The Cycle

Alarm goes off. I open my eyes to find my phone and shut it off, but I was awake. Groggy, head throbbing, eyes pursed shut…but awake.

I didn’t die in my sleep, so here we go again.

I get up. Go to the bathroom. Rub the crap out of my eyes. Get ready.

I’d thought myself to sleep again. It’s a lot like crying yourself to sleep, but instead, no tears. I’ve been here before.

Whoever came up with the saying “sleep it off” never had a mind like this. Lucky bastard.

I was thinking about me. Selfish, I know. That’s my problem, really. I am selfish. I’m horrible, thoughtless, rude, hurtful, vain, and rotten. I’m disgusting. There is not a thing about me that’s redeemable.

And the cycle continues. It didn’t stop with sleep. I walk out the door with the headache caused by being in the ring with my worst enemy- me.

The worst part about me? I do this to myself. I think these things about me, and the things I think make me miserable, and then I realize that the things I think make me miserable, and I hate myself for making me miserable, so I think about how awful a bully I am, so I get miserable thinking about how I’m terrible, and…

It doesn’t have an end or beginning, see? That’s what I mean when I say it’s a cycle.

You know those washing machines that don’t let you open the door once the cycle’s running? The ones you have to unplug to stop so you can save your idiot kid that climbed in? That’s my brain. I’m the idiot kid trapped in the washing machine that you can’t open.

The intense self-loathing and bitterness I feel for ME is in and of itself a problem, but it festers among ALL of my thoughts. The hideous thought crimes I commit and measure myself against. The judgments of others and cruelties I hold deep within my heart that I dare not share with others.

It’s worse than that…

I push the people who love me away and create barriers around me to stop them from getting close. I can feel the bomb in my chest ticking away, ready to hurt them.

No. That’s not why you do this.

Shut up.

Here it goes again.

You push them away so they abandon you.

No.

When they abandon you, your misery is justified. They hate you. They think you’re awful. And you are.

God damn it stop.

And when they see your cries for help? When they reach out and tell you they love you? They’re lying. They’re just obligated to do that.

Fuck you.

But doesn’t their pity feel good? Doesn’t it bring you pleasure to know that people care?

Shut up.

No one can do anything. You’re creating the perfect storm so that you can do the unthinkable.

You’re sick.

I know…

And so on. And so forth.

The hours drag on in the day. I may move and breathe, but I stew in the cycle. The thoughts swell and wash over me. Again and again and again… It’s never over.

So do it.

What?

The unthinkable. What’s the point of it all if this is all there is?

There is no point.

Exactly.

Why forgive you?

What?

You’re unstoppable. You are an inescapable facet of myself. You are horrible, disgusting, rotten, selfish, and vain. You are all the things I hate. You’re a bully who I can’t forgive. And I have no reason to.

Because people love me? Fuck that. Because there are good things about me? Not how I see it. Because everyone deserves a chance to live? Not me. I have no reason to forgive you.

…Okay.

But what reason do I have not to?

I don’t understand.

Exactly. Why shouldn’t I forgive you? What logical reason do I have to hold this grudge? To hate you with the same hatred you hate me?

Wait.

There is no logic. You don’t stop existing just because I let it go or forgive you. You don’t disappear when I suddenly decide to get help. You don’t die. Even if I kill you, you’re still me. You still happened. You are a part of my history, the legacy that I’d leave behind.

So I’ll be back.

Yeah.

I’ll get stronger.

Yeah.

You won’t be rid of me.

No. I won’t. That’s just the thing about cycles.

Just like sleep, if I died, I wouldn’t be done with it. With you. There’s no beginning or end to the cycle. It feeds in on itself. Over and over and over again. My history will live on the eternal repeat of your cycle, shouting into the void that the misery you made persisted. Even if I’m gone, you will remain. Your viciousness, your hatred, your wretched stench…

Just because I’m no longer doesn’t mean you won’t BE.

And so I sleep. A timed pause in the cycle. I’ll wake up. And I’ll be here again. And again. And again. And again. It’s tiring. It doesn’t feel worthwhile. There is no point.

But the cycle isn’t all there is. There are days I’m happy. There are things I like. People I love. Things I want to do. The cycle doesn’t end or stop. There is no solution or perfect fix or cure. There’s just coping. There’s just help. There’s just the reminder that the pauses in the cycle are worthwhile not because that’s what makes life worth living or the empty platitudes that people tell me.

The pauses are worthwhile because they’re proof that it’s not EVERYTHING. The pauses remind me that this isn’t ALL there is. The good may not outweigh the bad, but it doesn’t mean the good isn’t there.

So one step forward where I can. Even if all I do is walk circles in the cycle.

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