Once More, with Feeling

i am a compulsive liar.

people ask me how i’m doing. i say, “fine,” “good,” “okay.” these are just words meant to reassure. only half the people i talk to believe it when i say them, but then i think they only believe it because they want to, because they need to, because the truth is too difficult to stomach.

the truth is, sometimes i don’t remember how to feel.

there are times, moments in days, seconds in hours, minutes, full days, most nights, when i’m blank. i feel nothing (nothing, pronoun: not anything, no single thing. the absence of something). my head is empty, void, null, static on a tv screen. i am careless and apathetic, blank (blank, adjective: bare, empty, plain, showing incomprehension or no reaction).

i don’t know how to fix it. i don’t feel anything. the things i used to love don’t bring me any joy; there’s no passion, no enjoyment, no anything. i am seeing without feeling. consuming without thinking. absorbing without processing. i’m at a stasis (stasis, noun: a period of inactivity or equilibrium), and i cannot control it. i cannot fix it.

there are methods, of course, ways to mend this broken thing. but most days it feels impossible. it’s like a dark cloud, my own personal demon with claws digging into my shoulder, a shadow looming over my head. some days i can beat it, but others days i let it beat me. it drags me down and pins me to my bed and sends dark thoughts swirling like debris in a tornado around my head.

it is a constant presence, and i can’t shake it. it’s been so long now that i feel like it’s permanent, and i know, in some aspect, it is. it will always be there, but i also know it can be shrunk. it can be tamed. not defeated completely, but tamed (tame, verb: make less powerful and easier to control). caged. so i cling to the things that incite emotion in me, fiction, fantasy, anything other than real life, and i wait for better days to come, when real life will be better than this.

on my better days, though it seems they are far and few between, i can laugh. i can dance, i can smile, i am happy. on these days it doesn’t feel so impossible. on these days it feels like living. but these days are rare, and not easy to catch.

on my worse days, which feels like the majority, i can’t do anything but nothing. i am trapped and i am tortured. i am heavy and lethargic. my energy is sapped like water rushing down a drain, and i am left an empty vessel, a meaningless pile of bones that was once a person, but is now just an afterimage of one (afterimage, noun: an impression of a vivid sensation retained after the stimulus has ceased).

i am a compulsive liar. to others and to myself.

to others, i say “i’m fine,” “i’m good,” “i’m okay.” to myself i say “it will get better,” “you can do this,” “you will be truly happy one day.”

but sometimes i don’t remember how to feel (feeling, noun: an emotional state or reaction; feeling, adjective: showing emotion or sensitivity), and without this capacity, what can i be?

nothing (nothing, adverb: not at all).

so i cling to the things that incite emotion in me, because this is the only way i can feel. and i wait and wait until the day when real life becomes better.

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