What do you do when everything you ever thought you knew comes crumbling down around you?
Like standing in a walled garden and suddenly the walls are breaking and smashing down and the flowers are all decomposing around you and now you’re left standing in piles of rising dust and rubble and contained in the smell of decay?
Everything I thought I knew; everything I thought I wanted in life is wrong. It has all turned to dust.
All my life I knew what I was doing tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Suddenly, I have no idea what the next day brings. I dread every coming dawn.
I cower at every coming dusk. For I know what sleep holds and I know what waking brings. I will toss and turn in the darkness, fear and loneliness striking my heart before waking in the morn to find myself disappointed. Unmotivated and weak, I lie there as the dreams and nightmares begin to surface to my consciousness. I shake in terror and after a while, force myself up out of bed. Depending on the day, I will go through different motions. Mondays and Tuesdays are the worst. They lack any real routine and so I sit and do work that I loathe and wonder about the pointlessness of this life. It is dangerous and painful and terrifying.
I wake knowing I have no purpose. And that is the most awful, emptiest feeling I have ever felt.
There is no light in tomorrow, only darkness and mist. Uncertainty clouds my every move. Every turn is blocked by some cruel obstacle. I am weakening with each new dawn.
I am unsure of where to turn now. I am at a crossroads. I know that university in Melbourne is not for me. Perhaps university at all. And that’s the scariest thing to me. For I always knew that for the next three years I would be there. Now I have nothing.
I am ashamed of myself. But mostly afraid. I’ve never been in this position before; falling behind everyone else. Watching as the young people smile and party and look forward to their futures of dream careers and new houses and travel.
While I stand here staring.
I find myself standing, sitting, laying still for minutes that drag like hours. I become aware of the strangest things: dripping water two rooms over, the stillness of the furniture, the absence of human warmth in a room. It is calming to me when this happens but it frightens me when I think of it. I feel as though this isn’t normal.
I don’t think I’m normal anymore. Something has changed inside of me; changed, snapped, broken, cut loose.
There are overcast skies wherever I go, and I feel them crowding over me, clutching onto my back, my shoulders, circling my neck, pulling me backwards.
They cast layers of suspense to my days and I knew something ominous was coming, I just didn’t know what.
Yesterday, under overcast skies and the fall of bitter rain, I crashed my car. The shock sent me shaking. I broke in that small side street, crying and wailing and sounding like a pained animal. It did nothing. I drove home in silence. Two hours of listening to my broken car hum along the bumpy bitumen and the whispers of my monotonous thoughts.
Immediately, I assumed this was the event that I had felt coming. The suspense could finally be over.
But do you know what’s frightened me?
The suspense is still there. Something is coming, I can feel it in my cold bones.
I am getting tired of this.
I am always cold. Do not take my picture. I don’t feel like eating that, no thank you. I stare at strangers and don’t flinch when they look me in the eye. I trip on nothing and fall to the ground screaming. I have no control over myself anymore and it is frightening.
I don’t know how to get back to who I was, but I’m unsure I want to. It feels like I have discovered something. Something dangerous. And I can’t turn back now. It is slowly destroying me and I am so afraid.
For the first time in my life, I don’t know what tomorrow brings. And I’m beginning to wonder if I even give a damn.