Sometimes I feel like there is something wrong with me. That is a ridiculous statement, because of course there’s something wrong with me. I’m an alcoholic. I’m gay. I am many things that people would view as a liability rather than an asset. And they’re things that I myself have viewed as flaws. It took me time to accept myself as gay, to accept myself as an alcoholic. But eventually I did. And once I did, I never looked back. These things were no longer sources of shame for me, but rather things that made my life interesting and unique. Things that colored my perception of the world, and gave me my voice. I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world.

But still, sometimes, I just can’t help but feel as though there is really something wrong with me. I do things, and I don’t know why I do them. I bite my nails. I organize. I clean things at work that no one asks me to. I ignore the things I need to do in order to make sense of things that do not matter. I have always had a slight tendency towards compulsion, of course. But only when it served me. Only when I needed it. Lately, however, I’m starting to feel as though it’s becoming more of a liability. I feel numb. I feel powerless over many things in my life. And instead of using the tools I have available to me, or making small steps towards getting my life together, I am choosing to expend my energy into a bottomless bucket that leaks out into the universe like some sort of shitty entropic metaphor.

Sleep is something that has loomed over me my entire life. It’s the beast I can never conquer, the root of all my problems, the epitome of excuses. I can’t write, I’m tired. I can’t exercise, I didn’t sleep well. I can’t go to class, I need to sleep more than I need a good grade. Sleep has always been something I’ve abused, but now it is one of the few things left that I have to use to escape the things I don’t want to feel. There is nothing I dread more than the idea of sitting with my feelings, and being okay with them. I feel as though I have to keep moving at all times, like if I stop to process I won’t ever get up again. Everything will fall apart. I will descend into a void of sheer terror and finally realize that none of it’s worth it.

Maybe I will realize that. Maybe I will realize that I have nothing to say. I’ll be sitting at home one day, working hard, and I’ll stop. I’ll look around, and I’ll realize that everything I have ever done is a waste of time. I’ll cry a little, then make myself cry harder for my imaginary audience (because if you don’t go all the way, how will you get the Oscar?) Then I’ll wipe the tear from my eye, and like Natalie Portman at the end of Black Swan, I will leap off of the edge of the nearest tall building. Only I won’t land on a mattress. I’ll keep falling, and falling, down down through the center of the earth. I’ll pass galaxies, planets, and entire universes. I’ll transcend time and space, passing through all of the dimensions man ever thought possible. Until suddenly I come to a stop in nothingness. And there, I’ll be left alone with nothing but myself.

What a terrifying thought.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll actually put in the effort, and realize that I do have something to say. I’ll realize that I can write, and I can work hard, and I can succeed. I can make something that I’m proud of, and I don’t need to judge it every step of the way. I think I can do that.

-Theodore Dandy