The past couple of nights I haven’t felt my strongest.
As I mentioned before, my boyfriend, who I’ve spent nearly every day with since we first met, has left for Portugal for three months. Since I work freelance from the house, I find myself with more alone time than I did before I met Geoff. We don’t have a TV, so there isn’t the omnipresent media voice protecting me from my own thoughts.
Actually, that’s a lie. There is a TV. It’s upstairs in the bedroom, but I refuse to sleep there. I sleep on the couch downstairs because I feel safer there. Upstairs I have no control of what is going on downstairs.
This logic makes no sense.
But back to being alone with your thoughts. It’s a dangerous pastime when you have an overactive imagination. It can be paralyzing. You can absolutely convince yourself of something because all you’re doing hyper-focusing on that thought.
Every night, every damn fucking night, I’m convinced that someone is going to break in. I hear a noise and the color rushes from my cheeks, my heart skips a beat and nothing else in the world matters.
I’ve taken comfort in a bottle of red wine I hold between my legs and a cheap, disabling sleeping pill.
“What is the matter with you?!” my mother said to me the other day when I told her about my routine.
I don’t know.
All I know is that I’m scared.
Scared of what is outside my window at night, scared of going home to see my family and see the changes that have been happening to them, scared of flying overseas.
In becoming reacquainted with myself, I’ve discovered a little girl who has become fearful of change, fearful of the world around her.
Where is her sense of adventure?
Has being in a relationship made me lose my sense of self-dependence? I never wanted to be that girl. Never. And now when I find myself alone, quiet, no TV to distract me, nothing but the faint sound of the radio in the other room to keep the bird from feeling too alone, I’m paralyzed. Not helpless, but completely immobile.
And these times? They’re not good for my creativity.
All I want to do is sleep and wake up to the light. The day brings safety, but these sleeping pills to get me through the night are creating a daytime zombie. I wake up every hour and check my phone for the time. 2AM. 3AM. 4AM. Three more hours and the sun will start to come up. 5:30AM. 6AM, 6:20AM. You’re almost there, Lauren.
Every night I swear this will be the last night I stay here alone, but again, I find myself sitting here, the radio in the distance and every thump, snap and crack of the house sending me into a state of panic. My heart constantly races.
I can’t handle the silence. I used to live in the city, in apartments, not a big rectangular house full of windows. I used to joke to my therapist in LA that that I’d end up in a glass house, but I feel so exposed. Like a bird in a cage.
I’m sweating now and all I can think of is that I must get away from this house and from myself.