And I am starting to learn that when someone says ‘I want to die’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re holding a gun to their head, ready to jump from a forty story building or swallow the pills they’re hiding under the bed. ‘I want to die’ could be the same as ‘Look at me. I’m in so much pain. I’m failing my classes on purpose. It has been five days since I last took a shower and my breath smells like too much alcohol.’ ‘I want to die’ could be the very definition of ‘I don’t care about anything anymore, and I need someone to help me’ and of course you’d have to help them because they are tired of life or at the very least—send them to someone you know they can trust.
I am held captive by my own thoughts that I think I would end up spending my entire life through excessive introspection.
—Confessions of a Wallflower, page 67
I like to close my eyes sometimes and dream of the future.
I wake up one day, and I am mentally healthy. That I have won my battle against my mental illness. That things don’t bother me that much anymore. Like the butterfly effect, passing time, the number eight and thinking that I’m make-believe.
I wake up one day, and I just do the things that I do. I write the books that I want to write. I post the blog posts that I want to post. I run regularly under the deep blue sky while the sun shines on me like I am a flower that has survived wilting.
I wake up one day, and I’m just happy because I am healed, and I am living like it means something. I wake up one day, and I don’t even think about killing myself because life is full of possibilities that don’t scare me because every path in life is the right path. And if alternate realities exist then so what? That won’t stop me from trying to live this prime existence of mine fully.
I like to close my eyes sometimes and dream of the future. I like to open them not without a sense melancholy that I will eventually get better.
Cheeseburger or double cheeseburger? Coke or Pepsi? To travel Asia or Europe? To marry or not to marry? To have kids or not to have kids? To have a dog or not to have a dog? To exercise or not to exercise? To choose the career that I love or money? To read a book or not to read a book? To love myself or not to love myself? To rent a house or to buy a house? To quit or not to quit? To smile or not to smile? To be kind or to be right? To learn the guitar or the piano? Each choice feels like opening another reality. Each choice feels like opening another door. What the fuck is the difference with all of these choices? How do we know if we’re still in control of who we really are as a person with free will when in an alternate reality we’ve made the exact opposite choice of what we did. How can we make the perfect choice to have more control and be the best versions of ourselves?
Sometimes the words I type feel unreal. Sometimes I think I’m losing my ability to write. I miss my old writer self when I was brave and playful and confident with my words. I wish I could turn back time and try to take it easy with myself. That the universe didn’t have to make sense to me. That I could’ve taken it one day at a time instead of burning myself out.
Someone once said that when you stretch your intellect beyond a certain point, you will crack up. And I think that’s what happened to me. I became so indulged with the power of creation that came with controlling the way that I think that made my mind crack. It’s now always anxious with or without reason. There isn’t a single day that it doesn’t think about death or the afterlife. It was trying to control the nature of my reality that sent me into a mental health facility.
I became so paranoid about something called “the butterfly effect” and how with every choice we make we create a different reality. With other lives that we’re leading. With other people we’re becoming. And I just want to be the perfect version of myself, but I feel like a failure nowadays. It’s hard to succeed when I’ve already lost my mind. And it’s even hard to live when everything I feel feels unreal.
Where do our decisions come from? They’re like a random sprinkle of rain on a hot summer day. How do we know if we’ve had collected the right data to act on a certain decision when in fact everything is infinite in our imaginations?
I find myself playing all the variables in my mind every time I make the simplest decision. I’m an extreme worrier. I do feel like I’m losing my mind sometimes. Even just typing these words right now are decisions and it bewilders me how naturally they just go through the pages.
So what is choice?
In my own definition, choice is the basic proof that we have free will and with free will came chaos. Chaos because choice for me is the anxiety that comes before we act on a certain decision.
The anxiety of “what if”
What if we’re not wearing the right clothes?
What if we’re not acting the right way in front of people?
What if we’re not doing the best that we can to be the person that we want to be?
And it’s scary. To ruminate over the same things over and over again just because everything we do is forever done.
I should just be like a bird and just fly and fly and fly and be free on a hot, rainy summer day.
“Every path is the right path. Everything could have been everything else, and it will have just as much meaning.”