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.

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