I *didn’t want to* wake up today (*almost didn’t*)
Last night, I tossed and turned and cried and wailed, but of course, nobody heard me. It wasn't like I wanted attention or anything, I just wanted to be listened to. It's been going on for a couple weeks, this feeling of incompleteness, I guess, or helplessness. Worthlessness, maybe? It's not entirely boredom, really; I'm just unoccupied. I finish listening to a podcast, I complete a puzzle, and the thing I love doing is over. Now, today, all three of those things happened. I went to find the next option on Spotify, and the playlist was up, the voices that had filled my ears for weeks and months since August, had finally run out of things to say. I scoured the box for the last piece of the puzzle, an ocean blue bit with an air bubble that lodged itself into the slip of space between the yellow fish and the turtle's underbelly. Game over.
This hit me especially hard because I love puzzles. I love that podcast. They made me happy. I sit in bed now and want to cry. But it's a different feeling from last night. I'm terrified of last night.
In my lifetime, I've had so many a lonely day, a melancholy evening, and a I'd-rather-not-get-out-of-bed-right-now morning. I've listed the many ways a person can die. I've thought about my options, and once or twice, I've considered the nuclear option. But I've never pushed the button. I've laid my palm on my throat and pressed my face into pillows but never hard enough. The missile never launches. The blood rushes to my head, ready for the countdown. But the engineer says, "Hang on, the president says stop." And that's all I need to gasp for oxygen again and forget why I ever wanted to stop.
Last night was, to be completely truthful, the closest I've ever come to not waking up the next morning. And I feel awful admitting that, knowing that I'm being ungrateful, wanting to take something that wasn't mine to begin with. I'm being hypocritical because every time someone makes a post like this, admitting their own vulnerablility, I encourage them, say you'll pick yourself back up. How can I say that to someone else when I can't even tell it to myself?
I set dates. I like numbers. I like probability, but most of all, I like certainty. Sure, surprises are fun and all, but I want to know when and where I'll be the next day to prepare my outfit, gear, and whatever else I'll need. So, I give myself deadlines. I say, "Tomorrow, you've got a history test." I make plans to call a loved one the following Tuesday. It makes me remember that if I do leave, I'm missing out on something. I'm missing a chocolate milkshake I promised myself or a marathon of NCIS. I'm missing a warm hug or a kind interaction. I'm missing a Youtuber's upload schedule or a night where the stars are brighter than the headlights, and you can see Venus with the naked eye and my dad loves that kind of night, so I want to be there to see it with him.
That's how I get over the unhappiness. I promise myself that I'll run tomorrow or stretch in the morning. Set an alarm, mark it on a sticky note and tape it to my door.
I think that's why I like puzzles and podcasts. There's something to look forward to. The red coral piece slides into one open patch, I just know it. I wonder what they'll talk about tomorrow. I'll lay awake with a grin and open eyes, silently giggling about the quip that only my ears are privy to in that moment. I dream in puzzles and podcasts. I dream at night. The dream ends, and I wake up. That's certain for now. I love certainty.