On Grief and Heartache: Part Three
I have another confession to make.
Actually, I’m afraid of mostly stupid things. I tend to call them irrational fears. Because, well, they tend to be irrational. I’m also really good at naming things, aren’t I.
They’re irrational because they’ll never happen. Irrational because they are absolutely laughable. Irrational because were born from the deep dark twisty part of my heart and don’t even deserve to be thought because thinking them gives them power and legitimacy. Irrational because they make me feel ashamed.
I don’t want to have them but I guess that’s why they’re irrational, right.
I’m afraid of ice skating. Not watching ice skating, please, but actually ice skating. Because I could be ice skating and trip and fall over and then someone will skate over my fingers and slice them off. This has been a constant thought in my head the few times I have gone ice skating, which leads me to skate with my hands in fists held tight to my body, which leads me to have terrible balance, which leads me to falling over even more, which leads us all to believe that yes, I’m an idiot.
I’m afraid of walking up the stairs with a mirror. What if I trip going up the stairs and fall forward onto the mirror and I cut my neck open and bleed to death. I feel like this was maybe an episode of bad television because not even I’m creative enough to come up with that on my own. And, if I’m being honest, it doesn’t even have to be a mirror — just anything that could rip into my neck given enough velocity. Shit, like a fork.
I’m afraid of the entire state of California. I don’t know, guys. I don’t like it. I don’t like the idea of it; I don’t even like thinking about it. It’s so far west and, frankly, the Pacific Ocean can suck it because I have the superior ocean over here, thanks. One of my good friends lives in San Francisco and I have partially been putting off visiting her because of how expensive plane tickets are but also then I’d have to actually set foot in California.
I am afraid that one day I’ll be walking down the sidewalk and someone will push past me and startle me and because I’ll be too close to the road, I’ll tumble into the street and be hit—and subsequently smushed—by the large truck that happened to be driving by. I shit you not, I actively have this thought every time I walk on a sidewalk. Hug the walls, is all I have to say. Hug the walls and beware the curb.
I’m afraid of dying. Not because of the death part, because just like that book that says everyone poops, everyone dies too. I’m afraid of dying because that if I did it would mean my mother and father will lose another child and my brother will lose another sibling. It would mean our family would be shattered again. And I don’t want to do that to them — I can’t. So I need to stay alive.
I’m afraid of my brother dying. I’m afraid of my brother dying because then that would mean I was the one left behind. The remaining sibling. The only one, so I guess I technically wouldn’t even be a “sibling” anymore. And it’s so fucking selfish, but I couldn’t do it. Be it. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t be that to my family. I couldn’t be that to myself.
I’m afraid that years from now I will look back and wish I had accepted that I was depressed. I’ve been very, very careful to never call this, this grieving, a depression. It’s not that I don’t want the label — rather, I don’t think I deserve it. I don’t deserve it because in the grand scheme of things, my life is really amazing. I have a job, I have a caring family, I live in a beautiful, safe country and lived in another beautiful, safe country before that, I can make a really good carrot cake. But maybe I’m wrong and I’ll wish that I acknowledged it and owned it and did something about it.
I’m afraid of being depressed. Because “sad days” are manageable and everybody has sad days where they lie around and mope and feel like shit. “Sad days” end and give way to “manageable days” and eventually “happy days” and then you’re back on track sick-burning the boy you like and going on ice cream adventures. But “depression” is different. It doesn’t have an end; it’s a pool with no bottom and I suddenly can’t swim.
I’m afraid that I’m using my dead brother as an excuse. An excuse to feel sad; an excuse to feel restless; an excuse to feeling like I’d rather stare at a wall than do something. Because what if I was always like this? What if I was always unmotivated and dark and melancholy and uninspired? What if this is just me? And if that’s true then most of all I’m afraid of myself. Fuck me, right. Fuck.
Also octopuses. I am afraid of octopuses but I don’t think that’s all that irrational because have you seen those fuckers twist open jars? That’s what I thought.