Thought Catalog

How To Fall Apart When You Are Young

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Ian Schneider

Fear.

It starts here. That little voice inside your head that says Stop. Spiders, heights, far-off dreams. Stop. There’s better things beyond but stop. You stop.

Withdraw.

Into yourself and away from others. Never once consider telling anyone your fears. Slide so far back into yourself you forget what you look like. Don’t come out.

Cry.

Alone, in your dark room with some fucked up song on the stereo. Don’t hear the words. Cover your mouth so no one can hear. Shake until the energy evaporates. Be still.

Leave.

Your room, your town. Spend months, years packing the courage and resources. Buy a one-way ticket. Fill your tank. Don’t look back.

Freak.

Realize your demons have wings, too. Repeat and recycle the previous steps until your heart and bank account are on fumes. Consider the end. Exhale.

Love.

Find someone that chips at the wall. Let it topple. Get high on drugs and love and Sunday nights. Wonder if before was some fever dream. Smile.

Break.

Let him end it. Watch the pieces shift and your world collapse. Find your demons at the door. Welcome home.

Drink.

A lot. On Tuesdays, in the mornings. In the dark, so your friends don’t see. Whenever you can. Giggle. Fall down. Black out. Repeat.

Come to.

At 5 a.m. to a boy on top of you. No. You weren’t drunk. Drugged. You’re a virgin. Or you were. Are you still? Wonder.

Hush.

Say nothing. Report no one. Gag on the memories. Or lack thereof. On the liquor you use to chase them. Keep in touch. It’s your fault. Wasn’t it? Wonder.

Cheat.

Or so they say. Do nothing. Let them say you did. Exiled. Alone, in the dark again. Drink some more. They’re all doing it.

Party.

As often as you can. On Thursdays and Mondays and holidays. You’re happy, see? Happy people have friends. Happy people party.

Walk.

To the roof. Surprise, no one’s watching, I promise. It’s too dark anyway. Climb the ledge. Take a breath.

Look down.

So far down. The people are ants. Not too far down. Don’t overthink it. A few seconds isn’t so long. Is it? Don’t over think it. Just jump.

Don’t jump.

A different kind of fear. Fear of finality. Climb back over. Sit on the roof. Bawl. Coward. Am I? Let the feeling come back.

Feel.

Three years is a lot to feel. Drown in it. Run out of air. Breathe anyway. Walk off the roof. You’re drunk. Go home.

Reach.

Out. Talk to her. She’ll give you pills. You hate the pills. Take them anyway. An hour a week isn’t so bad. Three years taken an hour at a time. Breathe.

Write.

In fragments, in unfinished thoughts. Cross out words. Write them again. Set them free. Hoping that no one else dies young. Not now.TC mark

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