I am failing.
All the brave words I have written to this point ring hollow in my ears. It’s all just a bunch of shit that I believe for a brief minute before tossing it to the wayside again.
I am falling.
Into the abyss, the same one where I used to dwell. Every time I think I have scrambled my way out, I find another level. It’s like Dante’s nine circles of hell. There are so many steps on the way up, I wonder if I’ll ever breathe free air again.
I am hurting.
I fight the demons. I fight the sadness. I fight the pain and the fear and the numbness. I fight the depression and the tears. I fight the memories, and I fight my past.
I am tired.
Every moment of respite has an underlying tinge of sadness to it. I can feel the happiness and the joy and the pleasure, but the demons are waiting, waiting to swoop down and engulf me once again.
I am weak.
I just want to go to crawl in my bed and not come out ever again. I want to pull the covers over my head and allow Morpheus to take me. Though my sleep is filled with nightmares, in some ways, they are preferable to dealing with the pain of living.
I am lost.
I have no map, no guide, no faith to lead me where I need to be. I look at the wide open expanse, and all I can feel is fear. I have never been this far down this road before, and I have never been very good at winging it.
I am grieving.
That little girl, so small, so helpless. By the age of eleven, I was suicidal. Every day, I thought about how I didn’t want to be alive. I hated every minute of every day, and the nights were not much better. When I was at my niece’s eleventh birthday party, I was conscious of a bittersweetness permeating my brain. She was so lovely and so confident (though that is already starting to erode, three months later); she just shone. How I ached to know what that felt like at her age.
I am terrified.
The memories hurt as if the events just happened yesterday. I can feel what that little girl felt, though I try valiantly to tamp down the intensity. My body physically aches from the pain I’m experiencing. I can feel my heart expanding until it threatens to explode with tears. It is ripping me up inside, and I don’t know if I have the resources to stop it from destroying me.
I am mournful.
I know so many people who have gone through something similar to what I have experienced. While it’s comforting to know that I am not alone on my journey, it hurts me that so many others have felt this way. So many broken boys and girls who have suffered tremendously, alone in the night. Some have clawed back from the depths of hell through sheer determination and contrariness, but so many more fall through the cracks. They numb themselves, hurt themselves and/or others, and are the walking wounded. They are psychologically dead, even if they are physically alive. I know, for that is what I was for so many years.
I am longing.
I want the childhood I never had. I want a world that seems unlimited as I gaze upon the wonders that surround me. I want to believe that I can grow up and be anything I like, including a Tony-winning actor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and content in life and love. I want to look joyously towards the future, dreaming of all the delights that await me. I want a home that is a safe place, a nurturing place, a real home.
I am sorry.
I regret all the wasted years. I regret not knowing better. In the present, I am sorry because I still feel like I’m badly disappointing my friends who so firmly believe in me. With all these awesome people rooting for me, supporting me, and being in my corner, why the fuck can’t I just believe in myself already?
I am broken.
I try so hard to mend what has been shattered. Every time I stitch up one gaping hole, another wound punctures my soul. I am practicing triage, and still, I feel the life force seeping out of me. No matter how fast I stop the bleeding, I can never stem it completely. The scars crisscross my soul, and they won’t stop throbbing.
I am in despair.
The pain is unending. It continues, no matter how I try to ameliorate it, alleviate it, ease it, obliterate it. I can envision a future, vaguely, but it moves further away from me. How can I trust that I even have a future when so much of my past is a lie?
I am weakening.
Whatever strength I had, whatever resolve I possessed, whatever determination I mustered have all but dissipated. I normally love the nights, but now, as night approaches, I find myself filled with dread. That is when the demons come out to play. That is when all the doubts, fears, anguishes, and horrors emerge from their cages. Even when I manage to escape their embraces, I fall into the clutches of Morpheus, who is equally cruel. He pelts my brain with images of murder, rape, mayhem, discord, and fear. So much fear, I awake with my heart pounding as I gasp for breath.
I am on my knees.
No matter how I try to bolster myself, no matter how I try to brace myself up, I can’t stand on my own two feet. Every time I make a move to rise, a hand shoves me back down to the floor again. Without a core, I cannot defeat the forces aligning against me. How can I defend myself when there is nothing there to defend? Why should I even try when I’m not sure what IS there is worth defending?
I am silently screaming.
I learned how to be quiet when I cry. I learned not to be outwardly angry. For the most part, I can put on a happy face no matter what I’m feeling inside. This ability is slipping, but it’s still functional. All I want to do is scream and rage and howl and cry. Instead, it’s all on the inside. Even when I allow the tears to escape my tightly closed eyes, I grind my teeth together so no sound can escape from me. Another legacy of my childhood that I have yet to fix. The greater the pain, the quieter and more still I become. Maybe then, it’ll go away.
I am vulnerable.
Every defense has been ripped away. Every shield I had crafted and erected has been smashed to smithereens. I have nothing built in their place, so I am scrambling to find a way to protect myself from the pain. Yet, since the old defenses are all I knew, I don’t know what to do. I know how to hurt myself, to numb myself, to go so far into the blackness that I am in danger of never returning. I don’t know how to protect myself in a healthy, positive way.
I am defeated.
I can’t keep getting up again. It’s too fucking hard. The punches are too fast, and way too fucking furious for me to cope. My tank is hovering just above empty, and I don’t know how to refuel. More to the point, I don’t want to fight any more. I want to wave the white flag of surrender.
I am done.
P.S. I couldn’t embed the NIN version of Hurt that I liked the best, so I’m substituted the Johnny Cash version–which is almost as good. The NIN version is here.