Shadow Whispers


My thrashing, burning body feels very much alive underneath the passive outer layer of resistance.

I have been doing so well for myself lately. I feel proud of how far I’ve come along the road of self-recovery. I feel wonderful, in fact, about how easy it has been to accept the fact that I am my own support system. I can depend on myself and that is the most I can expect on any given day. Being addicted to anyone or anything else isn’t going to be a long-term solution but I will be my own companion until I take my last breath. Which is where this all ends, I guess.

Either way, I have swirled worst-case scenarios in my head. Fires and deaths and kidnappings and murders and rapes and losing loved ones. I am not prepared for anything but I know that anything is possible. It makes me cautious, despite myself of course, but it makes me feel like I am facing all my demons. I know that I have to go out there hoping for the best but keeping the worst in the back of my head. I know that there might not be a single other person to bank on all the time.

So I am proud of how far I have come but it is never enough. No matter how far I go, the road will only grow bigger and stranger in front of my eyes.

When I am  broken, it is as if everything is sexually dark and swirls underneath my undeniably  cracked spirit, pours out of a vent and encompasses me. I am not playing a victim anymore. I pull my demons out one by one by their necks and they break when they face the clean, pure air. But I also ask myself all the time, is this just another act? Have I once again just tuned out all the noise until all I could hear was the sounds of waves crashing wordlessly against an ocean? Is that ocean for real or is it just music captured in a seashell?

I don’t have my answers pat on because everything I think I’m alive, I end up at the bottom of a crushing emptiness. It happens to everyone, I say to myself at times. At other times, I say, not everyone is such a fool, nor does everyone think in the weird ways you do. It is a weird combination of genes and personality and events that have brought me to this cusp. I know that.

The road to recovery (whatever that means) is full of realizations and decisions and slow, slow moving moments. It isn’t about going from one high to another. It’s about going to highs and then falling down to the lows and then moving up again. But recovery means you’re on a general upward path, even if you’re going at a snail’s pace. That should be the motivating bit.

The hardest bit is to accept there was a need to recover from something in the first place.

Once in a while, with some of the posts like this one, I disable the sharing options for social media sites. I do this because I want these things to be out there but I don’t really want people to see it randomly and come running. So conflicting.

I am still struggling to accept myself, to carve an identity for myself. I don’t want to get any older. Harder things are coming my way. Responsibilities and the like, sure. But what would be hardest for me would be to bear the things I no longer believe in or to fight for the ones I do. I have, at twenty-two, built such a strong case of life-philosophies and liberal ideologies in my head that watching the world as it is, is a pain. Being in it and facing the institutions and people who have stricter, rigid, tighter grips on right and wrong is a pain. Watching people put faith in invisible gods, watching them put up boundaries, watching them struggle for solace, watching them push and shove and fight and tear one another apart is a pain. Watching them think of certain people (based on gender, class, religion or whatever) as being more entitled to a better life than others is a pain. It takes a lot to stay upright despite all this.

But there’s more. There is a stark, striking anomaly between what I see and believe and what actually happens when I am on the ground. I am a wallflower, perched high up on my safe spot, kicking and thrashing wildly every time I am asked to leave my compass behind and come thrash in the water instead. What a petty, pity, harsh reality this is! I’m facing it like I face everything else: impassively.

I can find new people so quickly, it is as if my past melts away. People say, I have this one friend who has this one strange habit. And I am standing right there, thinking to myself, well I can’t think of any friend who has any habit anymore. I see you here and all I can remember is how you start every other sentence with the word ‘So’, how your statements are short and to-the-point but so very insightful for your age, how your life is shaped by the story you are telling me right this moment. And can I call you my friend? It turns out I can, even though I don’t feel the need to go out with you for a movie or for dinner or for anything else at all, unless you force your bloody way down the moat and through the castle walls because I am a weirdly shy recluse, sitting here like a high-headed princess on a throne made of knives and swords.

We are living our lives in the strange age of personal over-sharing. We can’t seem to stop. I feel the shallowness of our time and age gripping me but I don’t feel completely possessed by it. I am my own person. I withdraw from people, even in the virtual world. I find people I cannot withdraw from and feel totally absorbed in their worlds. But everyone else is only just a fucking filler and it doesn’t seem to matter to me. How strangely, easily, smoothly I move between worlds. How nomadic I have become, in my quest to seek new places and cultures and people. I have managed to have no home. I have managed to have no place of belonging. It isn’t something I miss. But when everyone else has it, it feels like something incomplete to me.

And I over-share on a blog about some really tiny, strange things. I wonder how it would be if I were brutally one-hundred percent honest here. I’ve never been that honest anywhere since I stopped a certain journal. I don’t miss it. It is good to carry burdensome secrets in a safe pocket hidden underneath a layer of casual clothes covering my naked body. But it would be sinfully cool to do the very opposite too, at times. I crave to be the faithful rebel. She is growing inside my aching wallflower belly. But I cannot unleash her with a flourish because that would be a spotlight on me. She can come out slowly, coaxed by people who experience and feel in the same ways that she does. But the irony is, between the same sort of people, she won’t really be a rebel. She’ll be just another one of them. She’ll belong somewhere, for once.
I am yet to find that place. No world is as ideal as I make it out to be.

I’m fully conscious now. I’m not running from anything but I am avoiding certain things. It’s one step forward, for sure. It isn’t quite there yet though. I find myself wondering how many years I have left before everything else becomes secondary to the people around me and the one thing on their mind becomes something totally artificial.

How long until I have to give up this bittersweet freedom of being in the early twenties, figuring out life and free as  a bird (well, not technically but comparatively) and welcome myself to the grown-up’s version of the world. Pots and pans and alarm-clocks at six am and changed routines and fighting rituals and rolling out flatbreads and asking myself, was I really looking for this?

Look at how far my thoughts have brought me today! I will be cursing myself for my own immaturity in a few hours. Or rather, minutes after I hit ‘Publish’. It is time to stop the ranting and to take myself seriously. I am happy to have proved to myself that I can most definitely be a hard-working, professional person. Someday, somewhere. I know I can find my way through the web. I need a place where I don’t sell my ethics for the price of earning my bread. But a place which reflects the things I believe about the world. It doesn’t have to be ideal. I’ll compromise on my idealistic views of the future and settle for something less than perfect as long as I know it’s in the right direction. I can see pathways opening up in my head. I can think of dozens of things I care enough about to work towards. I hope it all doesn’t come crashing down over my head.

Songs (dark, moody, brilliant):

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