There is a numbness that comes upon me. It creeps and slithers unnoticed until I am overtaken by it. I let my head succumb to the static. I find no use for words. My eyes fade in and out of focus. I am awake to the world, but in every other way unconscious.

No, not unconscious — for I am very conscious of what is happening — Rather, I am unwilling to truly awake. I lose, for a time, my desire to live — not that I want to die, I simply see no purpose in going forward. Sometimes living feels like flying, skating, repelling down a long rope; It is smooth and seemingly effortless. But the numbness comes when living has become a trudge. A tar pit. Quicksand, but not quick. A slow, hopeless sinking. Nothing so spectacular as being lashed and suffocated by a tornado. Nothing so dramatic as a whirlpool's merciless pull into drowning. No, the numbness comes silently, wrapping its soothing arms around my eyes, my neck, my arms, lulling me into nothingness. Nothingness that is so pleasant, a respite from the endless struggle.

I have many fears. Numbness is not one. I welcome its ability to calm my over-analyzing mind, to quiet my temper, my voice, my sadness. It seems to feel nothing is better than feeling the bad.

I'm never left alone in the numbness long. People, responsibility, guilt — something chases it away. But not all of it, not all at once. Some of it lingers, easing me back into reality. Into life.

I fear drowning. Suffocating. That's why I use them often in my writing: to portray the ultimate hopelessness, panic, solitude. I do not want to be left alone with my fears, so I must share them, even a part of them, with readers. Even imaginary readers. To write is to release. It is to give up fears, if only for a moment, so others can experience them. So I can breathe. So I can take courage once more and trudge on.

Feeling the bad. It's been happening more lately. But there is a sweetness to grasp on to: The chorus to the song, the marshmallows amidst the milk and grain, the Saturdays and summer mornings and soft blankets. And the arms, the embrace, not of numbness, but of hope. That the trudging will be worth it. It has to be.

It has to be.



  1. I'm sorry. I wish I could help, but it is something that not much can help.