Caught In A Trap

It must be made of glass.

I lay my hands on it. It feels cold. Too cold.

I can get out easily. I push on it. The wall quivers then moves with an Earth shaking rumble. But it moves towards me. They all move around me.

Suddenly the space is too small. Desperation creeps in. It must be made of glass. Of course I can break free. I can get out. I pound on the wall until my fists are raw and pulsing with impact. But the walls only close in.

The air is tight. My screams do not linger. Snuffed out like a bare hand over a candle.

How did I get here? Did I willingly walk in? Was I placed? Was I violently thrown in without my knowledge? I was aware wasn’t I?

It only seemed like glass…

I can’t get out. The futility pounds my head as I hear glass shattering. Only the glass wasn’t outside. It was within the small, empty space in the centre of my chest.

My Life Is Average 

So today I was mulling around thinking about the current state of my life. Basically kind of bored.

I just finished a 10 day working stretch including weekend and then slept for 11 hours straight.

I woke up and it was hard to get into a mode where I don’t think about work.

You know people bang on and on about “work-life balance” like it’s some magical equation that’ll make your life perfect. I bet all of them would agree that I don’t have such a “balance”

Mostly because people think that this “balance” is either being able to have babies and being a working mom (if you’re a woman), or being involved in some kind of group activity like sports or tree planting club or something.

I basically stay home and browse the internet and talk to my friends. I’m not part of any club and I’m not particularly athletically inclined. I’m sure most of these balance people will say that’s not good enough.

I kind of disagree. I think work-life balance is more about being able to give your best at work and outside of it. And let me tell you, I am giving 100% to being lazy right now.

But also it’s that point in my life where there are no big goals and nothing much to work towards.

Like I spent a lot of effort and time working towards becoming a doctor and it’s like, well now what?

So that’s what work-life balance is kind of a question mark for me. Now what do I do with my life?

A friend of mine said it may seem a bit messy but if you sum it up, it doesn’t sound that bad. He proceeded to say “I’ve got a good job I’m about to be promoted in, I’m engaged and planning a trip to Japan this year”

I had to laugh.

Mostly because that actually sounded great and my summary wouldn’t sound as good.

“I’m a doctor, working in Middlemore hospital… and uhh….”

Yeah I don’t know. It required much more thought after that initial sentence. Like yes I’m a doctor, and that’s pretty good I suppose. I’ve just started, I’ve got my whole career ahead of me, working towards becoming a gastro consultant etc.

What else do I do? I’ve got my blog. I’ve got my writing. I like taking photos, I like playing the guitar.

But I’m not exactly fantastic at any of these things. I’m basically average.

I’d like to be someone who does a lot of things. But I don’t know what.

Oh well. Today I at least made a point to play guitar, write, and take photos.

Macro shot of my bamboo plant/tree thing!

I’m going to get back into taking photos I think. Macro today. But hopefully will get back into going places and taking landscape photos. After all, the season is perfect for some soft, pastel photography.

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. 

Measure Up

I thought I was moving up. 

But I’m really only following lines in the sand. 

It gave me joy. Every rung I climbed, the feeling that I was enough..

But when I looked down, the pit was there. 

Within my reach. Waiting to swallow me whole. Just as easily. 

As though I meant nothing. 

I wonder if I would ever measure up. 

I thought my ruler was bigger than yours. 

But we’re measuring different things. 

Always out of step. 

My ladder turns to dust. And I am falling. 

Maybe if my ruler matched yours, I would move up. 

But at the top, I know I wouldn’t be me. 

My ruler is simply lines in the sand. 

But I will keep climbing. 

For that feeling. 

The Voices 

“you’re pathetic” said Jona as he loomed over me in the corner behind the dumpster at the back of the school. I could smell the chocolate and chips on his breath. He shoved his hand in my pocket and pulled out my 3 cookies I had for lunch. I tried to grab his arm and take them back, but Jona’s other arm came crashing into my chest and knocked the wind out of me as I fell back onto the concrete. My back aching from the force and my arms burning from where they scraped the ground. I looked up. I couldn’t see Jona as my eyes filled with tears. But I heard his voice. “you’re a loser!”

“Do as you’re told. You stupid dickhead” said the man that was my new dad. I looked up at him. His clothes had the stink of cigarettes and vinegary smell of alcohol. “eat it” he said. Shoving the orange ends of his smoked cigarettes into my small mouth. I turned my head away and squirmed to run. But his hand was holding my thin arm with a grip that was as strong as a vice and just as deadly. “eat it!” he repeated, successfully stuffing a handful of the cigarette butts into my mouth. They tasted of ash and poison. I choked and spat them out, feeling a warmth spread in my pants where I had peed myself. “you pathetic mess! Look at the mess you’ve made!!” said the man as he raised his hand above my head. I couldn’t see him as my eyes filled with tears. “you’re nothing but a loser” his voice rang in my ears.

“you loser. Why don’t you just go kill yourself?” I woke with a start from my bed. I sat up and saw only darkness. As my eyes adjusted to the dim flickering tubelight in the hallway, I saw that I was alone. “you stupid useless idiot” the Voice rang in my ears and I pressed my hands to the side of my head. I told myself It’s in my head. The doctor with the kind eyes told me it’s just Voices in my head. Before he gave me the pills to put me to sleep. Now I’m awake. “yeah you’re awake, dickhead”. I can still hear their Voices…. Then what’s real? “you’re crazy. That’s what’s real. Loser.” I looked down at my arms. Even in the dark I could see the linear gashes and scars criss-crossing all the way down on my forearm. Some still raw, bandaged by the doctor. Marks I had given myself. “see that? Loser scars.” I smiled to myself. They’re not. I slid my hand under the pillow of my bed and extracted the lone object that lay there. The paperclip that Steve from the room opposite my own had given me. The one that I had bent out of shape until it was a thin rod and sharpened on one end by the dinner cutlery. I pulled off the bandage that was wrapped just below my elbow. I felt the air touch the still healing wound. I pressed the sharp end of the paperclip at the top of the wound and ran it down the length of the old cut. I savoured the burning pain that shot through my arm. The sound of my heart in my chest as it began to beat rapidly. The cool sensation of the blood leaking out of the wound. I did it again and again. As I did, the Voices got quieter and quieter. And then they stopped. 

Pain is good. I don’t know what’s real. But atleast I know I’m alive. 

A Leaf On The Road 

There was a leaf on the road. It was just an autumn leaf. It was dry yet vibrant; its stem holding proud. It was just an autumn leaf… that landed in the middle of my path; lightly, before my feet. My eyes fell on it. It was just like every other autumn leaf; it was unique. It spoke to me. It spoke of summertime. Of hope and happiness. The gentle breeze that would caress it and the winds that challenged it. It spoke of the rains that  cleansed it and helped it grow stronger still. It spoke of its roots. That connected it to every other soul around it. 

It spoke of change. The leaf braved the seasons. It knew not of the changes to come. Only that everyday it was protected under the eternal piercing sun. It spoke of the gentle cooling of autumn. The final change before it was time to let go. No longer would it be held together, no longer connected. It would not know what lay beneath on the earth. But the leaf knew it was time. It let go. It landed in the middle of my path. It told me it’s story. It brought a change within me. But as I knelt down to pick it up, the cool breeze took it away from my reach. 

Change. 

I mourned its absence. The corner of my eyes, my spirit searched for that little piece of change. As I walk the same path everyday. Would I see it again? What feeling would it invoke? Happiness? Hope? The way it spoke to me? Or the way it eluded me? 

Or would it remind me of

Change?

I long for the leaf that lay in the middle of the road.