An occasional moment of clarity from an always-muddied, constantly distracted mind.
It's something that blindsides me when I am least expecting it: something with seemingly no trigger and very little substance, and (often) something with no result, because even if I know the path (and I don't), I ultimately lack the drive.
But it comes down, today at least, to this: I am lonely.
I am. I do very little these days except blog, work, wait, and think. I don't sleep much because I have insomnia, but when I do, it' a bizarre experience. Last night I had a dream in which I made a new (female) friend - someone who doesn't exist, as opposed to a real person in that rôle - with whom I spent a lot of time. I pretended to her that I didn't have a girlfriend, although I've no idea why, and at the end, both of them left, leaving me alone once again.
In real life, I have a girlfriend who spends a lot of time at work - more time than I do - and, when she is here, she spends a lot of time resting, or engaged in other activities: this is perfectly understandable, she needs her rest to recharge her energy for the physically demanding job she does. I, on the other hand, do a job which nominally takes up very few hours, but actually takes up a lot more (unpaid) time. I am in a constantly client-facing position, which suits me due to my nature, but ultimately this is a personal connection which is transient, and merely professional. Very few clients actually become friends. I don't expect them to.
And then there are my friends. Seeing them used to be a weekly experience, or maybe more so. Now, it's a very rare one, and one that I can't afford to do (seriously - I can't even make a bus journey because my card doesn't let me, and my boss is refusing to pay anyone until the unachievable gets achieved. That's a Catch-22 just before Christmas.); when I am reminded of my friends, it is usually in one of a few ways: a group that no longer exists, a group in which everyone is achieving more than me; a group which consists of my closest friends but I appear to be out of their grasp for reasons unknown; and a group which I've been part of for a very long time but in which I now feel as if I am persona non grata.
Some groups feel different now. One of them has fractured into little shards, one has faded into obscurity, and one has become much less of a "community" and is more of an autocracy with a figurehead and a "team" whose job is it to approve members' contributions.
If there's one group of people I spend most of my time with recently, it's my family, who are by and large pretty great people, but they can be tiresome, and their attitude towards each other often makes me feel like an outsider (even though, being right in the middle in terms of both age and cliques, I should be the lynchpin that holds us together).
And I get it. Everyone feels like this now and again. I know. And yes, it seems ridiculous, writing this post when there is a snoozing girlfriend in my bed and bustling housemates within earshot, a 'phone full of contacts and access to social networking on which hundreds of thousands of people buzz. It even seems somewhat pathetic, feeling so isolated like this and not going out and doing something, but what? With what money? And with who? The people whose jobs keep them busy, the people whose children keep them busy, the people who make me feel unworthy of their time, the people of whom I am insanely jealous, or the people who may not like me any more but don't say so directly?
But whatever it is, it makes me second-guess myself. I don't want to play video games because I reach hard bits, get stuck and end up hitting myself very hard when it gets too much. I don't want to read books because my eyes get tired, my brain gets overloaded, and the book I'm reading at the moment makes me yearn for the unobtainable. I don't want to write because I fear the reactions I never used to fear. I don't want to eat, or drink, or go to the gym because all of those exacerbate my poor self-image. I don't want to sleep in case my brain invents another temporary friend for me to be distraught about.
I am lonely. I am poor, I am isolated, I am put-upon, I am overworked, I am tired, and I am lonely.
And it hurts so much that sometimes I want to throw my head back and SCREAM.
I try to hold it together; I really do. I need to be solid, dependable, reliable, flexible and tolerant. I don't want to bend so much that I feel I will crack at any point. I don't want to go through day after day fighting the urge to cry, maintaining a brave smile while my colleague continuously bitches at me because she doesn't like her job, fending off accusations from all angles on all subjects, and feeling nervous and twitchy whenever asked what I'm doing in case this is the catalyst for something else.
I don't know what would help. I don't know who to ask, or where to go, or even how to say I'm feeling what I'm feeling. I am surrounded by people and yet I feel lonelier than I ever remember feeling.
Was I intending to publish this? I'm not even sure if I was. I was scared to go into the kitchen to make tea to drink because my housemate was there and I didn't want to disturb him. I sat down to write, and I wrote this. I don't know if I was ever going to hit the publish button.
But I will. I don't have a void to scream into, but this will do. I'm hitting the publish button. Here I go.