The Day I Stopped Living
“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”
― Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls
I’ve let the silence been an answer for everything, a generic “nothing happens” when the silence was not enough to calm the curiosity. My passivity consumed me inside, it did not let me breathe, that damned raging anger. Again and again I fell into the void of an absolutely inexplicable sadness. I have been told that secrets must remaind hidden, but one thing I am sure off it’s that the most we hide something the fastest it comes out, and you can not hide that kind of anger, cause it can make you burn from the inside and turn your world to ashes.
A few years ago I had my life defined, I think I knew what, how and when I would do what I need it to do, all planned and calculated. I felt safe, all that planning made me feel the owner of my life, my destiny. For someone who had grown up like me, afraid of being rejected, ashamed of myself, insecure. Was a lot to say that I projected a strength and a security that seamed so real in the eyes of everyone, so believable. I wanted to make my parents proud of me, I wanted to make the people around me happy about the decisions I made, no matter what the cost was, it did not matter that I had to follow a silly plan of life that, now I know it would not fill me and it would never make me happy.
I started to turn into another person, someone pleaseant and nice and smart and kind, but false. I based the most important decisions of my life on pleasing others, my career, my eating habits, my work, my boyfriend back then, even my beliefs. But something was wrong with me, I belived so. What I liked to do, what made me feel good, collided with my oh so planned life , so well articulated, collided with the world I was in, a world that instead of round and colorful was squared and gray. Where no one could see beyond the glass walls that surrounded me, that I built to feel safe, where nobody knew that for every movement I made I questioned myself about twelve times or more if it was right to made it, or repeated the conversations inside my head looking for other meanings, because I needed to hear other things, I needed to feel that they were not just empty words, that I was not empty. I wanted my ears full of naive sweet whispers, that my routine was good, that I should not change anything of my life because that’s how I wanted it, cause that was the key, the formula to success, to glory, to slenderness, to love, to money to everything.
But the rage was there, always scratching my throat, that passive aggressive rage, that made me reach my room and throw everything in the most possible noiseless way or go to concerts of electronic music and get lose in the distorted sound, between unknown bodies, where I was someone and was noone and nobody else saw me scream or see that I was in pain.
I started to have mental breakdowns, where I did not remember what I had to do at the time or why I was there or where I should go later, panic attacks became more intense, I had trouble concentrating on work, I needed to wash my hands with more frequency than the necesary, I was losing the precarious control I had over my life. I ate too much or did not eat at all, I was very fat or very thin, my thoughts were so distorted, I lost my identity and I no longer knew who I was.
I needed help, but nobody noticed it and I never asked for it. I wondered if that was just a phase, if everyone felt that way. I became the queen of the carrion, rotten inside. Nothing made me happy, nothing was agreeable, I had let myself be consumed by that rage, I did not want to follow that silly plan. But there was no turning back, I had wasted years of my oh so short mortal life. I felt like a false version of myself, if I changed the course of my route I would feel like a traitor, of what I claimed to be so endeavouring . I became ashes, totally lost in the voragine of a lifeless routine. It was like living in nothingness, like a zombie. There was no moment of clarity there was only resignation or desire to end the misery.
I read a book called Ro and Julie, I felt identified with Ro, he was a zombie, living from the memories he extracted from the brains of the living, I was a zombie who only got real emotions from the books I read desperately in search of a life with emotion. A life in which I did not wake up every day went to work, then to the university and then to the house, a life that was not mine but that somehow I could be part of it, part of that world, real or unreal.
At some point while walking on the street a random day, thinking of taking a bus that will take me to another destination and get lose. I had a moment of clarity as if I would take control of my body again after having seen my life from a seat in the front row. I stopped doing what I was doing, the university, the work, my work as a volunteer, I just stop doing things and going out, socializing in general.
Two months later I realized what the problem was, even if I did not take any action to solve it, I knew it. I knew how to fix things, how to fix myself. But I was afraid.
I’m still scared, scared of the detions I must take, and how can I not be? scared by the steps I hace to take, by the decision to ask for help, because I can not go out alone, afraid to face a world being the authentic me.
Changing a lifestyle is not easy. Being real is not easy, doing what you want to do because it’s what makes you happy is not easy, it’s not, after living like I did, in the shadow of someone who was not real. Every day is a battle. Every day is a new concern, but it is an opportunity to show myself that I can be whatever I want to be, that I must do what I have to do to be happy. I must take control of my life and I will.