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Silence is scary.

Silence is scarcity, silence is subtraction, silence is proof of loneliness.

Noise is reassuring, you always know there is a world out there, driving by, ringing, talking, barking, existing. The world is and every action of human beings, animals and forces of nature is stressed by noise. You know that there is hope out there, there is society, there is humanity.

You surround yourself of sounds and noises and welcome them, you listen to your friends’ voices, turn on the radio while driving, turn on TV resting on your couch, lose yourself in the tapping of your fingers on the keyboard. You fill up your head with external influences.

But late at night, one by one the noises fade and disappear. Minute after minute you are left alone by the world outside, forced to face your inner voice, the one that never ceases. The one you can never fully cover up, the loudest one, the one you can’t run from.

Sometimes, it’s just made up by grocery lists, to do lists, foam-peanut thoughts, noise. When you decide to mute even that noise, what fills the void stinks of inadequacy, fear and torment. To do lists are replaced by what if lists, enumerating every single thing that might go south in your life, every imperfection, every weakness, every point that makes you hopeless and unlovable. Your inner voice screams in a hundred different voices how you’ll always be left alone, in silence.

When all the silence you need is that of your own hate.

I haven’t written absolutely anything anywhere for a while, a couple of months.

Fact is, I don’t know what I should write about.

In my head, this space was to be used as a chalkboard. The place where you can get the big picture from the scraps of ideas that are swimming freely in your brain. It did serve its purpose in the beginning.

But then it became the notorious emotional dustbin. The only place where I could basically whine and put into words my worst thoughts. I think I wanted to be inspirational. But at some point along the way, I realised it wasn’t working. It felt as if I had stopped working towards an end, a goal.

It feels as if I have lost my goal: finding sanity. Somewhere along the road I lost hope, I lost the strength to fight, so if there was no future to tend to, writing wasn’t going to be of any use anymore. It would only make me observe my uncertainty. And I didn’t want to look.

I just wanted to exist and maintain my unstable balance as long as I could.

I still want to.

But there are major differences now, I suppose. When I lost hope, I thought there would be no end to the state of numbness and hopelessness I was in. I thought it was the end, that there was no other way out, that every day from that moment on would be just the echo of a resigned acceptance to mere survival. Every day.

It turns out, it’s really not like that. I have realised that there are good days and bad. It sounds obvious, but it’s not. Every time it’s a red day, it feels like it lasts forever, it feels like a vortex dragging you down which will never cease. But it ceases alright. Then come the orange days, the yellow days and even the green days. Lots of them, not just once a fortnight.

And when lost in a red sea, I only wish I could discharge the feeling of oppression that blocks my lungs, but writing isn’t the answer. Writing propagates the pain. Makes me focus on the pain. So I don’t. Nobody wants to hear about the pain anyway. Not even me.

I haven’t stopped rummaging my thoughts and trying to figure out a way out of this though. It felt as if I had, but it was just running in the background. Until I came to a basic but fundamental knowledge: I can pinpoint exactly the source of all my issues. I know all the answers to questions such as why, where does all this come from, why do I react this way, why am I suffering. My very personal answer is a deeply rooted lack of self-confidence and self-love in very specific sections of my life.

People say that the first step towards solving a problem is finding out what the problem is. True, but…

True, because I now fully realise that it wouldn’t have been possible to try to tackle this problem before my years of therapy. Which maybe didn’t “cure” me but certainly let me open up myself enough to look at the problem in the eyes, analyse it, interpret it and recognise it for what it is.

But… because the same years of therapy, or I should say analysis, led me to see the problem but provided no weapon whatsoever to fight it, to uproot it, discard it and build again.

It took me years to finally find the source of the leak, now that I have, I see very clearly that I need two types of tools: rugs to prevent the flood from spilling any further and a wrench to replace the broken pipe. In other words, I’d like to find a way to snap out of my bad days when they come, or at least prevent being overwhelmed by them and to build the confidence I lack and overwrite my negative thought patterns.

This I believe to be a milestone.

But more than that I was propelled to write today because of this video.

I feel that shame. I never talk about what I’m going through. I may talk about the fact that depression is there, and that I do things because of it, but what actually goes on in my mind and how it affects many of the things I do, many of the reactions I have, many of the choices I make… no, that I do not speak about.

I joined group therapy sessions, because I was hoping I could do that. Not to dwell on self-pity all together but to hear a second opinion from someone who’s been there, who is there now, who knows what I am talking about. But it’s really not working like that. I still don’t know if it’s because they are holding back since I’m new or if it’s just not their thing.

So how? How do I beat shame, how can I begin talking about this to people who don’t understand? I have talked to Maddy during my “attacks” sometimes and she means well, but she just doesn’t get it. She doesn’t get to the source, she stops at the surface. And getting the wrong response might be worse than getting none at all, because it only makes you feel more misunderstood and alone.

Do I have to give up to the idea that as long as my “attacks” come I’ll just have to handle it by myself and wait it out and that I will get relief only as they become less frequent?

There is good pain and bad pain.

I am reading this book, trying to do something good for myself, which cleverly divides paranoias into two separate categories: beneficial paranoias and harmful paranoias. Harmful paranoias are obviously the ones that in the end bring along negative feelings and a general malaise. Beneficial paranoias are the ones that ultimately save you or make you feel better than you would feel if you didn’t linger on them.

I suppose the same can be said for pain and sorrow. Pain cannot be good, but it can be beneficial. Grieving is the necessary process which takes you through the pain of a mournful event until you are reborn, with new strength and new wisdom. Grieving involves pain, it is pain, pure and simple.

What I mean when I say that maybe this I’m experiencing is nothing more than a broken heart, is exactly this. Maybe this pain is not the evil sorrow brought by mental or personal issues, or at least not entirely, maybe it is the beneficial pain of a grieving which not only shouldn’t be avoided, but is necessary and will be healed only by patience and time.

Any attempt to actively participate in the process by looking for activities which could restore my balance won’t go to waste, since my dear balance in all honesty has never been there and needs some uncovering and restoring of its own.

Maybe every one of us goes through such a phase after a break-up, only some of us recognise the face of their demons better than others. Some call their fears by their first name, other just say they miss their former partner. It’s a matter of emotional intelligence.

And experience.

Maddie is going down too, now that Coach seems to have found new entertainment, but even though she cries every day just like me, she counts on the tranquillity of knowing that it will go away, because that’s exactly what happened in the past. She know that she can survive crying every day for years, and still wake up one day feeling new and cleansed and ready to embrace the world.

This arising-phoenix philosophy unfortunately only goes so far for me. To some extent, I have lived it on my skin with Simon: every time I thought he would disappear I would break down just to be reborn and still after a flood of tears. I know deep inside I can come back from everything that life throws at me, but this is slightly different. I have spent my life getting over boys, more or less successfully, it’s something I’ve always had to come to terms with.

Being able to enjoy life alone and free myself from the very need of having a partner is alien to me. Never have I had the chance to experience such a state, never have I been happy to live my life exactly as it was, without even looking at specimens of the opposite sex.

Maddie is the one who has often had long-term relationships, I haven’t, I have been alone most of my life. I have had just this one. I don’t know what it means to reinvent your life after a break-up, I don’t even know what a break-up is. But in all the time I spent alone, I never really enjoyed that state. I was forced into it, not for my own will, or at least not consciously.

So yes, being alone is scary now because I am not used to being alone anymore and because post-break-up pains are ugly, but I feel like I’m going to have to fight much harder, I feel like my battle is not going to be only against time and tears, but against deeper and older demons, the ones that live inside of you and grow with you and sometimes outgrow you.

It may not be true, it may be just a matter of time, but how do I believe in something I’ve never experienced, while all of my past is pointing at another outcome?