Saturday, October 19, 2013


I made a reckless decision last night. I was driving back from Dallas after yet another expensive, painful, exhausting electrolysis session. Already beaten up, I planned on driving for a few hours and then finding a motel before making the rest of the 800 mile trip back the next day. But when I got to the motel I was planning on staying at, I told myself "just drive a little further." This repeated multiple times; me seeing a motel at an exit, coming up with some excuse not to pull over, and continuing driving. At 8p, I'd been driving for about 5 hours. And as I continued to postpone stopping, it occurred to me that I didn't *have* to stop. I was tired, certainly; but it was a pleasant sleepiness and I felt I could stay awake. So even though I was irresponsibly tired at 8p, I decided I could keep driving for 7 more hours because... I wanted to.

That was the strange part. It wasn't that I felt guilty about spending money on the hotel or that I thought I'd use the time from getting back early the next day. I just wanted to keep driving. I didn't want to stop, didn't want to rest, didn't want my body's needs to dictate what my mind and heart wanted to do. I was alert enough to focus on driving in one lane on the interstate, but not alert enough to notice much of the world around me. Not aware enough to feel much of anything. I was numb. Doing a task, making progress, not stopping. I didn't feel any sadness, any loneliness, any anxiety. The only feeling I felt was a content satisfaction that I could just keep going. When I really thought about my motivations, I realized that I didn't want to stop because if I stopped that numbness would go away. And, replacing it, would be my familiar loneliness, my familiar anxiety, my familiar depression. If I kept driving, I wouldn't have to feel anything.

It reminded me of addiction. "Just a little more, just a little more" leading to "fuck it, let's get wasted and make bad choices." I was aware as I was making that decision. And I acknowledged that this was a very unnecessary risk to myself and others. But I just didn't care. If anything, I told myself that if I died, great, and if I got hurt maybe it would teach me a lesson that would finally stick.  I even thought, as I was doing it, "This is the sort of small stupid thing, sitting in the hospital bed a day later, that you struggle to explain to the quizzical faces wondering 'why,' the small stupid thing you wish you could take back for years."

So sure, risk to myself. But part of me knew I was a risk to others as well. Yet I didn't care. I just didn't care. Part "young invincible," but also part "it's just not conceivable that I matter enough to have that kind of impact on someone else." I just didn't care.

It's one data point. I was fortunate. But it's another sign that my lack of self-care is dangerous. Perhaps more sinisterly, it's just... nihilistic. That level of apathy really frightens me. I feel so alone, so adrift, so empty that I'll just knowingly make poor decisions which put others at risk and not give a damn.

I would say it's a cry for help, if I thought there was any "help" to be had.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wanting an End

I have been fighting a losing battle for my life for ten years. Well, maybe not. "Fighting" is a strong word. "Fighting" implies I have been resisting the side of "death," but I have not. There has never been a moment in these past ten years where I have said with conviction "I want to live." There have only been periods, in the past few years, where things have not been so bad and periods when they have.

Some would call this "depression," that my poisoned mind is whispering lies to me. But I don't believe that. I don't believe that there is some foreign voice within me with which I do battle. It is only I who wants to self-destruct. I who wants to give up. I who wants to be punished over and over and over again until I am finally a battered broken husk wrung clean of wrongness.

I want those things. That is real and true. I am doing this to myself.

So why am I still alive? Because part of me has always wondered "What if?" What if things change? What if there are other answers? What if?

"What if?" has kept me alive for a very long time. A tortured living, but alive nonetheless. But I am gradually coming to realize that I am the only thing that can change. I am the only other answer. And I am stubborn, I am exhausting. If I am the only other answer, I am not a good one.

And so I have that old familiar feeling. And so now there is a voice in the back of my brain telling me, in the most seductive of persistent whispers, to kill myself. And so I don't think I'll do it. But I also don't want to spend another ten years making this decision. I need to decide to live or to die. If not forever, then at least for now. I want to end this agonizing debate. But then, if I knew how to do that, it would already be over.

So the voice whispers on. And I go through the motions of my life just in case. And I am making myself so unhappy. And I just want it to end.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Brief Reprieve During the Apocalypse

“I’m scared, Juliet.”

“Oh darling. I’m scared, too.”

“We’re alone. Completely alone. Completely, irrevocably, utterly alone. Everyone else is dead. And it’s only us. And, in a few hours, we’ll be gone too. Everything will be gone with us. And that is tragic. But also sexy. Let’s make out!”

“You’re not taking this seriously.”

“I know, I know! I’m sorry. It’s just… this is really dark, ya know?”

“It is! But that’s what I like about it. There’s no anxiety, there’s no banal, there’s nothing except the moment and the acute knowledge that the moment will end. It feels real.”

“I don’t know. Why can’t you be into feet or school girl fantasies or something? I can be a stern taskmistress, teaching a particularly penetrating lesson. I know how much you love experiential learning.”

“As fun as that sounds, it’s just not the same. It’s not real.”

“I could make it feel pretty real!”

“You know what I mean.”

“It’s just… Sure, we’re all going to die someday, everything ends, etc etc. I won’t deny that it’ll happen, but I don’t really want to think about it either.”

“I don’t really want to think about it, necessarily. But I feel it a lot. I- I find myself wanting forever. Like, every relationship I’ve been in, my head can say ‘this, too, will end’ but my heart wants forever so badly it dives in, latches on, and won’t let go. The apocalypses help with that.”

“Well, I’m glad they’re good for something.”

“No, seriously. I am so terrified of endings. Of losing something that will never return. And the apocalypse fantasies help me sit with that fear. But they let me sit with it with someone I deeply care about, so there’s fear but there’s also love and life and now. And since I know forever’s impossible, that’s the next best thing.”

“I mean, I get that. I think. I guess it feels… inauthentic. Like, we have this intense, long night sitting with the ‘knowledge’ that tomorrow, for us, will never come… but then it does. And we’ll say tearful, heartfelt farewells, mime agonizing deaths in a fiery inferno, and then, I don’t know, do brunch.”

“We could do brunch. And while we sit, I can softly gaze across the table into your shining eyes wanting nothing more in that moment than to be with you, and I can be thankful that it was just a fantasy and that I am fortunate enough to have another day with you. And I never want to take that for granted.”

“That’s so sweet. And almost convincing. I still think it’s all kind of ridiculous.”

“Could you try it anyway?”

“Yeah. For you, I can try it anyway. But you’re buying brunch.”