My name's Michelle.

I write.

Sometimes I make videos.

Good For Me
Writing fucking terrifies me.

I have a tendency to repress any sort of emotion that dares to show even a hint of itself. It doesn't matter if it's positive or negative; it's just not allowed. Feelings are messy and annoying, and I believe I function much better without them.

People and books and movies like to disagree, and they've taught me how to, too. Feelings can be magical. They prove that you're still human. It shows you're alive.

I didn't know how to talk about the way I felt, so I began writing.

I didn't know what to write about, so I enrolled in some classes.

One night, I thought joining a Personal Narrative class would be the perfect way to break out of my shell and expand my writing horizon. Writing about your innermost and intimate feelings then reading your assignments out loud to a group of strangers whom you'll be forced to see every week for the next few months... what could go wrong? This would be good for me (I've talked about this in a previous post).

And then one day, I read a piece I'd written about my family out loud. Specifically about my feelings toward the dysfunction of divorce and false hope. A few tears were shed, and the professor kept repeating, "It's just so sad."

It hurt me and at the time, I couldn't tell if I loved it or not. I feel like I did, but the feeling was so overwhelming. It freaked me out. The fact that I had the ability to affect people to the extent of tears just by sharing what I held every day in my thoughts.

Needless to say, I ended up dropping out of not just the class; but school in general.

I still repress my feelings, but I've learned that it's alright to let them out sometimes. I've read books and watched movies and felt a huge range of emotion just sitting on my living room couch. I was inspired, and thought I'd want to be the source of that exact feeling for a person like me. I wanted to be the reason why someone else out there learned that feeling isn't entirely terrible. And I did it. And it scared me.

Now, when I take a pen to paper, I hesitate. Nothing feels right. I don't know if I hate it or love it.
Deny, Deny, Deny
The worst part about not being "okay" is having to face the people who feel like you aren't. So instead, you come up with excuses to avoid them at all costs and make jokes on social media to make sure you haven't raised any red flags. You make empty promises and agree to hang out soon, knowing you won't follow through. You fail to acknowledge the moments that tell you you aren't okay; like every time you get sleepy whenever you speak. Or the times you're on your own and the only thing you feel like doing is bursting into tears, or getting frustrated whenever anybody reaches out to you, or becoming desperately hilarious when conversations become too serious. You refuse it, because things could be worse. You don't care, because nobody else does and nobody else should.

The things you do on purpose are the things you know are wrong. Like waking up when the sun goes down to minimize the chance of somebody speaking to you. You are too tired to feel physical prompts, and miss meals as a result. You sleep too little. You sleep too much. You push people away and make them believe you're busy. You find reasons to hate anybody who speaks to you. You stay in bed when you hear footsteps outside. You despise them. You make it their fault. You make it your fault. You despise yourself.

You try so hard to be "on" but it only makes you cry even more. You go to work and make people smile while the only thing that pushes you forward is the thought of going back to bed. The personality everybody knows you as has rendered you invincible to tragedy. You've made them believe that you're too upbeat to be broken but now you can't be anything except that. You watch comedic videos of yourself and envy the person on screen. You hate her because you know it's an act. You feel sorry for her because you know why she does it.

"Why don't you talk to somebody about it all, then?" They always seem to ask the things you've already asked yourself. And you're stubborn and selfish because you won't bother to tell them why. Your perspective on humanity has become so tainted that you doubt anybody will help you without an ulterior motive. They will help because it will relieve some of their own guilt. They will help because you're no fun when you get this way. They will help because they want to feel good.

They. Do. Not. Care.

And they will insist that they do, and you want to explode when you hear that. You want to believe them, you really, really do. You'd sacrifice a limb to be able to have a little faith in the ones who say they want to help you, but you just don't. You decide, again, that this will blow over, because it always does, and you're alive at the end of tunnel.

So you will continue to cry in the shower and alone in your bedroom and subtly on the commute to work. You will continue to choke back tears every time you open your mouth to speak. You will dedicate all of your energy into seeming normal. You will work yourself to the brink of exhaustion to do the things that should be effortless. You will steer clear of the ones who pry. You will deny how big of a deal your situation is, because once you admit that, they will try to take credit for trying to make you better. And they will be okay because at least they can say that they tried. And you won't be okay because when you try, you feel even more hopeless.
The Thing That Scares You
Step one to overcoming a flaw in your life is addressing and accepting it. I've never been the type to be open about myself and tell my friends about the things I've felt or experienced. I've never been the type to speak. For the majority of my life, this has been more of a pro than a con; there was no risk of having my secrets accidentally spilled into the universe and I wouldn't have to worry about keeping track of who knows what about me. All was good, until for once in my life, I wanted to be able to share these things I've been keeping inside of me with somebody I felt close enough to do so with and nothing would come out. This happened time and time again and the issue got me into more trouble than not; despite my expectations. I decided to ignore it and address it later--as per usual with all of my personal flaws (which is a flaw in itself).

Cut to: a few weeks ago, when my inebriated self thought it would be a great idea to trip into a Personal Narrative class I never seriously thought about taking, let alone thought about taking alone. I was in the class and was excited for a minute before realizing that the course basically revolved around the very thing that made my lungs feel like they were about to shatter. I honestly don't know how stupid I was for completely overlooking the "Personal" part of "Personal Narrative." At the time, I had work to distract me from the next few months that I would soon be dreading.

Like a domino effect of Pandora's boxes, week two of the course had rolled in (I had missed the first week because I joined at the last second and also wanted to skip ice-breakers), and I was already stumped. The topic of our first assignment was "Before and After" and we needed to write a short piece about a defining moment in our lives that split our lives into before and after. Pretty simple. I mean, it should have been, at least. It took about five hours and what felt like fifty different rewrites to actually produce something that I could hand in without wanting to vomit. I was far from proud of what I ended up handing in, and handing trash into an instructor always makes me feel sick. I feel like broken or even defective would be a more accurate term. I know that I can do so much better but whenever an assignment is due, my only motivation is to get it done so I don't need to deal with it anymore.

Cut to: now, nearly 3AM, with another three hours of class later tonight. Every week, I get anxious about attending class. For the six days I'm not in that class, I'm worrying about how many days I have left before the next one. Every time I read a handout, or even think about reading a handout we received, I get nervous. I'm so fucking terrified of it and I hate myself for thinking this was a good idea but at the same time, I know I should be thanking my drunk self. "This is good for you," is what I've been telling myself in an attempt to reassure my actions. I joined to overcome all of this. I joined so I could look back at the months of going through the thing that scared me and tell myself that I could damn well do whatever scared me next. It hurts all over whenever I so little as think about the course, but this is good for me. It has to be.

Step one to overcoming a flaw is addressing and accepting it.
I'm afraid of opening up.
I'm afraid of having other people read my work.
I'm afraid of writing.

But there is a rush that I later crave whenever any of these things occur.
They say you can't be friends with your ex, especially if the two of you were in a long-term relationship. They say it's hard to push aside your history of romance, and there will always be underlying feelings of some sort. It's just too messy. Too complicated, they say.

My ex is my best friend. He was my boyfriend for around 3 years (which is a lot considering our age at the time). We were young, we were stupid, and we rushed into a relationship. Nevertheless, we connected. I shared my soul with him and told him the things I swore would never leave my mind. He did the same with me. A moment I can recall is lying in the middle of a park with him in complete and utter bliss. We spent a lot of that time together in silence, but words did not need to be exchanged for me to realize: "This person means a lot to me." Things happened, both wonderful and terrible, and as time went on, it became more and more clear that our split was inevitable. I wasn't ready for a relationship. I was busy questioning things in my own life and couldn't reciprocate his feelings without feeling overwhelmed. It wasn't fair to either of us to stay together, so we called it off. We didn't speak for a long time after that happened.

I contacted him after a highschool exam one winter and we became close right away. This time, however, the thought of jumping into a relationship did not occur to either of us. We spoke as we did before, without the romance. Pet names were replaced with nicknames. Silly flirtations switched with inside jokes. Getting on each others' nerves remained the same. Fights were as brief as they were back then, minus the melodrama.

There is a specific way that we speak to each other. I don't think I could speak to anyone else in the same way. The dynamic he and I share gives me a sense of security. We have a mutual understanding of how the other functions. We know of the quirks and edges that the other possesses. I never feel uncomfortable when I talk to him. I don't need to impress him, and I don't need to watch my words. I can let everything spill from my mouth and know that he'll hear me without getting confused. The amount of relief I felt when we agreed that there was nothing but friendship left between us is indescribable. I'm just really happy that I have a friend that I can connect with so deeply without having romantic feelings involved.

He speaks to me in analogies because he knows that I find it difficult to address certain issues directly. He plays along when I decide to speak in a voice that isn't my own. He knows how to deal with me when I get frustrated. We can be five years old one minute then twenty the next. There are layers to our friendship that no other relationship I've been involved in thus far has reached.

I think I'm one of the lucky ones.

One last note, he doesn't have any of the social media I have, and he doesn't go on the websites that I go on. This is probably the thing I overlook most often. The point I'm trying to make is, the connection we share is not comprised of indirect links. He doesn't need to read my twitter or skim my blogs to know me. He already knows me.
Professor X
There is, and can be, no direct correlation between the grade you receive on a paper and the amount of time or effort you have spent on the paper; which is not to say that hard work does not produce results, but only that some people can do with great ease what others cannot do at all or can only do with great effort.  In an hour, Mozart could produce a piece of music that I would be unable to match even if I spent my whole life working at it.


What We Aim For
It makes sense to want happiness in life 'cause it's intrinsically good to have. For the past several weeks (or months, I'm not sure), I haven't been genuinely happy. That's not to say I've been sad or anything. It could just mean that I don't know what happiness is.

What's bothering me right now is, I think I'm happy, but for some odd reason, it's like my body is reacting against it. I kind of feel like vomiting. I don't even know if I'm enjoying this feeling, which makes me doubt the fact that it is indeed happiness. It's the same feeling I get when I think I have a crush on someone (I say 'I think' because I don't really know if it's a crush. I've also realized that I don't know how to classify my own emotions). I know that I'm supposed to be enjoying this, but instead I just feel sick and light-headed. The reason why I'm concerned about this is because it's not the first time I've felt this way.

I'm not typing this out with a purpose, really. I'm trying to find an answer as to why I can't react properly to strong emotions, especially if they're positive. I tried to Google it, but it gave me some pretty scary results. Apparently, this happens because I never learned how to be "okay" with "emotions" growing up. I mean, sure, I could see the connections there, but seriously, I don't want to look into that stuff anymore. I think I've grown past all of that. I think I've developed enough self-esteem to validate my own feelings. I don't want to blame the things buried deep in the back of my mind on my uneasiness with this whole issue, but there's a really high chance that they're the root of it all. It's just so troublesome because some parts of my past are things I've heavily repressed and the only way to relieve myself from them is to dig them up and deal with them face to face. I thought I could just get away with pretending everything bad would fade.

It's like I'm aiming for the bullseye, but whenever I release my arrow, some jerk shoves my arm. And I keep trying, and they keep shoving. And I don't want to turn and aim at their head instead 'cause I'd rather use every shot on the chance at hitting the target.

I just want to be happy without feeling bad about it, but I can't achieve happiness without facing my demons. I honestly don't think I'm ready for that just yet. I'm stuck between what I want and what I need.

I'm stuck.
It's possible I'm slowly killing myself. I can't stay asleep for more than four hours at a time. There are weeks where I run on less than ten hours of sleep. It's unhealthy, and I'm guessing the only reason I can function is 'cause when it's light out, I get my second wind and my circadian rhythm keeps the gears spinning inside of me.

On lucky days, I get to nap in the middle of the day for two to four hours and have the same amount of sleep as a normal person in a day. On somewhat lucky days, I get to nap for twenty minutes. I'll take all I can, really. As much as I hate sleep, I know that I need it. I need it because without it, everything is ten times more difficult. My ability to concentrate and retain information is cut in half. I am barely myself, and I'm constantly overcompensating for how terrible I feel. I don't know if terrible is the right word  to use, though. I think I'm sort of content with it. All I know is at any moment, I could curl up on the floor (concrete or carpeted, it doesn't matter) and pass out.

There's something so magical, though, about not having slept in over a day. You lose all sense of time and space. You can't differentiate between cold and hot or wet and dry. You don't know if your body just twitched or if it only happened in your head. For a moment, you feel nothing. You feel like you're floating. It's terrifying at first, but it's happened so often that I've learned to enjoy it. I feel like I'm on autopilot. I can just ease into my body and let it do the work. Nobody suspects a thing.

It's like when it's 3AM, and you're staying up with your friends, and you feel like you've lost your minds 'cause you're been laughing at things that really aren't funny since midnight. Except this isn't a one-night thing. I'm concerned but content. I feel like I'm dying, but I feel so alive. Is this a thing that should be fixed?