misery : the belly of the beast (a shitpost about the inner voice of insecurity)
Lately, I’ve been having relatively more free time. The cycle of spending hours conducting the mental gymnastics of whether to study or not, proceeding to spend hours studying and then hunt for a dopamine kick, is a cycle I can dust my hands off and look back on for the time being. It’s the middle of June, which just means one thing, what we’ve been working so hard for all this year has arrived : Summer, baby!
I look back and I see that the past year has been nothing but a blur. I wondered why I couldn’t remember just what the heck went down? I noticed too, that the weight of this free time felt like a mountain on my shoulders. The burden of it heavy, since every passing second that I felt bored was one second of summer fun wasted!
I asked myself, what it was I had been so busy with this past year, and none of the answers I gave managed to light my heart on fire. Damn. Was it even worth it then? I don’t feel like I accomplished anything, I thought.
At that moment, my grades came in. Wow, I was surprised that they were really good grades (open book exams are the best) but yet, within me, I felt nothing. Looking for some validation, I told my parents, who sent me happy messages of Congratulations. That made me force a smile. All of the effort I put in last year, just for that one text. This was what I wanted, right? Now that I’ve gotten it, that golden seal of approval from my parents, what’s next?
Feeling restless, I then made plans to hang out with my friends. The past year, I had pushed seeing people away upon every request. I hated the state I was in during quarantine and did not want to be bad company to my wonderful friends. Most importantly, I was afraid of sizing myself up against others around me. Being in quarantine had given me a safe space to grow at my own pace and I savored the privacy that I had in my home. I didn’t have to feel like I was in competition with anyone else. The truth was, I was deeply insecure about my growth as a human being.
Out of fear that we would drift so far apart, I finally saw them and my deepest insecurities of how I was inadequate with my personal growth were confirmed. I observed the immense growth they had made since the last time we hung out. I felt in awe at them and was so proud that I could call these people my friends. Yet at the same time, I had never really loathed myself more. I wanted to crawl out of my skin, time travel to the start of the year, and start all over again but this time, do it right. I observed too how they connected so well with each other, from their body language and the fact that they didn’t want to say goodbye to each other until 3 am. Sentences like “I know right!” and “you and me, we are the same” were countlessly exchanged. I wanted that, to feel like my existence would fit neatly into this beautiful and electrifying network which I saw come alive. Instead, I just felt that I was sticking out like a sore thumb, like a third party observer.
Why was I so miserable? The inner voice in my head was yelling to me how I was different from them. I did not belong there any longer, despite me feeling like they were home so long ago. Like a fool, I listened to the inner voice, despite how often it contradicted itself. I kept on, trying my best to just let loose and enjoy the night. Yet, I felt miserable for the most part. How couldn’t I when I’d poured into my brain so much regret about how after a year, others had come out the other end with so much growth, where I felt like all I gained was a paper slip with a bunch of numbers. Where had I been this whole time?
I then spent some time alone, upon my mind telling me I didn’t belong in this friend group anymore. The voice told me to run away. I wanted to cry my insides out, hoping that it would extract all the bad parts of me I hated. The parts of me that always felt exhausted, the part that was unintelligent, demotivated, insecure, emotional and ignorant. I started getting thoughts about how I did not want to be alive for long, I did not think I could make it on this planet and enjoy another second of existence. The truth is, once you start to think that, you will see that. It’s like what this driving teacher on Youtube had taught me, where you look is where you will go. Of course, that was all I started seeing — How mismatched I was with everything going on around me. I just could not fit.
Last week, I started to spiral into even deeper misery. While I’m writing this, I’m still here at this disgusting spot. I cannot tell you enough, how I am so ashamed of myself that I just want to disappear. I wake up thinking my life is a nightmare and dream much worse things. I run to the shower because I know that when I am there I will cry and at the very least, the water will be there to wash my tears away. The solace that I find in sadness comes from how I believe that feeling something is better than feeling nothing; the appeal of this is strongest when you come from a place where you find no joy in anything else. Down here in the spiral, I listen to the intrusive thoughts marching into my brain. They tell me that there are great threats looming in the future beyond me. I try to center my consciousness around the present, to the fan in the background, the parquet beneath my feet, and even the feeling of my skin rolls tumbling onto my stomach (lol). I close my eyes because I don’t want to see this world any longer, but all I get is darkness in an incredibly loud room.
I wish I could tell you what it’s like on the other side. Although all I can see from now, is what it’s like to be in the belly of the beast. But I do believe, that I will fight this beast because I have done it before, and I have all the potential to do it again. I want to tell you and anyone else that it is okay that your fight might take time. I might not be on the same path and pace as others are, but I believe that there will be a time and place for me. The only way forward is through.
Hang in there, buddy.