The gravel crunched underfoot as I walked forward. It was cold. The wind streamed, buffeting trees and tearing flowers from their delicate stems, slamming into the petals and blowing them apart like the feathers in a pillow smashed against a wall. Red, white and pink dots of colour blurred past as I slowly marched forward into the headwind. My eyes watered, and I cried. I’d say it was easy to see why, but it wasn’t.

Very little made sense these days. I stopped at the end of the walkway, staring out towards the gardens. No sensible thing would be out in this whirlwind; this meant I was very much alone. A comfortable feeling at this point, being able to stare at nature being bitter while you weathered the storm by yourself. This much, I reassured myself, I could do on my own well enough. I grinned at my self-depreciation, laughing at my own ridiculousness and inadequacy the same way one laughs at a student making an obvious mistake, not intending to be harmful or spiteful but simply because it’s easy to recognize what is an unavoidable, impending error. I knew I should stop, but the simple fact was that I didn’t. I wouldn’t.

Belittling myself is something of a second nature. It’s easy to do; the mistakes are obvious and plentiful. Things I say, do, or fail to say or do, are all easy to pick up on. What must it be like to not have this kind of inner dialogue? Imagination failed me as I attempted to create an idea of someone, like me in every way but without the most obvious failings. Understanding eluded me.

The dew soaked through to my skin as I sat down on the grass nearby, though it was a numbed sensation. It’s easy to forget cold when your mind is maniacally focused on tearing itself apart rather than solving any issues facing it, a madman hellbent on watching the world burn rather than putting out the fires and rebuilding. It would be scary, except the only world it was burning was my own. No one else’s mind would be hurt from this horrible man in my head. Just me. If that’s the way it had to be, fine. I could do that. Was it enjoyable? Healthy? Remotely a good idea? No. Not even close; and I would be an idiot to not try to rail against these thoughts. So rail I would, but alone. Until I could deal with myself, dealing with others would be like introducing more wood for the madman’s already sizable bonfire, giving him more fuel with which to burn me.

A howling wind brought me out of my head, reminding me that I sat not in the comfort of my house or in my room but on soaking wet grass, drowning myself in unwarranted self pity like a fool. Why focus on yourself so much, I pondered, when this isn’t worth the time? If no one else wants to listen to this kind of crap, why aren’t you up and doing something to fix it?

Only an idiot would sit here instead of solving the problem.

Instead of rallying behind a voice of reason, I slumped forward. Smaller. I wanted to be so small, so I could just hide in the grass and disappear, leaving everything behind. I should do something, I thought, anything.

The wind embraced me as I sat in the cold gray of another day, numbed by my predatory mind as I floundered against feelings and musings that I had no right to complain about. So many others had it far worse; why should I whine? I had no right to feel badly about my life, so suck it up. Get out there, do something, anything. Why shouldn’t I?

Because you suck, said my mind, and I cried.


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