Intentional Insomniac

I have become scared to sleep.

Not because of night terrors, or nightmares.

Not because of the anxiety dreams that sometimes (though with increasing consistency, now) plague my nights.

But because sleep has begun to feel like lost time. Wasted time. Any moment where I am not at work is bliss, and to sleep feels like losing out on those precious extra minutes or hours of freedom. It gives me anxiety now, having to go to bed, and my hours have become more and more unreasonable.

I do get tired. My eyes burn, my bags growing darker and heavier, my face more gaunt and haunted. And when I finally do give in to sleep (provided the anxiety dreams don’t return and I’m not waking every couple of hours in a heart-racing panic), I am loathe to wake up because it means facing yet another day.

The weekends, too, are a struggle— a fight between my need to finally sleep in and my fear of wasting the hours that I could be spending on literally anything else that is not work. YouTube, Netflix, writing, cleaning, reading, learning… The possibilities are endless and yet by 8pm, the anxiety starts to set in, even though these days I’m not asleep till past 4am, forcing myself awake by 1 at the latest on weekends (and only ten minutes before, or up to an hour after I am due to sign on to work on weekdays. Such dedication). How is it so late already? How do I only have a few hours left?

It unsettles me, this newfound fear. Logically, I know this is not a healthy way to live, to feel. I know how important sleep is, and how by shirking it I’m only exacerbating my already tenuous hold on mental and emotional stability. But I can’t help it. To sleep is to lose free time, and I need every second of it I can get if I am to survive each work week, crawling along day by day, hour by hour.

I resent what my job has turned me into.

I resent being trapped in it.

But I am still scared to sleep.

And I don’t know what to do.

Small Comfort

Jan 4th, 2013 10:57:21pm

I am not a magician, but I know how to make myself disappear.

I can vanish. Whenever I want. In broad daylight or in the cover of dark nights. I can go away and never be seen again by those I do not want to be seen by. They will never hear from me, never learn my fate, always wonder. Should I ever decide to ease their angst and let them know I am still alive, still well, they will never be able to trace the call.

I know how to hide. How to survive. How to fight and defend and make the most out of so very, very little. I am smart. I can plan this down to the smallest detail and come out of it a winner in the art of being missed. What a delicate, decadent art it is.

However…

“The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” 
― John Green, Paper Towns

So instead of leaving, I plan. When things get hard and all I want is to walk out the door, I step back, breathe deep, and plan it. Every detail. How it’ll work. What will happen. The consequences good and bad. The freedom. The fear. Then I am okay.

Not because I am a coward who plans and plans yet never follows through, but because I know that the day is coming, with increasing velocity, when I will have to choose. Choose between scheming some more, or saying “fuck it” and walking out of a life I never wanted to live in the first place.

And when that day comes, best believe I am not going to let it screw up the life I do want to lead when I decide to walk out the door. I will know exactly where I am going, and how I’m going to get there. It may not all go according to the things I will scribble into notebooks on days I long for the pages to come alive and suck me in already. Nothing ever does. But the big parts will, because they have to, because I will make it so.

Then the pleasure will be both in the planning and in the doing, and I will be gone.

Aug 1st, 2012 4:39:00am

I’m not really sure what to say here. I’m not really sure why I’m even here to begin with, on this page, talking about my uncertainty about things that don’t matter. Maybe I just need an outlet. A stream of conscious thought to flow out of me so my head doesn’t feel so cluttered with noises I can’t make out.

Then there’s the things I’m uncertain about that do matter. Things I can’t talk about yet, because it’s all up in the air at the moment and I’m scared voicing anything will send it all crashing down. Then there’s uncertainty about that, about whether actually letting out what’s bothering me really will jinx things or whether superstition and my own guarded self are just sabotaging me again.

Every decision I’ve ever made has brought more bad than good, even those I truly followed my instincts on. I have no doubt they were meant to happen, but I wonder why my choices are meant to bring such grief… where it fits into the “Plan”, if there even is such a thing.  It all.. hurts.

There are just days where I wake up and wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. Where is it meant to go and whether I’m helping myself get there, or just making one wrong turn after another hoping I’ll get there eventually. My life feels like a series of stumbles and near-misses (while some are all-out disasters), a series of wandering around blind and terrified that the next step is going to be off a cliff I never even knew was there, with sheer dumb luck being the only thing that’s prevented it so far.

I don’t know what to choose, or how to choose for that matter. Whether I’m guided by instinct or stupidity. Whether I need to distance myself for the good of those I care about or keep trying and hope I don’t fuck it all up.

I’m not sure of anything. And really, that’s what hurts and terrifies me the most.

I Am Lost Tonight.

May 4th, 2012 3:48:00am

This is my light. This blog is where I post of hope, of strength, of one-day freedom and the lessons learned in between it all. This is where I write my way to the truth within me.
Yet tonight’s truth is that I am weary. Emotionally, as well as physically. And that’s okay, too. Because I am not giving in to despair, else this is not where I would retreat to. It’s okay to be tired, to be lost, as long as you still have hope that it won’t last.

It never lasts.

My heart is strong, despite the pieces it has been broken into. Despite the dust of powdered blood and muscle it has been crushed into. It knows how to repair itself enough to continue to function, to hope, to love, to beat for me and those around me.
Ask me my favourite part of me and I will not point to my eyes or my lips, my hands or my hips, my legs or stomach or thighs, instead opening the caverns of my chest and holding out my heart for you to see. I will proudly point out the scars and show you what I have survived. I will let you hold it so you can feel the force with which it still beats, hopeful and determined as ever.

Yet there are some nights… like tonight… where it slows. Where the damage that can’t be seen begins to act up and weakens me, just for a little while. An arthritis of the soul. There is so much I hold inside me that it is all an unrecognisable lump now. I can’t tell one source of ache from the other, like a ball made from chewed-up gum or different coloured play-dough. There are times where I will want to cry for apparently no reason at all, no trigger, no cause.

There are things inside me that are still broken and on nights like this, it shows.
Yet by morning I will wake and the shadows will have retreated. I will breathe as free and deep as I possibly can again. My heart will return to its resilient beat, feeding me dreams and hopes and plans for a future that is entirely my own, untainted and unaffected by anyone else.

So yes, I am lost tonight.

But it won’t last.

It never lasts.

To the Truth

Mar 10th, 2012 12:18:00pm

I shut people out. Simple present, not past. It’s not something I had been doing in the time that I have been missing from this place, it’s what I do. I shut people out. I have built walls so high that the terms “expressionless” and “uncaring” are often used in conjunction with my name. And don’t just imagine a single boundary of brick and cement, oh no, but layers of them. Once you get over one, you find another, and another.
Someone very dear to me recently said, “They don’t even know you.”

I have always been aware of this. Anyone who has ever met me and tried to penetrate themselves into my psyche, tried to find out what goes on beneath the exterior I show them, is aware of this. They’re not stupid, and more than once I’ve felt their frustration and my ensuing guilt. However, it’s only when those words were spoken to me directly, pained and frustrated, that the thought has haunted me more than usual, resounding in my head whenever I interact with people.

Every time I’m speaking to a friend, there will be a moment that jars with it: “They don’t even know you.”

Every time I’m speaking to my family, even worse and more persistent: “They don’t even know you.”

No, they don’t. No one does. Not even me.

I’m a sensitive person (though this is the first time I’ve ever openly admitted it), who is growing up in a world where you’re taught that the sensitive don’t survive. Or at least are more beat down than the rest. This world has phenomenal beauty, tenderness, and kindness; that is undeniable. Yet to think that one can get by without a thick skin and a whole lot of strength is self-deluding. I learned that early, and found out that I couldn’t give myself thicker skin. I didn’t know how. So instead of learning how to keep as much of the world’s harshness out as I could, I learned to keep my weakness in where no one could see and take advantage of it.

I built walls.

And they’re cracking.

This blog was a place where I could reveal the part of me that I was too scared to show out in “reality”. It was a place where I could think more deeply, wonder more, dream more. It was a place where I dared to hope that I could make a difference, not only in the people who read it, but in myself. The truth is, though, this past year I have shrunk further and further inside myself. Walls I thought I was finally learning to let go of, came up bigger and more ominous than ever until I was so lost the people who meant most to me were literally terrified I was gone for good. Or would be, soon enough.

I stopped dreaming. I stopped thinking deeper. I stopped wondering. I stopped writing, and reading, the two things that could always induce me to feel. I didn’t even have an interest for them anymore. I stopped being the person this blog is an embodiment of, because I couldn’t stand the weight of it. Have you ever felt that? That crushing weight of all the people you could be, all the people you want to be and all the people you don’t, screaming and shoving each other inside of you like it’s a crowd at the most popular ride in the fair…

And you don’t know who’s who, so you don’t know who to let out, what the consequences would be.. So you sit there being practically nothing. Playing different roles for different people, never really knowing which one is you. They all are, but they all aren’t, and it does your head in just thinking about it. Then you start feeling like a fake, like maybe none of you is real and you’ve always been an empty shell made only to be what people need you to be at any given moment.

It’s been a long, dark rabbit hole that I’ve been travelling in this past year, and there’s more to go yet.

However, a few days ago, I decided to try writing myself to the truth once more. “Writing my way to the truth” is a phrase a former tumblr-writer used to use. I’ve always adored it, and I hope she doesn’t mind my borrowing it now, because that’s what I used to do here. I have not found my cause, so I tried writing myself into one. I have not the strength that people think I do, so I made my words my pillars. I could not, can not, guide myself to where I need to be yet, so I try to guide others in the hope that one day, maybe I’ll give myself the courage I still don’t have to follow the dreams I refuse to admit to. I don’t reveal myself in person, to anyone, so I revealed little bits of myself through writing.

I don’t even know all of me yet, so I hoped to discover it along the way.

It felt wrong, sometimes. It felt hypocritical and fake. And I’m sure it will again, during days where it’s darker in the tunnel than usual, but it’s all I have for now.

So maybe someday I will find the truth I seek. I don’t know what it is yet, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? We’re all searching for a truth that we won’t recognize till we’re ready to find.

I think it’s time I shared my search with you again.

I shall not return to signing off. Because truly, whatever I choose to call myself, be it Dreamer, Warrior or perhaps even Seeker, it will always end up subject to change dependent upon the stage I am in in that moment. A dreamer imagines, a warrior fights for the right to make that imagination reality and a seeker searches for the truth that will help him obtain that reality.

Right now, though?

I dream.

“You’ve Changed.”

Nov 19th, 2009 10:49:00pm

I can not tell you how many times I have heard those words uttered to me these past few months. And every time, I ask how I have been altered. And every time, they do not have an answer, except for the fact that I am different than I was before.

A few days ago, I was on the phone with one of my best friends. I heard them again. Just two words. “You’ve changed.”

I wonder how many others have faced a similar situation. You’re changing, but you’re also the only one who doesn’t notice it happening. It’s sneaky, like a lioness hiding in the tall grass, getting ever closer, until it pounces. Everyone else sees it but you, until it’s too late.

Why is it so, however? How does it happen that your inner self; your personality; everything that makes you yourself, is slowly being turned into something else, and you don’t even know it?

People tell you. They say you’re different. They’re not sure in what way, and neither are you, but it’s true. At some point in your life something clicked out of – or into – place, and you just aren’t the same anymore. You can’t be sure what triggered it.. What exactly happened. Or when.

Frustrating? Definitely. Tiring? Completely. It does depend, though, on whether you’re changing for the better or the worse. If it’s for the better, then that’s great. It’s a wonderful feeling, waking up in the morning one day, and realising you’re a better person. Someone who’s happier. Someone who smiles more, laughs more, is kinder, is more generous. It truly is.

If it’s for the worse, then your only hope is to change back before it’s too late. Before those subtle alterations become a part of you, things becoming a million times harder. Before you stop caring how you turn out. Because that’s when it all goes to hell.

Unfortunately, there is a middle ground as well. One that is the most exhausting of all, once people point it out: just.. changing. Not for the better, nor the worse. You’re stuck because you have no idea what’s happening to you. No idea whether you should stop it or not. After all, it could be bad at first, then improve with time, could it not? Or perhaps it’s the other way around? You’re losing touch with yourself, completely confused as to whether the new you will be a better version of yourself.

Not sure if you’ll even recognise yourself anymore the next time you look in the mirror.
So, voice cracking, tears running down my cheeks for the first time in the longest time, I admitted something I had not yet told anyone: “I’m scared.”

Before the rain

My god. This is beautiful. The sky is at breaking point with the weight of those beautiful ominous grey clouds. They’re lurking over us, and I can just tell they’re smirking as they wait for the right moment to let loose. Hanging onto our anticipation, feeding off the tension of the Earth as she waits for her thirst, and that of all she has borne, to be quenched.

The wind is doing its job too. Blowing fiercely, enjoying making plastic wrappers and aluminum cans rustle, rattle and crackle about. Making spirals and puffs and swells of sand and dust, a tribute to the clouds above, an imitation that even the arrogant wind knows does them no justice.

The world is quieter. The tension is palpable. Even the normal early morning sounds are muted down. Everything. Everything can feel the presence. That unique presence. Strong, confident, patient, wise. The presence of Mother Nature in beautiful glory.

The clouds tease us further, allowing the scent of what they carry to drift earthwards, tantalising us with the promise of what’s to come. What we HOPE will come, for it may very well be that they decide to ask the wind to take them elsewhere, or perhaps decide to perform another day. In the meanwhile, all we can do is wait, and feel that presence, and be oh-so-grateful to be alive.

But what’s this? The sun making its appearance, slowly dyeing the sky pink and orange. And the clouds drift towards her like moths to a flame, entranced, in love, not caring that the energy she emanates will be their undoing. Floating lovingly to be as close as they can. The wind too has lowered his efforts to that of a small, cool breeze. He knows the sun can do nothing to him, so he is safe and and watches admiringly as she shyly reveals herself.

It seemed strange that such a beautiful thing knew not of her effect. That she could tame winds and turn thunderclouds to mere mist had never occurred to her. She just did what she did best, and loved doing: she shined her light bright as she could, without discrimination. All that was in her realm of giving, she gave to, content with that. Happy with it.

So there may not be any rain this day. But at least we have the sun, just as beautiful, if not more. No. Wait. Definitely more.

She was unreliable. Sometimes she shined her light too brightly, or gave out her energy too strongly. Sometimes she got too shy and hid away behind clouds only too glad to do as she wished and hide her away. And there was that matter of her dalliance with the moon… But since she did that while shining somewhere else, it’s alright really.

For all that, though, she is beautiful.

Magnificently so.

And I’ll just leave it at that.

I think too fast sometimes.

Thoughts will race through my head, then suddenly one, or several, will pass by without me even really knowing what they were. Only a vague impression of them. Then I’ll have to stop my train of thought, and go back, and slow things down, sometimes repeat them, over and over, so I won’t forget. Make sense of them, put them in words, proper sentences, describe them. I can’t stand thinking in chopped words or phrases. I always have to sort them.

It’s probably why I need to write so often. It’s easier to sort my head out this way. I can see the words, feel them beneath my fingers. But the irony of it is, when I get the tools to write, the thoughts disappear, only to come back once I’m away from this place.

Pen and paper, I can’t use. It’s too slow a method. One that can’t keep up with everything I think. Whenever I try I just get frustrated and then the thoughts go away again, to be replaced with what I’m typing now. Frustration at there being too many thoughts to take down at once.

How do we handle it? It’s like our brains are being shot with multiple machine guns.. ratatatatatatataratatatatatatataratatattat.. And sometimes it all goes so fast and so hard, I can’t understand how we haven’t succumbed to this incredible amount of pressure inside our own heads, controlling our body, never stopping, hardly ever slowing down.. How have we not exploded?

No wonder people go completely and utterly insane.

No wonder they end up losing their minds… They don’t lose them, they give them up, toss them away, unable to take that goddamn pressure.

Is it possible, I wonder…

For emotional wear-out to manifest itself physically?

If so, then it’s starting at my knees… Sorry mom. Knee caps are wearing out anyway, from running away from everything that scared me so. Running away from me. I see the fear in your eyes, you know. When you look at me. I see it. You, scared of me, of what I might turn out to be, what I might end up doing. And you’re scared for me, too. I can see it. I’ve always seen it. Maybe it’s my fear of myself reflected in your eyes. Or maybe I started being scared of myself because of the fear I saw. Maybe it’s both. Who knows?

I know what will be next. My hands. My hands will wear away from the harm they’ve done. To me. To anything and anyone else. Or rather, everything and everyone else. It’ll start at my fingertips that clutched blades, typed words, held, touched, hit. Then my knuckles, that tried to shatter walls in fury and pain and anger that I refused to let out to anyone else. Never them.

My mouth and tongue, too. From lack of use and too much use both at the same time. Harsh words spoken, and words bit back in fear, clutching at self-control with only the tips of my fingers so the words can be swallowed down to make a home in my heart and stay there, eating away.

My eyes. Dark and closed off. Eyes are the window the soul, it is said. I keep mine hidden away, and the blinds are closed, sorry. You won’t see that devastation so easily. That smoke and wreckage are no sight for anyone. She used to say that she could never see anything in my eyes. She could never read them, even when I tried to let her. Tried to show her. Only two things could she ever decipher. Pain and Passion. And both hurt her to see. Yes, they will wear away too. They have been denied their duty, after all. To reveal just as much as they observe. I made them selfish. Taking in, but never giving out.

My shoulders, from the burden I myself placed on them, and have now become too scared to ever take it off them for fear of the consequences. And fear that someone else might have to take it up in replacement.

Oh, and of course, my heart. I say nothing of it. There’s nothing I could say, no way I could describe it that could quite convey its true form. It… It won’t wear out. Because it already is, bit by bit. No. It will shatter.

One day. One day it will shatter. It will trigger a chain reaction of explosions; the rest of me will be in splinters and shards. When it happens, I will lay there in all my pieces and wait until I turn to minute dust, to be blown away in the wind and vanish forever.

In the meantime, I am wearing away, bit by bit by bit.

Shhh… It’s a secret. Until I’m ready to say my goodbyes.