Are taking
you your

Mom asks. As if taking these little things isn’t dehumanizing enough. As if taking them is as easy as it seems. As if they are working for me.
As if I will ever get better. As if I will ever stop envying people who envy me because apparently suffering is something cool. Because being in pain and being tireless and being sad and anxious and forgetful and being filled with self-loathe are desirable conditions.

When my psychiatrist put me on Zoloft, everything got worse the first few months. And that happened without needing to sleep. Or was it because I couldn’t sleep? I don’t remember. But I remember getting up before the sunrise just to try to fix everything and by fixing everything, I mean thinking of what I should do throughout the day.
My therapist told me to write down the tasks I needed to do for the day so that I wouldn’t forget. And that I would have a sense of accomplishment. So, the first thing on the list, and I wrote in pen, was to look at the mirror. Not because I was a narcissist, but because I thought it was a great exercise to pinpoint a part of my body and try not to hate it. But there are only so many parts of my body that I could name before having to start all over again. Second, do my bed. Third, eat breakfast. Fourth, shower. At this point, I already felt accomplished.

This is one of the things my therapist keeps asking me on each of my visits: do you still write?

I try to keep it going. I still write

in pen,

so I know my words are immortalized unless they are burned. But, of course, that is a lie. Nothing is truly immortal. Everything will ineluctably disintegrate into being forgotten. So much for immortalizing something and leaving footsteps behind and feeling that I belonged when what’s behind is nothing but vacant spaces because have you ever fucking thought how big space is?

I remember being glued on my bed, having a slumber with uninvited guests. They told me stories of how terrifying it is to be left out and be abandoned and be alone and to die alone and then forgotten, but for some reason, I didn’t want to not listen nor did I want to leave.
I remember doing not much then but memorizing the rhythm of the clock at night, which I compare with my heartbeat and breaths. I count the tick-tocks and hear which tick lands on which heartbeat and which tock goes with which breath. I am waiting for the battery to die, so the time halts and so my heart shuts and my breathing stops.
On occasions when I am able to escape, I try to go out here and there so that I don’t rot in my skin on my bed at home, thinking about failing at everything, but whatever’s around me seems to move faster. Everything feels heavier. I still try to move at a normal pace — whatever that means, but that is just as exhausting as watching the clock.

Sometimes, I feel everything, and it becomes overwhelming to the point they all just feel the same — and that’s when I become nothing; that’s when breathing becomes a chore; that’s when I sink beneath my feet. I know there’s no such thing as nowhere, but I want to be there.
So, I told my therapist about it. She led me in breathing and counting exercises. But inhaling oxygen and counting from one through ten can only go so far before I start exhaling and counting from one again.

She asks again if I’m still writing.
Yes, I still write, in pencil, and boy, let me tell you: I wish sharpeners didn’t

have blades.

©2019, Quiyet Brul

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