do not be alarmed freewrite

sometimes I imagine it like being in a tiny row boat in the middle of the ocean. maybe with oars – maybe without. it actually doesn’t matter, because it’s the middle of the ocean, and it’s choppy and full of giant waves, so what would oars do anyway? I fall out of the boat and the sea is so aggressive that it feels like I’ve fallen into something like a whirl pool. I must have a life jacket on because I won’t sink. but I’ve been trying to stay afloat for so long that my whole body is exhausted. It can’t fight against the current anymore. but the life vest won’t let me go under. I want to go under, because I can’t swim anymore. but the damn flotation device won’t let me.
part of me imagines getting back into the boat somehow. maybe the storm calms. maybe the water becomes placid and peaceful. maybe the sun comes out and I reach the shore.
or maybe, in the midst of the storm, I unclasp the life jacket and take it off. and maybe the sinking is slow and peaceful and quiet. maybe the sinking goes on forever.

he says that the negative talk in my head is too loud. he says that it’s all I hear. so he doesn’t say anything. in reality, he has given up the way I have given up. he won’t say it though. but I will say it. because I know it.

the thing is, I would never kill myself. my fear of death is too big for that. I don’t want to die; I want to not exist anymore. I want to vaporize, or melt with the snow and seep into the ground. I want to wither and petrify. I want to disappear in the magician’s box. but I don’t want to die. dying is a different thing. dying is a scary thing. I won’t kill myself. just know that much.

here is what is so inconvenient about all of this: even the simplest, dumbest things will send me over the edge. for example: I am spending the week administering standardized tests. this means my normal schedule is not normal – so when someone in charge doesn’t remember that I have to have a break for lunch, it makes my whole face go hot. it makes me want to throw things. it makes me want to burst into tears. because why are people so dumb and incompetent? why don’t they think about ME? why don’t I matter? what is my worth? all of that because people are human, and I can’t even forgive that most of the time.


these are all of the things I want to say but not talk about. talking implies conversation. conversation means back-and-forth discussion. if I talk people will try to solve. I don’t want solutions. I want relief. I want release. relief, release. a deep, full, complete exhale. no in, just out.

image detail from no matter the wreckage

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