I don’t know if I will ever post this anywhere. Perhaps there is a place for just journaling. Whispering to myself aloud. A quote I saw the other day really wormed it’s way into my brain, and I keep going over it again and again.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Earnest Hemingway
I say this especially as a former cutter: I need to bleed.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The past few weeks in particular have been devastatingly hard emotionally. Every time I wake up, I’m in the middle of a panic attack. Every single time. My sleep and wake cycles no longer resemble any normal or even abnormal pattern, they seem completely determined by chance; the only thing they have in common is the horror of waking up, panicked, sweating, alone, unable to breathe, terrified. I don’t know what I’m afraid of. I don’t know if I am afraid of something I was dreaming about, sleep after sleep that haunted by nightmares that I can never remember. I don’t know if I’m afraid of waking up, afraid of reality, of existence. I’m not sure which I am trying to escape anymore, my dreams or my reality.
Up is down. Day is night. Knowledge is mystery. Identity is facade. Truth is lies.
I don’t know what I know anymore. I just know that I want to fix it, I want to fight, and I don’t know where to start.
How do you fight an enemy that is unknown? How do you fight an enemy inside yourself?
I guess the logical answer would be that you fight inside yourself, because that is at least where the enemy is. As for unknown, how do you identify the unknown? Can I figure out what is wrong with me by figuring out where my brain won’t let my look? If my mind refuses to look this problem in the eye, can I reverse engineer understanding by analyzing the shape of the area I can’t see? Can I come to know something by analyzing what makes it unknowable?
These words seem like less than dust floating in the air. Words, meaningless, vapid, wretchedly hollow words that hold the answers to nothing! I fight and I talk and I talk and I talk and all of it is just this! Just empty words, too small to ever contain what I try to pour in to them. My thoughts turn to dust when confined to such lacking vessels.
I kept telling my husband over and over earlier that I feel like I know what is wrong with me, but I can’t bring myself to actually know it. My mind keeps trying to funnel me away from the truth. I know it but I don’t want to know. Or something. I know that my mind contains the answer. And yet I can’t seem to grab it: it recoils from me like a dream fades upon waking, and I am left with my hollow words and hollower rationalizations.
I feel like I know what I don’t want to know. Almost like when you’re trying to remember a name and it’s on the tip of your tongue, instantly recognizable when spoken by another, and yet lost forever without outside assistance.
My mind doesn’t want me to write, so I will write. My fingers fight against each keystroke, so I force them to keep typing. I don’t even know what I am going to say, but I’ll be damned if I let this keep beating me. So, if writing is what it doesn’t want, then writing is what it will get. I will not be held back by some foreign part of myself hell bent on my destruction! I will not let this nameless unknowable pain win! Ever. So whatever you are, whatever force I am fighting that flows through my veins, whoever it is that is making this so painfully hard, TO HELL WITH YOU! I will always beat you because I will always keep fighting. I will never stop making my fingers fly across these keys. Do you see how they move faster now? Do you see how I don’t stop? I don’t know if you are a part of me or not, but whatever you are, you are LOSING. I will NOT stop or quit no matter how many hours or days I have to spend in front of this computer, eyes bloodshot, fingers trembling (as they already are), fighting against you, because you are not the person that I want to be! Afraid and hiding and happiest in the dark, being unknown and untouchable and unhurtable. I WILL NOT BE YOU! I will risk, I will live, I will hope, I will trust, and I will get hurt over and over and over again if I have to, but I will not be you. So fight my will to write all you want. Fight my will to figure out my problems if you want. But I promise you, whatever you are, that I am stronger. I will beat you into the dirt and I will never stop fighting. Whatever you are made of, it is not as strong as what I am comprised of, and I will not falter. Do your worst. Life has already beat you to it, and I will die fighting if I have to.
My breathing is heavy, and I feel the exhaustion of having lifted several trucks in my eyes, but the adrenaline, the anger, the fight, somehow feels good, like a drug, and I can’t and won’t let go of it. I know what my mind didn’t want me to look at, didn’t want to admit to: This job, this attempt, this decision of where I wanted to go, was the wrong one for me. And the fight between the pain it has been causing me, and my desire to keep trying to make it work in the hopes of grasping a few little green pieces of paper is what is ripping me apart.
Madame Ironheart is dead.
There are people that I met who I will keep in my life. There is knowledge I have that I would not have had otherwise. There are all sorts of things that I will take with me from this brief experience. But I did not leave one version of hell simply to choose another for myself.
What do I want to do with my life? I still don’t know. But it is NOT this. It can’t be this. Because if it was what I really wanted to do, it wouldn’t have this effect on me.
I’ve been too afraid to even admit it to myself because it means that the past month was wasted effort. It means I still don’t know what I want to do, and the bills are still coming due, and I’m still completely incapable of functioning, let alone doing something to make money to pay those bills.
But I’m not going to let the pursuit of money kill the little sanity I have left. I can’t. I won’t. I’m afraid to check my email, afraid to look at my phone, because it is nothing but a steady supply of work that I hate, work that forces me to the very edge of my limits and principles and values, and that holds me over the edge of that cliff every day. I don’t want to live like that. And no amount of money could make it worth it.
So, here I am. Back at square one. The place I was so afraid of that I had to hide the fear from myself. And I was right; it’s terrifying. But that is okay. Because I know. Because it’s true. Because I fought. Because I was able to be honest with myself. And because more than anything, I know that whatever part of me it is that tries to self-sabotage like this… I know that I can win. I will not fall victim to my illness. I will beat it back time and time again, even if the results are painful and terrifying, because I am more than my disease and I will never be consumed by it. I am me, and nothing can take that that final inch of truth and identity and integrity away from me.
Fin. Except, that it never really is.
*A note to my Readers: I originally wrote this in Word, for my eyes only, so there are a few parts that may not make perfect sense on their own. However, “The Hub” and “The Sub” both said I should share it here, after reading it, so I shared it as is. Madame Ironheart refers to the business that I was working on starting, and no longer am. Just to help with any confusion.