Tag Archives: Mind

What My Dreams Have Become

14 Jun

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach the moment your body jerks awake from a bad daydream?

You know what I am talking about.

The kind of daydream you would only experience right smack dab in the middle of fourth period your sophomore year in high school.

The kind of dream that jolts you so hard, each and every appendage flails about as if you suddenly were the recipient of some archaic form of electroshock therapy.

The kind of dream that instantly makes your blood pressure skyrocket and your control of normal bodily functions all but cease to exist.

The kind of dream that combines all your greatest fears into one, mimicking and cloning all your secret worst case scenarios you haven’t told one single soul about on this earth.

As secret as these scenarios might be to the outside world, to your brain, they aren’t a secret at all. Not even a little bit. See, your brain knows you. And it knows you well. It has the ability to prey and feed on all your worst fears and insecurities no matter how laughable or valid they might be. Around each corner lurks another threat drummed up by your mind to taunt and horrify you. Finally, your body’s natural self-preservation mechanisms kick in and you find yourself the subject of ridicule and jokes by your friends for being that kid that fell asleep so hard in algebra, he actually slobbered all over his desk and screamed like a little girl as his brain finally allowed him to come to his senses.

As embarrassing as that sounds, that’s what is supposed to happen. Deep down, your body shuts off that threat your mind concocted and hands you back, for better or for worse, over to reality. But what happens if you never fully wake up? What if your mind still wreaks havoc on your soul although you are actually awake? Or even worse, what if what you thought was actually just one repetitiously brutal and terrifying dream was, in reality, nothing but your only known normalcy?

For the past year and half, I have been living in this nightmarish state of mind. Each and every single one of my fears and insecurities have been laid out for my brain to fiddle and fondle with unabashed recklessness. You see, my mind knows me. Over the years, it has grown, evolved, and even invented new and interesting ways to tease and shame. My brain, without a doubt, will always be at the finish line waiting for me to chug along and catch up. No matter how clever I think I may be, I will never be able to outwit it. I’ll never be able to out run it.

So, with each and every day my head lifts off of my pillow as the sun rises in the sky, I will myself to wake up. I will myself to stop dreaming. I do everything within my power to shout, fight, scratch, and overcome. But alas, there’s no use. Because this is not a dream. This is my life. And I have all but given up looking for the alarm clock.


30 Days Of Truth: Day Eight

8 Nov

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

As I sit at this table surrounded by the other kids, I can feel their stares burning into my skin. Surely their whispers and giggles are directed at me. My face starts to boil as my blood pressure skyrockets. With multicolored construction paper and Elmer’s Glue-All in my hand, my mind starts to wander. What did I do? Why are they laughing at me? It must be this shirt I’m wearing. I told my mom it was too tight. I can feel the tag underneath my shirt digging into my skin. As my body temperature rises, my shirt feels like sandpaper against my skin. With tears welling up in my weary eyes, I can see the teacher approaching me. Her grin mocks me as I sink further into my chair. Why is she laughing too? Did the other kids tell her about my shirt? As her cool hand brushed against my shoulder, I heard her speak.

“Good job, TJ. Very nice!”

“Huh? What? I’m doing a good job?” With a puzzled tone to my five year old voice, I blurted these things out to her.

“How can this be? The other kids were laughing at me. I could hear the whispers in the background. I could see you laughing at me as well.”

I could feel her hand grip my shoulder tightly. As she bent down to make eye contact with me, my mind started to race. This was it. I was in trouble. She didn’t think I was doing a good job at all. In fact, she rather hated me. With tears streaming down my face with an unapologetic flow, I could feel the point where her eyes met mine.

“I think that’s all in your head, sweetheart.”

She spoke with a motherly and calming tone. Her words were absolute and confusing to the five year old mind. What does she mean? All in my head? As I wiped the tears from my cheeks and buried myself into the art project at hand, my mind began to race. Lost in thought, I went the rest of the day trying to wrap exactly what she said around my head.

They say you learn all you need to know in life in kindergarten. All the social skills and tricks of the trade are learned and imprinted into your mind the very first year of school. I didn’t know it at the time, but I learned more about myself on the first day of kindergarten than I would learn in the next 15 years. The darkness of my own mind far outweighs what anyone else could ever do to me. I alone can make my life a living hell. My own mind has the ability to belittle, cast doubt, and make up an alternate reality at the same time. The loathing, the worry, and second guessing are all my own doing.

Even today, I fully understand that I am truly my own worst enemy. There isn’t a soul on this Earth that could inflict hell on me like I already do to myself. I would love to think I have changed, that I am a better person for learning this about myself at such an early age. The truth? I’m still that little boy sitting at the table full of kids. I’m still wondering what they are laughing at, still wondering why they are whispering about me.

Just Get Up

29 Sep

I’ve been laying in this bed for 46 minutes now. My mind is wide awake, a flurry of activity as usual. The flashing red numbers and screeching sound of the alarm clock will me to move. Each flicker of red light seems to chant something annoyingly familiar.

Get. Up.

Get. Up.

Get. Up.

Another 16 minutes fly by. At this point the alarm clock has given up on me. Something in its internal circuit board has signaled a cease and desist. A built-in fail safe for people like me. Why waste sound and perfectly good electricity on someone who has clearly given up?

As I raise my head off the pillow, I brace myself for the world has in store for me. The house is silent and eerily still. The faint bark of my neighbor’s dog tries to sneak past the windowsill, but is instantly drowned by the deafening silence. By now, I’ve managed to force myself into a slumped over, but upright position. My muscles ache. My bones feel like they have been on this planet for more than 100 years. Without warning, the surrounding silence has now been replaced with the screams of my own mind. Thoughts of doubt, loathing, and pure misery dance around freely as if they were a ballerina on stage. And once they start, they rarely ever go away.

With my feet dangling over the side of the bed, I do my best to lift my head. The heaviness of my convoluted mind weighs down the rest of my body like a 1000 pound weight. My body feels like it’s made out of nothing but quicksand. My mind is nothing but jumbled mush. If I can just make it to the shower, I know everything will be okay. The scalding hot water will wash away some of this hideous mess. The tiny grains of sand will swirl down the drain and disappear. They’ll vanish and hide from me until this process starts all over again.

Today is just an average day. You see, Wednesday is a fickle bitch. Really, so is Tuesday. I am willing to bet that Thursday is no different from the rest. As my eyes focus on my weary feet, I begin to talk to myself. Each word more stern and borderline violent than the next.

“Get. Up.”

“Did you hear me?”

“Get the fuck up.”

And so I do. I trip over my failing body as I make my way to the shower. The hot water is my only reprieve. My only hope to feeling some sort of normalcy.

With one foot in front of the other, I get up.

I just get the fuck up.

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