The False Grinning Faces We All Wear

“I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me…or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I’ll quote Ibsen, “The strongest men are the most alone.” I’ve never thought, “Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I’ll feel good.” No, that won’t help. You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars because I didn’t want to hide in factories. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have. Let’s drink more wine!”

― Charles Bukowski

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How did sadness become so familiar I can almost hear it chanting my name

Sadness… It is more like melancholia which I believe I was born with. I was eight years old sitting on a breakwater that my father had fashioned to protect the dikes from the waves when I first realized that this world has nothing to offer to me. Even then the feeling of being been there done that twice over and back was prominent and constant. I was not sad nor depressed. Just an understanding of a fact. There are only two occasions in my whole life that I’ve felt that way. For the rest, I’m fairly okay. Melancholic but never lonely.

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HSP Tolerating Socializing

“Sometimes people who don’t socialize much aren’t actually antisocial. They just have no tolerance for drama and fake people.”

This is what I want to say to anybody who accuses me of being antisocial.

I’m in a point of my life where I don’t care anymore what people think of me. I just want peace and quiet away from all the cacophony of a crowd. 

“As a highly sensitive introvert, I need plenty of quiet alone time to recharge. Loud talking and music drain my energy and make me feel claustrophobic.”

“I can function quite well in public situations but find myself completely exhausted afterward. I struggled to make banal small talk with groups of people, much preferring a deeper discussion with one or two others. I can stand up and give a talk and lead a group discussion, no problem, but then I have to retreat and rest for a whole day.”

Worse still, I need at least three weeks to recuperate.

“I love my family, and I can tolerate people in my space for a little while, but if they stay for more than a day, I get stressed. Picking up on their feelings, having to be ‘on’ all the time, not having my own space to retreat to — it’s too much.”

“I cannot tolerate chaos and disorder especially in my personal space. I need everything organized and clean. I cannot do clutter. I must have the house put in order before I start for the day. Otherwise, I’m just so distracted by the extra sensory input.”

“Others seem to need a radio or TV on in the background ‘for company,’ but it drives me crazy. I love shops with no music. I can’t cope with the sound of power tools, lawnmowers, or leaf-blowers — it’s excruciating.”

“Strong smells especially from perfume or essential oils. I find them overpowering and they make me physically ill.”

“I absorb and hold on to other people’s emotions, which can leave me feeling sad, upset, or drained.”

Like now, I’ve been out too long yesterday and here I am, 6:30 in the morning and still awake typing despite taking a tranquilizer and a sleeping pill. I’m too stressed to sleep even though my body is exhausted and ready to give up.

People don’t understand that being with them takes too much effort and energy. They asked but don’t listen and all ready to judge. Better to keep away than to cause a discussion or misunderstanding even. I just don’t want to waste time explaining anymore.

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Coming To Terms

“One morning she woke up different. Done with trying to figure out who was with her, against her, or walking down the middle because they didn’t have the guts to pick a side. She was done with anything that didn’t bring her peace. She realized that opinions were a dime a dozen, validation was for parking, and loyalty wasn’t a word, but a lifestyle. It was this day that her life changed. And not because of a man or a job but because she realized that life is way too short to leave the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. It was the day life began!” ~ Sarah Krycinski

I walked too long with guilt.

Knowing that for the most part, it wasn’t my fault. That in the end, I had to choose for myself or I might as well give up altogether. I know not so many people would understand. In fact, I know no one who does. It got something to do once again with expectations and what society dictates, not what is best for all party involves.  It took me decades to forgive myself. Partially. And to resign to the fact that it is what it is and there is no damn thing I can do about it. I still feel guilty sometimes, but it doesn’t keep me awake anymore and the urge to compensate is gone. I still do my best but I don’t expect appreciation nor understanding for the choices I had made. I learned to distance myself and draw the line. I no longer hope for reconciliation or acceptance. I just want peace. Even if it means being on my own, far from what once I hold dear.

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I Feel You

“Don’t you feel lonely? I see that you always eat out alone, watch movies alone, drink in cafes and read books in libraries alone. I always see you isolating yourself in a room with your phone, alone. Doesn’t it make you sad? Lonely?”

“Loneliness doesn’t work that way for me. The reason why I’m always alone is that I don’t want to be lonely. To be with myself is appreciating my own presence, especially when others couldn’t. You see, for me, being surrounded by people but still feeling alone— that’s lonely. Having a group to go out with but not feeling like you belong— that’s lonely. I’d rather be with myself and be alone, and no— that doesn’t make me lonely. Being with myself means I don’t have to fight for attention. Being with myself means that I don’t have to pretend that I’m a different person.”

~ thalia b.

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Living With Suicidal Feelings 

“Suicidal feelings are not the same as giving up on life. Suicidal feelings often express a powerful and overwhelming need for a different life. Suicidal feelings can mean, in a desperate and unyielding way, a demand for something new. Listen to someone who is suicidal and you often hear a need for change so important, so indispensable, that they would rather die than go on living without the change. And when the person feels powerless to make that change happen, they become suicidal.

Help comes when the person identifies the change they want and starts to believe it can actually happen. Whether it is overcoming an impossible family situation, making a career or study change, standing up to an oppressor, gaining relief from chronic physical pain, igniting creative inspiration, feeling less alone, or beginning to value their self worth, at the root of suicidal feelings is often powerlessness to change your life – not giving up on life itself.”

―Will Hall

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Solitude Within

Once I had started my solitude, I realized anew that it was easy for me to become accustomed to this state and that the most effortless existence for me was in fact in one in which I was not obliged to speak to anyone. My fretful attitude to life left me. Each dead day had its charm. —Yukio Mishima

It’s true, once you get used to being alone it is very hard to be among people again.

I have no problem with making contacts and to carry out a conversation, no, never that for since childhood it seems I have the gift of gab (and so they say) but my problem with socializing is the amount of time it needs for me to recover after that. I need at least two weeks to recuperate.

Lately, being in the middle of a crowd in an open space bothers me. People, even strangers make me nervous I cannot enjoy what there is to enjoy, let it be music, sights, or day to day life like going to the market. When there is a crowd, I am sure to avoid it. The constant movements and chatters confuse my brain and I feel that they are constantly in my way blocking my progress and disturbing my zen.

For those who are extroverts perhaps it is difficult to understand my predicament but believe you me, nothing can make me unhinged faster than a crowd.

I just came back from vacation and even there where it supposed to be there is an easy-going vibe and relax atmosphere yet I still sought solitude. When the beach is crowded, I head back to the hotel and I swim in the pool early when other guests are not yet awake and have their breakfast. I cannot imagine myself immersed in stagnant water where there are a lot of unwashed bodies there with me. That’s why I prefer a shower to a bath. I’m keen on personal hygiene.

At home I detest visitors. I even detest a visit from family members. Nothing personal. I just feel that they disturb the rhythm of my day to day existence. Not that I have a fixed schedule or something, it’s just that I want to follow my feelings going about my day, doing what I want when I want it at my own pace. When someone is there, you have to consider and accommodate their wants and needs especially if you’re the host and it takes too much energy synchronizing your rhythm with others. That’s why I never go out with friends. I rather do things on my own. Simpler that way.

What about you? Are you sociable? Do you crave a company? How about me-time? What is your view on this?

If you have a moment,  do share with us your thoughts.

See you next time.

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But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem

Depression does not always mean
Beautiful girls shattering at the wrists
A glorified, heroic battle for your sanity
Or mothers that never got the chance to say good-bye

Sometimes depression means
Not getting out of bed for three days
Because your feet refuse to believe
That they will not shatter upon impact with the floor

Sometimes depression means
That summoning the willpower
To go downstairs and do the laundry
Is the most impressive thing you accomplish that week

Sometimes depression means
Lying on the floor staring at the ceiling for hours
Because you cannot convince your body
That it is capable of movement

Sometimes depression means
Not being able to write for weeks
Because the only words you have to offer the world
Are trapped and drowning and I swear to God I’m trying

Sometimes depression means
That every single bone in your body aches
But you have to keep going through the motions
Because you are not allowed to call in to work depressed

Sometimes depression means
Ignoring every phone call for an entire month
Because yes, they have the right number
But you’re not the person they’re looking for, not anymore.

―Hannah Nicole a.k.a. twentysixscribbles

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The Good Life

“Every morning I sit at the kitchen table over a tall glass of water swallowing pills. (So my hands won’t shake.) (So my heart won’t race.) (So my face won’t thaw.) (So my blood won’t mold.) (So the voices won’t scream.) (So I don’t reach for knives.) (So I keep out of the oven.) (So I eat every morsel.) (So the wine goes bitter.) (So I remember the laundry.) (So I remember to call.) (So I remember the name of each pill.) (So I remember the name of each sickness.) (So I keep my hands inside my hands.) (So the city won’t rattle.) (So I don’t weep on the bus.) (So I don’t wander the guardrail.) (So the flashbacks go quiet.) (So the insomnia sleeps.) (So I don’t jump at car horns.) (So I don’t jump at cat-calls.) (So I don’t jump a bridge.) (So I don’t twitch.) (So I don’t riot.) (So I don’t slit a strange man’s throat.)” 

― Jeanann Verlee

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The Morning After I Killed Myself

I woke up.

I made myself breakfast in bed. I added salt and pepper to my eggs and used my toast for a cheese and bacon sandwich. I squeezed a grapefruit into a juice glass. I scraped the ashes from the frying pan and rinsed the butter off the counter. I washed the dishes and folded the towels.

The morning after I killed myself, I fell in love. Not with the boy down the street or the middle school principal. Not with the everyday jogger or the grocer who always left the avocados out of the bag. I fell in love with my mother and the way she sat on the floor of my room holding each rock from my collection in her palms until they grew dark with sweat. I fell in love with my father down at the river as he placed my note into a bottle and sent it into the current. With my brother who once believed in unicorns but who now sat in his desk at school trying desperately to believe I still existed.

The morning after I killed myself, I walked the dog. I watched the way her tail twitched when a bird flew by or how her pace quickened at the sight of a cat. I saw the empty space in her eyes when she reached a stick and turned around to greet me so we could play catch but saw nothing but sky in my place. I stood by as strangers stroked her muzzle and she wilted beneath their touch like she did once for mine.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to the neighbors’ yard where I left my footprints in concrete as a two-year-old and examined how they were already fading. I picked a few daylilies and pulled a few weeds and watched the elderly woman through her window as she read the paper with the news of my death. I saw her husband spit tobacco into the kitchen sink and bring her her daily medication.

The morning after I killed myself, I watched the sun come up. Each orange tree opened like a hand and the kid down the street pointed out a single red cloud to his mother.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to that body in the morgue and tried to talk some sense into her. I told her about the avocados and the stepping stones, the river, and her parents. I told her about the sunsets and the dog and the beach.

The morning after I killed myself, I tried to unkill myself, but couldn’t finish what I started.

—Meggie Royer

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Depression

In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression. I loved it because it was all I had. I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my pain.

— Elizabeth Wurtze

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My Home Found A New Owner

He was the man I loved for so many years. He held up my universe inside his pocket and picked up the stars so he could light up my night. I wanted to believe that he loved me too. Because he said so, in whispers, in screams, in his sleep, in his songs, in his eyes. For so many years, I let him invade my heart. He let me love him in my own selfish ways. We have so many misunderstandings we took a few days to settle and solve. And we have past mistakes that came up whenever we argue. He barely understood my own language but he studied it so he could see which part of me was vulnerable to hold.

If we are going to talk about endings, then probably that thing has been overused and was scratched too hard I felt numb. We broke up and we got back again. We stopped yet we started again. We paused yet we decided to keep going.

Yet, all endings always had its own severe ending. The one that makes you realize that it won’t come back. The one that makes you ache for silence because you know he won’t reach out. The ending that we all fear.

But I tried to move out and tried new places, without him. Without his shadow. Without his smile and grips and his voice that calms me down. I tried moving out and started collecting scattered dust until I could have my new universe again. I searched for him in someone else’s eyes and voice. I looked for him in someone else’s skin and smell. But I realized he was the only one. He was one of a kind that no matter how many times he hurts me, I could still take it. No matter how many times he forced me to leave, I’d still run as fast as I could in his snap of wave and flash of a smile.

I realized he never holds my universe rather he became my universe. That every time I hear the words love and pain, his face will appear crystallized.

Yet he found his new world.
He found it in you.
Now that you’re with him, you got to understand that he’s unpredictable and changes so often. But as long you could stay, please do.

I might be the girl he had as his dreams form. I might be the girl he got to watch his all-time favorite movies and the first who heard the songs he wrote as he strummed his guitar. I might be his first love as what he called it but you’re with him now.

And you will have him in ways I could never have. I am now a part of the past that will one day be forgotten.

Yet here you are, the one he sees spending the future with and the rest of his life with. The woman he sees growing a family with and pajama cuddles and morning coffees and the hand he’ll hold while traveling the world. The woman he sees sharing the same water bottle and beer-stained kisses, and teases under blankets or the hair he’ll play in his finger and the head that rests upon his chest when you sleep.

And he still has me,
more like a memory,
a past,
a lesson,
a told story,
an ending example.

But he has you,
more like a dream,
a vision of wedding aisle,
a wedding dress,
a mother to his children,
a body he comes home for,
a rocking chair,
a future.

He looks at you
the same way

I see him.

So please,
take care of him.

-Mica Meñez 

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