God, I remember when this was a thing. This was a multi-day/week occurrence with me. I couldn’t go without sitting in the library and pumping out at least one entry, while writing stories on top of it. But now? Now I don’t write at all. I watch everything. I never read. It’s a shame, really. And I don’t know what to attribute that to. Is it my current relationship with Brendan? Is it that I don’t want to write? Is it that any idea that I do scribble down gets scraped for the next thing until I’m left with a trail of unfinished scripts for the same story in my wake? I don’t know. I do know that once someone spirals down this rabbit hole it’s almost like getting better isn’t in the cards. I don’t care what anyone says about “recovery” and all that bullshit. Because it’s just that, it’s total bullshit. You’re going to have your good days and your bad days just like any other human being, sure. But most other human beings don’t need pills, drugs or the threat of death at their own hand to motivate them into the next tomorrow. I follow a lot of people on Instagram. Some have chronic health problems like me and others have mental health problems (again, like myself). That unspoken view on life we all share was once what was so appealing about following them. When I was depressed, I loved knowing there were other people on this Earth that had experienced the same things I had. But now? I’m not sure if it’s a hindrance, a trigger, I don’t know. I see someone post about the ever-revolving door that is healthcare and I’m inspired to call my doctor and complain about my treatment. I see someone else post about how close thy were to taking their own life a few hours ago and I wonder what exactly I have going for me that I can just sit here with aimless abandon and do nothing. I watch shows and want to know where these characters get their passion, their drive to spend countless hours working for the greater good of someone else. I sit in the library, sometimes watching those shows, and wonder what inspires someone to bring his tutor flowers, or another dude to watch Trump rally videos the entire time I’m here. I used to use this stuff. I used to sit there and attempt to understand the human experience, to write with wild abandon, even if I was only one reading it. Now? Now the only solace I get from my boyfriend, my pathetic attempt at being an adult and my ever empty bank account is sleep. And even that is forced now. To get any sleep of decent quality, I have to drug myself. And once those drugs kick in, it is the greatest thing ever. My mind runs with wild abandon. I’ve even begun to relish my nightmares and let me tell you, that part of my head is a place even Stephen King wouldn’t go. Part of the sleep problem is the fact that Brendan is taller than me, I only have a full bed and the dog and cat insist on sleeping in it too. So, I’m short-changed in the space department. If I stay up, I’m literally up all night because the three of them are taking up so much space that my hips and back end up paying for it. I don’t have an excuse for the rest of it. Laziness? School? I don’t know. But it hasn’t happened. Writing used to be the way I got things out, it used to be the way I processed things, the way I understood the world. I mean, it got to the point that I wouldn’t go anywhere without a piece of paper somewhere on me. I can’t explain how many napkins have idle musings or story excerpts on them. Once, I had no paper, no napkins and a dying light. Still, I wrote in the margins of my wordsearch book until all of those were completely full. The next morning I went back and couldn’t make sense of most of it because in the lack of light, I’d double-backed over my own writing. But it was out. The idea was no longer this virus inside my own head. Now, though, that’s all I seem to have. And the only way to escape them all is to sleep, which doesn’t much work since once I fall asleep, I’m trapped with them. I’m trapped with the gruesome thoughts, the murderous fears, all of it, until my alarm sounds the next morning. And then I wake up, and guess where I am? Back in the cramped bed, in the disgusting house, with way too much to do and no motivation to do it. When I first saw the Matrix, I remember riding to school on the bus (this was in high school, sometime before my license so maybe early 10th grade? 9th even? I’m not sure) and having the same freaky thoughts just about everyone has when they first watch that movie. Is all of this real? Am I in some sort of Matrix? Up until then I’d only experienced one tragedy in my life and created this world of fear and doubt on my own. I was relatively naive at the time and m parents had done a fine job of trying to prevent that from changing. Eventually, the thoughts led to a few story drafts, none of which went anywhere, but the fascination with the storyline changed from utter obsession to mere enjoyment. The possibilities the Matrix creates by questioning our very existence was revolutionary. That’s why that movie is so revered. And in my high school mind, there was some bleak amount of hope that this really wasn’t it. That there was more than waking up, going to school, learning shit I already knew, going home and generally being miserable. Now, though, I sort of feel like Thomas A. Anderson. No, not Neo, the hero of the free minds in Zion. I feel like his Matrix counterpart, the man before Morpheus, the one with his mind still plugged into the Matrix. I’m the one Mr. Smith hasn’t even started looking for because as far as that program is concerned, I’m just another mind plugged into the machine. Sleep is the only time my mind is free. And then, when it’s allowed to roam and fight off society and other radicals, it’s trapped with the Matrix that is my body. I have nothing to do. I’m literally frozen by my own body, stuck to drift through whatever mindset or thought my brain has until the next one appears and the door continues to revolve. Maybe the Matrix isn’t quite the analogy I’m looking for. Maybe it’s Avatar. No, not the Last Airbender with Aang and Katara (though that is one boss show). I’m talking about the blue aliens subjected to human terraforming for some rare mineral on their planet. Jake was a Marine with the loss of his legs. Once a Marine, always a Marine that much is true, but Jake’s body didn’t know that. The only return to the life of walking he was accustomed meant he had to close his eyes and upload his mind to his avatar. When his avatar slept, his mind returned to the shell that was his human body. That’s what I do every single night. I operate this avatar that looks like me, sounds like me and generally shares the same feelings but the only time I actually, truly feel is when I’m asleep. When I’m alone, when I’m sad, all of that is genuine too but if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, did it fall? Does it count if I’m not sharing the experience with someone else? In both movies, they had someone to share all that with and were the better for it. Me, I have someone to share it with but don’t know how. I don’t know how to do what I want and do what he wants. I don’t know how to function on my own unless I’m on my own. Ask me to share that experience with someone else and it’s like giving the reigns to a blind horse and trusting it to lead me home. I can’t. I just can’t. I guess I’m going from one extreme to the other and back again. I was utterly devoted to Mara, with no thought about laying down my life for hers. There was no doubt in my min that it would have been a loss for anyone else but when it came to her happiness, devotion was the only thing I knew. Then, when we stopped talking, I became a loner. I was literally locked in my room with a subscription to Netflix and unwavering Internet access. I ate on and off, either starving or gorging to the point of topping my own previous weight by nearly half. I absorbed series like there was no abandon and found solace in the sad, the ugly and the beautiful. I found my way out of that hole for a brief moment in the sun. I righted wrongs, I did things I hadn’t thought I was capable of previously and so on and so on. Now, though, I think I’ve scrambled back into the nearest foxhole. I hate it in these things, as most soldiers do, but can’t seem to stop diving for cover the second things get tough. I’m in a relationship with Brendan and find myself compromising on the same things I did with her. I find myself enjoying the moments I have alone more than the moments when we’re together. I want to use my family as an excuse for just about anything. I never do the things I love and loathe the things we do. I always refer to whatever I’m doing as what we’re doing. At first, I took some liberty. I was happy to use we instead of me because it meant I had someone to “we” with but now, now I can’t stand it every time it comes out of my mouth. Now, I’m forced to correct myself for those times I’m not even referring to the two of us and just mean myself. My former empathy has turned to bitterness, my former companion has become my foe and I have no idea what to do.