Dear All of You,
I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. I just couldn’t do it. Only getting 3 hours of sleep didn’t help.
So, I (age 23) am supposed to write about our penchant for escapism.
As in how we avoid rather than confront any sort of feeling or situation that we don’t like (basically everything).
To escape, Fifteen (age 15) hides in her closet with her guinea pig crying and hitting herself, binges, plays the video game “The Sims” (which lets her live vicariously through sims (people) she creates and controls), and studies really hard so she can leave her family and school for a boarding school in a different city. That was all in the letter she deleted and forgot to write again because she was writing at some ungodly hour (5am) and her brain wasn’t working anymore.
To escape, Twenty (age 20) binges and purges, binge drinks until blackout (even though she throws up a lot of it), abuses prescription drugs, transforms herself into an unrecognizable person (hair, makeup, clothes, personality), parties hard (while transformed), and hooks up with random guys (ditto).
To escape, Ana (age 25) binges, avoids people who try to get in contact or be friends with her, and doesn’t get out of bed when she doesn’t want to face life (like now – still in bed at 4pm).
As for me (age 23), I escape through working so hard (2 jobs, 7 days a week) I can’t think or feel or remember anything, bingeing when I do think or feel or remember anything, running, reading (listening) to ton of (audio)books anytime I was unpreoccupied enough to have thoughts, and writing.
I would make myself write 2,000 words in the morning before work (often getting up at 5am to do so) and 2,000 words after work (sometimes not going to bed until 1am).
I had just listened to Stephen King’s (audio)book “On Writing” and it inspired me to write.
I used to write stories all the time as a kid and my dream job, besides being the next Britney Spears, was to be a writer. When I was in middle school and still a terrible student, I even wrote a legit novel for English class during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I was only 1 of 3 kids who finished and it wasn’t too bad of a story.
I (age 23) wrote a legit novel again inspired by the stuff that happened to me in the hospital.
What the story was about sounds really stupid written down, so I’m not going to do that. I don’t think the story itself was stupid, just trying to summarize it makes it sound stupid.
It was all fiction, but at the same time it was what happened to me.
In a way, it wasn’t escapism because I was facing what happened, just in a way that wasn’t reliving it in a memory (like I had to do every day multiple times a day when even working or bingeing couldn’t stuff it all down). It was writing about it without writing about it.
That book (rather, a terrible draft of a book that needs extreme revision) is still in my laptop. I tried opening it a while ago, but it creeped me out so much that I put it away. I think maybe it was creepy because I had been reading so much Stephen King at the time, but also because it was all those horrible experiences laid out in the open.
Maybe I should try taking it out again.
One of the delusions I had while psychotic was that I was a messanger from a higher power.
I never actually got a message, but remenants of that belief remained after the psychosis faded away. I think writing that book was driven partially by that belief, that maybe there was something between the lines, not a direct message but a message nonetheless, that needed to get out there into the world. I was dying trying to keep it all in.
I’m embarrassed to say that Ana (age 25) still believes that a tiny bit, maybe not that she is a messenger from a higher power, but that what I (age 23) went through could somehow benefit people if they read about it.
She actually feels quite guilty about the untouched draft in her computer, that not trying to get it published somehow makes everything that happened seem even more horrible and pointless. That maybe she did get a message and keeping it to herself because she is ashamed and scared is selfish and self-centered. That maybe it will happen again if she doesn’t do what she is supposed to do both as a punishment and a reminder of her purpose on this earth. (That sounds totally crazy and I know it’s crazy, but I can’t shake that belief bubbling below the surface no matter how much I try).
I think that’s true for every person, that writing what we know and sharing it with the world helps everyone.
Not only helps us see that other people are similar to us, that they have gone through similar things and triumphed, that we are capable of the same; but also see that we are different and to learn from things we ourselves will never experience.
I also read the book “Unbroken” while at home that year about a soldier in WWII who survives a plane crash into the Pacific and being a POW after the enemy finds him. I hopefully will never have either of those experiences (knock on wood), but despite that, I was incredibly inspired by his strength and resiliency.
Certain human traits are universal, and through them we can identify with others no matter how much our exteriors differ.
I’m getting preachy now and I’m pretty (definitely) sure this is becoming an excuse for Ana (age 25) to not get out of bed and go to the hospital to get that prescription she needs.
So, the end for now.
Twenty-Three (age 23)