Sensory Deprivation 

The alarm let out a shrill sound that jolted her brain cells. Her eyes flew open.  It was only a second before the thoughts came flooding into her mind like a dam that was barely holding, had broken free.

The thoughts intertwined with the ghosts of the dreams she had the night before. Each thought hammering her consciousness as they had done the day before and the day before, and the one before that.

She moved mechanically through her morning routine. Shutting the thoughts out. Treating them like a prickly ball of barbed wire that she pushed deep within her consciousness. But it didn’t last. It rose up at every turn like a beach ball being pushed underwater by a child.

The thoughts replayed over and over in her head. Guilt, anxiety, stress, fear, and disgust at her own treacherous mind that didn’t let her rest even for a second.

She plastered on a smile. She had work to do. She had to function. People she didn’t know were counting on her. The fear that she may slip up, kept her going. But it wasn’t enough. If she were ever idle, the ball would rise again in her mind. The prickles of the barbed wire scratching the inside of her skull. She rubbed her forehead in frustration and tried to keep going. Hoping that she could rub the thoughts away. But the voices didn’t stop. The memories reminding her of a reality that was too harsh to exist in. The fear of what might happen  or how long this would last, made her breath shallow as she walked amongst others. She looked at the ground as she walked. She didn’t want her emotions to be reflected in her eyes. 

She couldn’t eat. Her mind told her that she had enough to survive. She put the food away.

People walked past her. She envied them. They seemed unaffected. They could function without these thoughts in their minds. She knew this wasn’t true. Everyone had their demons. Everyone struggled. But her mind told her that she struggled because she was weak when others were not. She struggled because her problems meant nothing to anyone except her. 

Nobody cares about the shallow, pathetic thoughts she had.

She rehearsed conversations in her head that she could have with people that cared about her. That maybe she could convey what she felt and have atleast one person understand.

Her mind told her that was futile. They would look down on her with pity. They would scoff that her problems were no where nearly as painful as the real problems others faced. They would reply to her attempts to talk for a few minutes, but ultimately, they had lives that were more important than listening to her problems that there was no real solution to. 

So she kept it to herself. She cried alone and she picked herself up and kept going. Battling with her own mind as though it were her enemy.

She had faced this before. But she had let her guard down just a little bit. Trusting more than she should have. And so she was hurt. And so her mind turned on her. It told her she was selfish. That she only cared about her problems. She feared it was true. 

She dreamt of not feeling. She wished that she wouldn’t hurt anymore no matter what happened. To not be conscious, to not feel. To be deprived of all sensation. To not have hope or be crushed. To not care. To not be able to speak ever again.

To not be awake.

She took to her bed at night and lay there waiting for the closest thing she could get to not feeling. She wanted to sleep. Before she woke up and did it all again. 

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