To all the nobodies that care and the everybodies who don’t care,
As my eyelids feel as if they’re about to peel themselves off on their own initiative, I try to remember how long it’s been since I started the day on my phone. I’ve been up since seven in the morning, and now in just five minutes, it’ll be six in the evening.
With nothing to show for it.
Because at breakfast I had my eyes attached to my phone’s screen.
Because at lunch my eyes felt like they were going to drop out of their sockets.
Because at supper I stopped feeling anything except a faint whirring numbness in my head that made me wonder if this is how it’s like to lose your mind, or maybe I was just being melodramatic and was overreacting to what I’ve been doing all day.
Of course I need some counseling. I don’t need all or any of the judgmental people reading these thoughts to tell me that. They can’t, anyway, but I know they want to say something before I go over the cliff, so to speak, and take things too far.
But my insurance doesn’t cover counseling, and I don’t have the time to fritter away in front of some damn self-help book that’s just going to make me wallow and whine about how my life sucks. I don’t want to feel any worse than I already do, and all that so-called help the outside people want to throw at me would just rip open the wounds and stuff some fricking sodium chloride into them.
“Can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?” they’re telling me in texts after I’ve informed them how long I’ve spent on this device, whose contours I think my hands are starting to mold around. “Don’t you realize that you’re self-destructing?”
I’d rather self-destruct this way, feeling like a toilet bowl full of crap that has yet to be flushed, than stay constructed while at the same time being deluded, having happy bubbles coming floating out of my butt and singing about butterflies and blue skies.
On my device I see people not on their devices. They are living because they have lives.
Places to go to, friends to meet, selfies to take, the occasional update to their feeds, that’s how everyone in the world (with one obvious exception) works. I wish I could feel special knowing that I’m the odd one out, but instead it makes me wonder just how I got into this position and how the hell I break out of it.
Since ten in the morning, I’ve been turning to the information superhighway for answers, but there seems to be a traffic jam on it, because not yet has my mind been satisfied with what cars or trucks have passed by me. I have twenty-two pages on one web browser open, and then two dozen on another, and they all come with search questions. Like:
“What can I do if nobody likes me
“Why is my life so empty
“What to do if you feel hollow inside
“Why am I so distant from everything.”
“What should you do if your name is Valentine and everyone expects you to love everyone else”
Okay, so the last one is a little specific to me, but he casual observer might freak out upon reading the others, the way they’re so vague and off-putting. But there’s nothing discomforting about them to me. In fact, they ease my mind. They’re like a quilt to keep mind warm while the cold world blows by outside my window. Not that I’ve looked out my window once today. It’s just a figure of speech. This comfort I get from asking all these questions to the Internet, even though it can’t answer them (yet) for me, has gotten to the point where I’m scared something good will happen to me. I know that if things ever improved around here in my mind, I’d just be on thin ice the whole time, waiting for that inevitable moment when things would crash down again so that I could feel like crap again.
I’m surprised these words are coming out as coherently as they are, seeing as how, as I’ve mentioned, my eyeballs are fried to the point where I’m just putting this down by instinct of the letters on my phone’s virtual keyboard, rather than by any sort of sight.
I don’t what this is leading to. Maybe nothing. Certainly not everything. The blue light beaming back to me will mean I won’t get any sleep tonight. I wasn’t planning on snoozing anyway. I figure by midnight there’s a shot that I’ll have at least a piece of the mystery figured out. One good search will do it. One last article. One that hasn’t already followed the predictable format of “Eleven Ways You Can” do this, or “You Won’t Believe How Easy it Is” to do that. This and that don’t matter. They’re catchalls for catchwords. Self-forgiveness, self-respect, gratitude, acceptance, positivity, mindfulness. All the same word spelled different ways, and that word is one not in my vocabulary.
Again, I know what you’re all thinking. “Just stop! Take a break! Call a timeout!” But there’s no way I can’t even take the reins of my mind. It’s like a star that’s meant to shine on everything and everyone, but instead it focuses all it’s light on a stupid mirror like my phone and gets blinded with its own reflection.