In the deepest, darkest recesses of your mind, do you have a dreamer? And I am not referring to the stereotypical dreamer, the dreamer that imagines happy futures and wonderful events and accomplished goals and an almost perfect world. No, I am talking about a nightmare-dreamer, the part of your mind that is hidden away at all times because it thinks only of nightmares, of terrible events that no one would ever wish on anyone. It is the part of your mind that wonders what it would be like to cut yourself, to have a sharp blade run across the skin of your wrist. It is the part of your mind that wonders what it would be like to starve yourself, to see your stomach concave because you can’t remember the last time you’ve eaten. It is the part of your mind that wonders what it would be like to break your knuckles and wrists from punching walls and smashing mirrors. It is the part of your mind that wonders how much it would hurt to get hit by a car (either by accident or by stepping into the street), to feel your broken body sliding across the asphalt. It is the part of your mind that wonders how terrifying your life would be if you got a fatal diagnosis of something, if you had to deal with impending death at any moment. It is the part of your mind that wonders how you would manage to drown yourself in your shower, how you would suffocate yourself in your pillow. It is the part of your mind that wonders if the feeling of flying as you jump off a building is worthy of being your last feeling ever, if the pain at impact will even register in your mind.
(It is the part of your mind that wonders what would happen if you stopped taking your asthma medication and stopped carrying your inhaler around, if it would be as bad as it was before the medication or even worse.)
It is the part of your mind that asks if anyone would care if any of those were to happen. It is the part of your mind that does not dare to hope that your loved ones will care for you if any of those were to happen. It is the part of your mind that wonders if your loved ones even love you at all (even though you know that they do).
This nightmare-dreamer is a terrifying thing. It’s not that you wish any of these on yourself or anyone else. It’s just that you wonder, in those hidden recesses of your mind. You wonder about these dark things when you lie in bed, staring at the ceiling at night. You try not to wonder too much at those times, though, because you worry you will spiral into an ever deeper part of your mind, a part that terrifies you to the point of a pounding heart and gasping breaths. No, you avoid thinking these things when you’re alone. Except that you don’t. When you have an idle moment, when you’re walking to and from somewhere, you find yourself imaging yet another terrible scenario- maybe a variation or even a continuation of an older one. And then you have to tell yourself to stop. Because you’ll be with people soon, and you can’t drift off into those dark places when you’re with people.
Except that you can. Even when you’re sitting in the same room as your loved ones, you can still clearly picture the darkness within your mind. (Even when you’re sitting next to a good friend, you can imagine showing him the still bleeding cuts on your wrists, calling her to tell her that you’ve been starving yourself and can’t stop, asking him if he has briefly considered suicide too.) And you have to wonder, is there something deeply wrong with you? Is it normal to imagine all these horrific things? It can’t be. Are you depressed then? No, that doesn’t fit. Are you crazy then? But you don’t actually do any of these things. And you haven’t experienced anything particularly traumatic, nothing that had the capability to break your mind (at least you don’t think so). So then what? Do you just continue imagining these things until they no longer worry you?
But they will always worry you. They will never stop. Maybe you need to be fixed. But how? And are you even broken? But you must be. Why else would you imagine all these things? And it’s just a spiral of questions and worries and nightmares that lead no where, and you wish you could just stop.
But that’s one of the hardest things. Stopping. You don’t know how to stop. You don’t even know how you started. Sometimes, you wish you could tell someone these things. But who? Do you tell your loved ones and have them worry about you all the time? They worry about you enough, and it’s not like you’re actually suicidal anyway. There’s no point in bothering them with even more of your problems, especially since you don’t think they could fix you even if they tried. So what do you do? What can you do? Your problem isn’t even that big. Your nightmares are not even actual issues. They exist, yes, but only in your mind. And so what if there’s darkness in your mind? There’s darkness in everyone’s mind. You just have to move past it, or at least let the light in the rest of your life push the darkness back more often.
But until the light in your life, no, until the dreamer that is in the light of your mind can conquer and squish/kill/delete the nightmare-dreamer out of existence, you’ll just have to deal with your darkness on your own. And that’s scary.
(But at least you have this blog to write on. Maybe someone out there can relate to you?)