You come home from a busy day in the city.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all spent with “friends” happy to be in your company.
"How are you doing?"
"It's been so long."
"I'm glad you could meet!"
Things go swimmingly.
Conversations open with smiles, flow with laughter and gossip, and end with XOXO in live form.
"Let's do this again sometime."
"Hopefully I'll see you again soon."
You walk back home to your apartment, calling your best friend on the way, telling her about the movie you saw today so you don't feel so alone on the 12-block trek back to your apartment.
You feel sorry for everyone walking past you who didn't watch the latest indie dark comedy you watched yet because you're giving the entire plot line away.
The journey becomes blurred and finally you arrive at your door, and you hang up and get inside.
Your father is home, getting ready to go out and do whatever it is adults do on the Upper East Side at night.
He leaves and you spend hours texting your best friend, preemptively looking at wedding dresses online, listening as she devises her perfect “four-year marriage plan.”
You just recently broke up with your partner and have no plans.
You give another friend at home a call and rant about passion and justice and other big ideas muddling in your brain.
You send peripheral texts to the friends you saw earlier today, thanking them for their company and solidifying plans made in conversation.
To anyone observing these private moments, it is clear to see you are more than connected. You are more than cared about. You are more than loved.
Except you can’t even fathom such observations in your own mind.
And when you hang up the phone, when the goodnight messages are exchanged, when your father comes home, and the lights turn out, you feel alone.
Within these moments, you are a prisoner to your own fears and insecurities--your biggest fear being the Silence, which forces you to face them all.
Your face crumples.
You analyze every mistake, every regret, every misstep of the day.
You regret all the plans you made.
You don't need to convince yourself you're unlovable-- you believe it already.
Then you begin to think of all the friendships you ****** up on, the things people didn't say and the people that weren't there.
You imagine only negative space.
In sorrowful attempts to cheer yourself up, you repeat one of your mantras in your head.
"Nobody's perfect, we are all changing, nothing is constant"
Until unwanted arguments dispute these mantras on command, shooting down every ounce of light in your dark, muddied thoughts.
It's nights like these where suicide might sound like a good idea.
Then you wonder when the self-inflicted mind wounds will end, if ever. You wonder if you'll ever have the strength for light again. You wonder if you could ever experience joy again without pain. Most of all, you wonder what particular culmination of events led you to become this way.
The only thing that keeps you going is the hope that everything will slowly get better, and one day, things will be ok again just as easily as they went awry.
In the mean time, you watch your phone light up from notifications on the Selfie you posted on Instagram earlier, before you started crying. The likes give you just enough shallow reassurance that you are enough for some people--even if only aesthetically-- and this fact gives you just enough solace for you to finally close your eyes.
CW: suicide, depression, social anxiety