Yes, I Do Look Tired And Here’s Why

iStock / Everste
iStock / Everste

It’s 12:52 AM on a Tuesday. The club is not going up. I’m clicking on a new thing every two seconds.

Click. Click. Click.

My brain works in morse code, trying to piece together my own incoherency when everyone else is too busy soaking up sleep. The messages stop. The texts cease. So it’s just me.

I’m typing patterns with my own fingers. Click. Stop. Click. Stop. I’m lonely. Click. Stop. I’m not sure what’s wrong. Click. Stop. I need to go back to therapy. Click. Stop. I can’t afford what they’re going to tell me. Click. Stop.

I do the usual rounds: Twitter, Facebook, Email, YouTube. Look at my phone at Snapchat. He’s looked at my Snap. No text though. I reached out for help, and he ignored it. Funny, I think. He told me he was an asshole. Should have believed it.

Click. Think about how foolish I’m becoming. Or maybe more brave. I’m filtering myself less and less. Does this mean I’m learning to love myself? Does this mean I’m taking charge of my own truth? Or am I an asshole in artists’ clothing? I cringe as I predict a comment: “HA, she called herself an artist.”

Click.

I think about this insomnia, how it continues getting worse and worse. What little slumber I fall into is sporadic, interrupted every few hours and I realize that’s all it’s been. But at least my dreams stay vivid, so full of color, I can almost taste them. I feel so light, even as I’m chasing after broken promises and shadows that I can never reach. It feels good, when I’m finally asleep.

Click.

I know this sleep cycle means something needs my attention and I’m ignoring it. It eats away at me, but instead I’ll eat something else. My feelings. Distracting myself with whatever I can consume. Media. Media. Media. I’m too busy Click. Click. Clicking on everything. Distraction is always in conjunction with depression, nipping at it’s heels. Even now as I type this, Gilmore Girls is playing softly in the background. A separate window of Netflix, minimized. I keep trying to minimize everything. Fit it smaller and smaller. More screens. More distractions.

Something hurts, so I get up and eat. I’m not hungry. But I’m hurting and maybe I just want this hurt to be something I can easily fix. How cliche, trying to numb emotions with a box of cookies. I can’t even be original in my sadness. I’m a living, breathing Tumblr blog. Click. Tumblr.

I’m always searching for something, but I never know what for. Click back on Twitter. Smile at something someone said. Try to savor this weird moment of social interaction. I think of the last time I actually looked someone in the eyes. Realize I talk to people all day, but haven’t socialized in a while. Did I even leave my room? I don’t answer my own question.

I start to rub my temples, a headache that I can’t ever seem to kick. I could say it’s from this blue screen. Oh, that glowing blue screen.

The internet, this vast plane of potential and heartbreak. Unlimited creativity and a breeding ground for hatred. What a place. And really, it’s done so much for me. It’s connected me to beautiful people, created real friendships, jobs, career starters. A place for a voice to be heard, even if I’m the only one under the assumption people are listening.

Click. I start to think of the different ways the internet has directly impacted my life.

Facebook, how that one boy came crawling back into my mouth and arms after months when we found each other in tagged photos. Twitter, where a photo of a cute boy with thick rimmed glasses turned into a real boy with thick rimmed glasses and eager hands that undid my bra. YouTube, the place it all changed. Melodramatic, sure. But the internet is a place I love so very much.

But do I love what it has done for me more than I actually love myself? I don’t answer this question either. The headache sits in the back of my skull. Perhaps staring at anything too long can make you sick.

Distraction, it’s what I do all day long. Finding ways to avoid the problems. Avoiding conversations. Avoiding the mirror when I pass by. I like the way I look, most days. I feel good in my own skin, despite the scars from the past.

But when I stop clicking and really take a look, I’m shocked at my reflection.

Someone else is looking back at me. I’ve been so distracted, I’ve forgotten who I even am.

Click. TC mark

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Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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