Sometimes I brush my teeth for seven minutes straight because it just feels right.

Some nights I put my pillow on the opposite end of the bed because I’m still hopeful that I’ll wake up different that way. I never do.

Sometimes I forget that I’m reading in the middle of flipping a page, instead struck by the thought we would rather make paper than oxygen, that we would rather have one less life-source than one less novel.

I wonder about priorities. About people who think it’s necessary to match their socks when they leave the house every morning as if that is what determines their character.

I wonder about people who carry around purses that contain nothing but gum.

I wonder about people who spend all their hours at a desk and then return to their house to pass the night alone in a cold bed with nobody to turn to. I wonder if they think that money will make them happier than other humans.

I don’t like kissing when I have lipstick on, because I’m afraid of leaving a stain on a cheek as if I’m marking my territory somewhere I don’t belong as if I’m trespassing on camera.

I stay up for twenty hours a day and spend the other fours hours knowing that the longest a person can stay alive without sleep is eleven days.

I wonder if my nervous system has begun to break down, leaving me nervous and broken along with it.

I don’t understand the pills the doctors prescribed me even though they told me I just was depressed. “It’s like having heart failure, or epilepsy. You just need the pills to control it” I told them I wasn’t depressed, I was just different. I was downtrodden. I was a leaky ship; still afloat but getting lower under the weight of the water every second. I didn’t want to sink. I wanted to sail. But they didn’t tell me that the happy little green and white pills would make me flat. Not the kind of flat of calm water on a windless day, but the kind of flat that you associate with deflated balloons.

All out of air or out of breath or struggling to find any words left. I felt like the kind of flat that musicians hate. I think I once told you that I would understand if you didn’t stay. Nobody did and I never blamed them. Maybe I’m just looking for somebody to grab my shoulders and give me a shake and explain what normal is and why I should do it.

1in4 mental health anthology

I am stuck inside of a world that I don’t quite understand, with people I never seem to connect with.


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