My Thoughts Are Pollution

Coming-of-age ramblings that don't mean much in the long run

Category: Anxiety & Depression

Fleeting

A winter gloom
These clouds hang low in the sky
She feels it crawl up her spine
The greys and blues
Serve only to clarify
As it gently traces a line

Her eyes go wide
Her eyes go black
Her hands are still
Her touch exact
She fogs the mirror
Under her breath
And finally here
She feels the press-
-ure of the last three weeks hold back

But she knows it won’t last.

A brief exhale
The blanket fell off the bed
She holds her shivering bones
Her fingers pale
The blood rushes to her head
Her room, a kingdom; her bed, a throne.

Her eyes go wide
Her eyes go black
Her hands are still
Her touch exact
She fogs the mirror
Under her breath
And finally here
She feels the press-
-ure of the last three weeks hold back

But she knows it won’t last.

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How to Lose a Viewer (On Trauma and Loneliness)

Do you want to know the fastest way to get me to stop engaging with your content?

Making insensitive jokes at the expense of burn victims.

It’s not something that comes up very frequently, so when it does, I find it incredibly jarring. Maybe if making those kinds of jokes was a cultural norm, or something that was done on a regular basis by a large number of people, I’d be able to make exceptions here. Not out of respect for it, but out of resignation at the state of the world.

But it’s not something that happens often. There are so many content creators out there who haven’t made that kind of joke. So when you do; when you look at some horrible ugly image and say, “That there is so horrible. It looks like a burn victim.” I can just fucking leave! I don’t have to engage, I don’t have to leave an angry comment, I don’t have to spend another goddamn second of my life connected to you or the media you produce.

I don’t have to waste my time on people who don’t think about the people who suffer when they hear those remarks, because there are millions of other people who I can spend time on.

The thing is… I’m not even sure if it’s a rare occurrence because people are being sensitive and empathetic and socially aware; I worry that maybe the only reason it happens infrequently is because it’s not an easy target in every situation. Like, the jokes can only be made when exposed to something… something ugly. So… god, I just bummed myself out. I don’t like having to think about that being the point of comparison. I don’t like thinking that the only time anyone ever talks about what happened to me in a casual way is when it’s comparing me to something ugly and disgusting.

But, I mean… the point I was trying to make before totally bumming myself out is that I fear that maybe people would make the jokes more often if the opportunities arose more often. And that’s a real…. That’s really fucking sad.

I hope people can maybe consider other people before speaking like that. I’m not being overly-sensitive. I’m being normally-sensitive. People who do not have a point of reference in regards to this can not tell me that the way I’m feeling is wrong. The way I am feeling is right. I feel sad. I feel hopeless…

I feel incredibly fucking lonely when those jokes are made. It’s really easy to. I don’t have anyone who understands. There is literally no one in my life who could even come close to understanding that feeling. That… that deflation. I was so excited about this content; I was so happy to find another series of videos I enjoyed watching and then… All the wind out of my sails. Just… “Oh… I guess I don’t really belong here after all.”

As cool as I feel ghosting on their stuff; as right as it is to drop them entirely, I feel like the kid being told he can’t play football with the other kids at recess. I feel there again. Like it’s another thing I’m not allowed to enjoy because of my scars.

I feel lonely.

I feel like the only person in the universe who feels the way I feel.

And I’m sad.

 

Mantra

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

I am not cool.

Baggage

I think I love you so

Let’s go
Let’s go anywhere but here
Can you drive?
I won’t bring anything this time
No baggage
And no pills for peace of mind
And we won’t
Get high
Get high
Get high
For once in my
Short life
Too long
Get high
I just have to get away sometimes

I Am Nothing, Only Nothing

I’m so goddamn scared that I’m not good at anything. And I need to be. I need to be good at something. Not even for the sake of having a career, although that’s not totally irrelevant, but for the sake of staying sane. I need something in my life that I can look at and feel accomplished.

I don’t have anything like that right now. I look at the body of my writing work, and when compared to people I respect, it all seems mediocre. There’s nothing about me that stands out.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am utterly average. I’m probably even below average. I’m not good at anything. No, you don’t understand. I’m not good at anything. I’m an average writer, a sub-par guitar player, a sub-par lyricist, a sub-par philosopher, I can’t solve puzzles or riddles, I’m not as smart as I think I am, I’m a bad driver, I’m slow at stocking shelves, I have a hard time understanding questions that are asked of me or directions that are given to me and often require people to repeat what they are saying multiple times in sentences worded multiple different ways before I have a grasp of what they’re trying to say.

I’m a bad listener, often simply waiting my turn to speak rather than actually investing myself in what the other person is saying. To that end, I don’t even have anything interesting or useful to say; most of my conversations with people involve me desperately searching for either a way to end the conversation or a way to not sound crazy, and I often fail to do either. I’m a terrible conversationalist.

I’m bad at marketing, I have no grasp on how to get the stuff I make seen by people, and the little I do know in regards to that involve behaving in ways that rub me the wrong way; the idea of me trying to advertise skeeves me out.

I also have an addictive and self-destructive personality. While for some unknowable reason I am 100% immune to cigarette addiction (I mean, I can smoke habitually for months and then quit cold turkey on accident, just because I keep forgetting to buy more; I’m seriously unaffected by them in that way) I am easily hooked on other substances and have a difficult time living without a “high” to look forward to.

I can’t even sleep properly. I have to wear a mask that breathes for me while I sleep, and even with that, I still don’t feel good when I wake up.

I’m bad at organizing and cleaning. I’m horrendously forgetful. I have no hold on my adult life; I’m not capable of managing it in a healthy way. I can’t finish anything I start. I’m bad at my hobbies. I’m bad at Magic: The Gathering, a game I play obsessively and sink ungodly amounts of money into. I’m lazy, and these days, I can’t even bring myself to read very often, something I used to spend entire days, sometimes even weeks, doing. I’m bad at hygeine, often taking all of the proper steps but still feeling unclean anyway.

I’m terrible at managing my time.

I can’t think of a single thing that I am even above-average at, let alone actually good at. This is distressing. It really drains me of hope for my future. I don’t think I have one. I think I’ve hit a wall, and there’s no getting over it. I’m done. I’m toast. I’m ruined. There’s nothing. There’s no way forward.

From This Place

I have to admit
That my sad shit
Worries are all based on something real
That maybe the world isn’t only what I feel

And I can see you
Waiting there for me
Your hand outstretched
Over everything
I can’t see the horizon
Through these trees
I can’t see the sun rising
Through these leaves
I can’t keep on disguising
Everything
Underneath the cover
Of the birds and raging bees.

Won’t you take me away?
That’s really all I can say
I must admit that I may
Have unbearably high
Expectations considering
What I look like
And what I’ve been doing for three years.
Won’t you take me away?
From this every day
But I know you can’t save
Much of anyone
I’m tired of assuming
I know the way
That people are when they are not right here.

Oh, I can’t see this mountain
from the top
And I can’t see the valley
Through the wall of rock
And though I know just
What I’m not
It’s not enough to save me
From this wall of thought

And I tell myself I’m not
I tell myself I’m not

I can’t see the horizon
Through these trees
Can’t see the sun rising
Through all of these leaves
I can’t keep on disguising
Everything
Underneath the cover
Of the birds and raging bees.

Attractive Panic

A new girl showed up at my support group today. Well, maybe not “new,” she had been to it once before, a few months ago, but still new in my eyes.

She is unbearably attractive.

She is the kind of pretty that makes it hard to look at her for too long; you immediately become self-conscious and worry that you might be leering at her. So I didn’t look at her much. Eye-contact with pretty people is not something I’m good at.

I had to remind myself that I’m not exactly in good shape right now. Like, I understand that maybe it’s bad to put myself down, and maybe I should have a more positive outlook, but as far as matters of the heart are concerned, I”m pretty much dead in the water at the moment. I have gained a lot of weight over the last few years. Like, a ton of weight. Like, an I-should-be-worried-that-I’ve-significantly-shortened-my-lifespan amount of weight. And this isn’t, like, me “fat-shaming” myself or anything, but I don’t think anyone would find me attractive. This is just reality. I can live with it. If I want someone who I find attractive to find me attractive, I need to lose weight. I’ve come to terms with that, and aside from a few sporadic moments of weakness, I’ve kept my heart pretty closed-off as a reaction to that.

I had a bit of panic attack.

Why do I do this? Why can I not stand to be attracted to anyone without short-circuiting as a result? I got into a bit of a loop; I would fawn over her for a second, then berate myself for being stupid enough to fawn over her, then berate myself for being conceited enough to find her attractive. Like, by entertaining romantic thoughts about her, I’m assuming that there’s any chance of them happening, and that’s wrong, because there isn’t. Then I would yell at myself for being so self-absorbed; that I’m so focused on how shitty I am that I can’t think of anything else; how selfish of me. Then that line of thinking would repeat itself and become exponentially more severe, and interspersed throughout all of this are occasional butterflies in my stomach, and it all eventually filters itself into what can only be described as actual screaming inside my head.

There were no coherent thoughts, just anxiety. Just self-defeating pangs of hysteria, cutting through every other potential thought or action. I had to excuse myself. I had to sit on the bathroom floor and listen to my own music on my iPod. I had to breathe. It was pathetic.

To top it all off, she was, like, nice to me and stuff. She said hi to me, sat next to me during group, and then even complimented me. It doesn’t mean anything. I’m 100% certain of that. I’m 1000% certain of that. But it gave that shitty part of me that was so attracted to her hope, and that hope just made everything worse. It made me more mad at myself.

I don’t know how to handle this situation. I think… I mean, it wasn’t clear to everyone else why I was having so much anxiety, so it’s not like I’ve created an unsalvageable situation. Her and I can still be friends; this was all happening entirely inside my head this time, unlike the last social panic attack I described here. That’s cool. But I’m well aware that this sort of thinking is actually, legitimately  crazy. But I can’t change it. I’m so freaked out. This is all just icing on the cake of my current nihilistic existential crisis, so I’m… I’m really not doing so hot. I’m scared. Of the future, of the present, and of myself.

I’m Feeling Sorry For Myself Right Now

Maybe there should be a points system in regards to good deeds and bad deeds. Nobody ever feels appreciated. No one ever feels like anyone cares about the effort they put into maintaining a relationship. Maybe it would be better if there was a definitive, objective way to track kindnesses.

Then people wouldn’t be able to accuse you of not loving them enough whenever you let them down. Because all of the little things you did along the way, those would still count. They wouldn’t be worthless the second someone was upset with you. No one would be able to keep a list of all the bad things you’ve done and dump the whole list on you when anything went bad, because all the good things would be on the list too.

I don’t do a whole lot of good things. But I do some. I do more than I feel like I can manage. I do, in fact, do. My world is not built out of perceived slights against me, even though I do have a tendency to play the victim. My world is admittedly not built out of perceived kindness, either. Right now my world is built out of a pile of bad habits, with a massive tower in the center. The tower is slick and devoid of handholds. And everyone wonders why I don’t just buck up and climb it.

I am more than the sum of my faults. I have a lot of faults. But I am more than them. I do good things. I do my best.

There are just a lot of little things that get forgotten. I guess it doesn’t really matter. You’re not supposed to do good things for the sake of personal gain. But it does hurt when you realize they’ve all been paved over by a single mistake. Or even a series of mistakes. It’s painful either way.

Life is hard.

It’s Not a Fear of Failure

Stardew Valley - Shane

It’s not a fear of failure that is holding me back. It’s a confidence that failure is inevitable. I don’t worry that I might fail, and the risk of the possibility of failure doesn’t freak me out.

I just don’t feel capable. I feel untalented, unskilled, and unintelligent. I feel like anything I attempt will lead to failure because I am utterly incompetent. So I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of moving forward, when failure is looming over me. I’m afraid of taking a step not because I’m worried I might be stepping on a landmine, but because I see landmines all around me and don’t see anywhere else to step.

The few things I have some level of competence in, I can’t even called myself especially skilled at. I’m an okay writer. I’m not a great technical writer, and I have trouble writing long-form anything. Long-form there meaning longer than an average blog post. As far as coming up with fictional stories goes, I have a hard time actually finding a plot to write about. All the stories I have to tell are from real life, and… I mean, none of them really have a beginning, middle, and end. That’s not how real life works. In real life, shit happens, then it keeps happening. You don’t really get a “conclusion.” So I have a really hard time writing stories. It takes writing a book or a short story completely off the table.

I’m an okay poet, sure. I have a very specific style of writing and generally have difficulty writing things in such a way that they couldn’t be said in a sentence. So I write stuff that’s meant to be said out loud, either through song or through cool hipster-ish poetry readings. I don’t have a super wide range when it comes to poetry. This is all avoiding the elephant in the room, though: it’s not marketable and it doesn’t make you money. It’s not a career.

I’m maybe serviceable when it comes to guitar. I can’t play anything super complicated and I give up on difficult pieces far too quickly. I’ve been playing for around seven years now and I’m maybe about as good as someone who has been playing for two. I can’t play cleanly. All of my chords sound rough. My sense of rhythm is thrown off easily. I have trouble singing and playing at the same time. Music theory is beyond me.

And I think that ends my list of skills. And all of them are things that even if I were the best in the world at, it’d still be a weighted-against me roll of the dice as to whether or not they’d ever be profitable.

I can’t even stock shelves fast enough for anyone.

So let me ask you a question. Do you ever feel like… no matter what you do, you’re gonna fail?

[The screenshot is from the recently-released game called Stardew Valley. It’s on Steam (meaning you play it on your PC, for those of you who are out-of-the-loop on that stuff) and it’s incredible. It’s also only fifteen dollars. I highly recommend it.]

Stay the Same

There’s something pulling
Pulling at my skin
There’s something out there
Far from where I’ve already been

But fuck that, I said I’m gonna sleep in
Nobody else can live in filth like this
But I can
They just don’t understand

Yeah fuck that, I’ll wake up at four
Watch the sun go down from my window
From my parent’s second floor
Only have seven or so more
Hours left to go

And they tell me it’s time to move on
Work out until the extra weight is gone
And maybe then I will fall in love
‘Cause we live only to fall in love

Fuck that, I like sleeping alone
The last girl I loved slept on my bed
While I fell off the memory foam
And so I slept alone

Yeah fuck that, there’s nobody out there
I don’t want them to listen or even to care
I’m tired of people who change
I just want a girl who will stay the same
I just want a life that will stay the same

But still, fuck that, I got a handful of pills
I gotta get myself high so I get over the chills
Of my last great adventure
They never told me it would end up

Like this, just living at home
The only fucking problem is
That I’ll never really be alone
‘Cause we have to learn to like being alone.