Sunday, May 27, 2012

THE VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD


Hello there, the angel from my nightmare. It was a rough Saturday night. Went out with work friends to mark the imminent departure of a colleague, who is off to bigger (and hopefully better) things in Indianapolis. Wound up at a co-worker's house, where the party continued in subdued fashion until dawn.

Subdued for me, that is. Revelry ensued; sharp banter rocked the house. I found myself sitting on a couch, trying to be quiet. I was physically present but mentally checked out, halfway across town emotionally, having a conversation that no one else could hear.

It actually started at the bar, as I watched pretty people enjoy the summer night. Every beautiful woman I saw turned my stomach, not my head. It was a continuation of the thoughts I had while walking Friday night. In a crowded downtown bar, surrounded by colleagues, I was far from alone, but still a lonely soul.

I didn't want to be, and you might say it was my choice, but this feeling defies conventional wisdom and the idea that choices are something I have at my disposal. Morita therapy tells me all I need to do is change my actions and my feelings will follow — do something different and I'll feel something better. But I don't. Instead of reviving my flagging energy, I find being around people actually drains the battery faster. My spirits aren't buoyed; instead, I feel more awful inside. The choice I made — to surround myself with people to stave off another lonely night — backfired.

(And it's nothing against my co-workers. They're good company. They're just not the company I crave right now.)

The voice inside my head is the voice of the friend from my dreams, the voice of the person who walks with me while I'm sleeping. It's the only thing that takes away the loneliness, but I know it's not real. It's a figment of my imagination, a wish instead of a wonderful fact. That knowledge is a sharp edge and a blunt force. It slashes and beats me at the same time. And I find it impossible to turn on and off at will.

Time to go to bed and catch a few moments of slumber. I hope I dream. I hope I don't dream.

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