to release its chains and perhaps try to put it out of its misery but the lion pulled on his chains trying to strike and bite any that approach. As he pulled on the chains that wrapped around its neck his skin ripped like paper and fresh blood pooled around him. In the panic, we fell onto our boat and caused it to tip. I woke up as the boat started to sink into the motionless sea.
The other day I had a dream that’s been weighing on my mind. I’ve almost been too ashamed to share it but I don’t think it will go away till I written it down. I dreamed that I was at my family’s small little lake house. My Mom, Dad, Brother, and sister where there. My nostalgia was over run by depression. A deep inexpiable depression that I could not explain to anyone around me. A ran away and hid myself in a small room to hide my shame. It was then that hand belonging to no one handed me a noose.
I awoke, but the dream still stays vivid in my mind. Haunting me a little. I can only think that hand was the worst parts of mind. Telling me to give up. The voice that I keep fighting everyday.
My eyes were always looking for a way out. Every car that passed me by was an opportunity to jump in front of it. Every wire and rope a possible way to hang myself. Every blade something I could carve into my skin. Everything seemed like a possible way out to me. I struggled with suicide for years. It was not something I felt I could share with anyone. Not something anyone could truly understand unless you lived it. So I cried into pillows at night unsure of my fate. I hated myself, hate powerful enough that I could snuff out my own soul.
The words courage and coward seemed to change meaning. I thought I was a coward because I couldn’t kill myself. Others would call it brave, that I had the courage to keep living. All I wanted was to escape. To keep walking till I was far away from all my problems, till my mind stopped bullying me. “To sleep and perchance to dream.” Like Hamlet however I was afraid of what dreams such a sleep would bring.
A warped mind is a warped reality. Trying to convince me to simply cheer up, was like trying to convince me the sky was red. Depression was my reality. It made up my life and was everywhere. The sad moments hurt me, and the Happy moments only reminded me of the bad. I look back thinking on how I would help myself and by extension help others in the now. I have no simple answer. Just someone to recognize my existence and an available ear goes a long way.
Winston Churchill said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Yet I often feel like I stalled. I sometimes feel like I can no longer move forward. That this is my hell, and I should stay in it. I have trouble getting out of bed. Sleeping the hours away, wishing all my troubles could fade away like the dreams I have. I dream often, I dream of me dreaming. My guilty conscience creating fantasy out of my reality, If I refuse to get out of bed my dreams will chain me to it.
So why do I get up at all? My favorite poet said “Climb not out of stubbornness. Not out of a need to demonstrate the depth of will it takes to carry on. But because you owe you one.” I get up because I owe myself. Wasted hours, wasted years of my life sleeping. For all of my hard work to get this far. My road in hell may never end but I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I may trip, or fall down. However stopping long since become no longer an option.
Why is sleeping the day away so easy, and waking up so hard. I find that unless I have a reason to wake up, I simply won’t get up. I suppose it’s a matter of motivation. What drives you to get out of bed? I can escape to my world of dreams, but then I dream I have to get up. Part of me must want to wake to have such dreams. That means I must learn to feed that part, to hear it and use it. I have to find why I want to wake up in the first place.