I flop over onto my other side. Awakening wide-eyed at some vague time in the middle of the night, I spent the last hour (ten minutes? thirty seconds?) rolling around and adding to the pile of tissues on the nightstand.
“This is total bullshit,” I state, to no one in particular. Mike is fast asleep, and the cat had long ago abandoned my lap for a more stable surface.
I sneeze, grab another tissue, blow my nose. It is total bullshit, almost cruel. Being so tired, yet unable to sleep. I flip over to my other side, pull the comforter tighter against the chill.
It’s almost as cruel as the life of a writer. There is so much rejection. For every “yes” I hear, fifty “no”s precede it. Why the fucking fuck did I try to do this? Why can’t I just be an accountant or something? Why can’t I just be happy?
Why am I trying to write, anyway? I’m a terrible writer. Earlier that evening I thumbed through a book of essays I’d sent a submission to over the summer, browsing all the gorgeous entries. My submission was terrible compared to the well-crafted prose I held in my hand. No wonder I hadn’t heard back from them, not even a courtesy “We’re not interested.”
I shouldn’t write when I’m in the middle of a depressive episode. Or if I do write, I should hide it away, show it to no one. Not send it off to an editor hoping the depth of my feeling comes across as anything more than dark and trite. I tend to grasp at overworked clichés when I’m depressed.
I sneeze again, which jolts me out of my thoughts. I remember my visit to the psychologist last week, my very first visit to a psychologist, ever. One of her observations that stuck with me was, “You need to spend way less time in your head. Journal. That’ll get it all out. Keep it out of your head, where it just spins around.”
I left her office feeling more anxious than when I’d entered. After arriving home I told Mike, “I didn’t think she was going to fix me after only an hour … but maybe I did think that.”
I turn onto my back. Grab another tissue. I’m going to wake up Mike if I keep at this.
Read. That’s what I’ll do. Read myself to sleep. But I have to go into the other room, so the reading light doesn’t wake him.
I grab my paperback from under the cloud of tissues on the nightstand. Fumble for my glasses. Pad into the living room and collapse on the couch, pulling the afghan up over me. But I’m so tired. I don’t want to read. I want to lay here. I want to sleep.
“What are you doing out here?” Mike says. I open my eyes and he’s standing over me, rubbing his own eyes with his left knuckle.
“I keep blowing my nose. I didn’t want to wake you.”
“I woke up because you weren’t there.”
“I’m sorry. I tried to be quiet.”
“I didn’t hear you. I just sensed you were gone. Come back to bed.”
“Are you sure? I don’t want to keep you up.”
“Yes,” he says. I follow him back to bed. Just as I’m about to lay down, I get back up and retrieve some Benadryl from the medicine cabinet, the only stuff in there guaranteed to knock me out. I decide I’ve had enough of this bullshit.
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