doing things alone

8/9/2015 – Day Three.

Emotions have a way of turning you upside down and inside out. For the past few days, I’ve felt what emotions can do to you physically and emotionally. Personally, I can’t take it anymore. This push/pull feeling of being okay and then later being in pain. I started realizing that my days seemed numbered. That I was struggling to feel anything aside from this numbing pain of being hurt. Which is crazy, I shouldn’t be feeling this pain. I had nothing to provoke this pain and yet this heartbreaking feeling manages to wash over me.

There’s always this feeling of emptiness that harbors inside. That no matter how much I could possible eat or how much I drink, I just can’t get that satisfying feeling of being full. Of course emptiness is a feeling that can transcend different emotions, but hunger was a pain I couldn’t get rid of. I always find myself feeling hungry when I am upset. After the way I was feeling the day before, hunger felt like the only emotion I could control. Somewhere between the dismantling of my closet and the rearrangement, I decided I should treat myself to something to eat. Lately the problem with eating is my limited options and new found eating habits to consider. Usually when I am upset I gravitate toward the greasiest, saltiest, gluttonous food, but after a illness scare, I have been fairly strict with my eating habits. To say that it doesn’t frustrate me, would be lying. It does frustrate me, severely. Just the thought that I can’t be happy with what I eat, even knowing that my past habits are not healthy for me. I am so used to eating the way that I want and to take me away from that is completely foreign to me. However, there are cheat days and when I am not feeling 100%, I give into my old eating ways. I can’t be strict all the time, ya know?

I have eaten millions of meals with people. Meals with fascinating, amazing people. All of my friends, family, friends of friends, etc. Interesting characters all unique in their own individual way. I have how ever never eaten a meal alone. I have eaten at home dozens of times, eaten in my car more times than I can count. But to sit in a restaurant by myself, I’ve never done. It’s that paranoia that people are watching me, judging me. Which is why eating alone is always close to impossible. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that feeling of really feeling alone. I could order a meal, pick it up, and eat it at home, I mean I could. But even being at home, I don’t feel alone. I just wanted a moment to collect my thoughts, write them down, and be completely and utterly alone. Maybe I could make sense of how I was feeling and put it down on paper. I didn’t want to go to a place that was completely crowded, I also didn’t want to go to a place that was completely empty, so the logical choice was Denny’s. Mainly that it has a load of options and even on the worst possible days, even they can’t mess up my food.

Denny’s has been the center point to many instances in my life. It sometimes gets to the point that I crave Denny’s. There isn’t a memory that doesn’t incorporate Denny’s in it. I know a good fair share of people that don’t care for Denny’s, I personally seek happiness in Denny’s. It’s comfort food. I know what to order and I know it’s always going to be good (I do not work for Denny’s, so this is pretty much coming from the goodness of my heart). I honestly hadn’t been to a Denny’s in over a year or maybe even more. There’s something about going somewhere that you seek comfort in that calms you. Today of all days, I just wanted to pack my bag full of notebooks, drive, and eat some Denny’s. Normally I would call any one of my family members or friends, but today I just didn’t feel like entertaining. I didn’t feel like telling stories, telling jokes, over exaggerating situations, I just wanted to be alone. By myself with my thoughts, feelings, and sadness, and eat food that I know is bad for me.

It’s no secret that I have been avoiding social media. After deleting all my social platforms off my phone, I have been out of touch with the world. I just don’t care anymore, I truly don’t. After having a meltdown on twitter about a month ago, I just didn’t feel up to putting my emotions on social media. I also realized what a distraction social media was, to the point of obsession. I was checking countless social media outlets several times a day that it was interfering with my life. I shouldn’t care what people say but sometimes people say the tiniest thing and it makes you paranoid about your own life. Makes you feel guilty about what you say or do. My only way to combat my fears was to take away what was causing my paranoia and anxiety. After taking that away, I started to see life differently. It always takes me a while to get myself together to do things by myself and today was no different. I realized how much of a crutch I used social media for, just something to occupy my time and calm my nerves. Something to fidget with before I got up the nerve to start. I sat in my car for a few minutes, maybe I could still invite someone to go with me. I still had time to change my mind. Maybe all I really needed was to just sit and talk to someone. The minutes seemed to pass and before I knew it I was out of the car and headed toward the entrance.

You begin to realize how much more aware you are of your surroundings, when you don’t have your phone glued to your hands. More aware of people, sounds, and conversations. More aware of your own personal being, thoughts, and even your own shadows. You observe more, you wait to see if people see you, the way you are seeing them. I am used to shielding myself with technology that I often forget whats in front of me. Sometimes there are things that you don’t see within the camera lens. Things you forget that are staring back at you in the background. I wish I could photograph and record everything, but it doesn’t give you that same feeling. It doesn’t give you the music you hear, the chill in your spine, and that spring in your step. I miss hearing life in between “Like” and “Reblog”. I found myself hiding behind my own insecurities. I didn’t realize how much I missed the sounds of life. Even Denny’s bred a life form of silverware chattering, people bickering, plates slamming, hustling. Everyone I could see sitting in booths and chairs may have been surrounded by people, even if I was alone I didn’t feel alone. I didn’t feel my heart race with fear or anxiety. I didn’t feel people judging me and pointing fingers at my flaws. For the first time in days I felt okay. I felt safe. It’s a feeling I wouldn’t have felt had I been with someone else. It was something I had to learn being on my own in a chain restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

When your heart is hurting you don’t feel like anyone sees you. You could be right in front of someone but you’ll feel they see right through you. Maybe no one really sees you for who you are but today I saw myself. Scared, vulnerable, alone and for the first time in a long time I was okay with that.

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8/7/2015 – Day One.

If we have to be honest, nobody likes admitting defeat. Nobody likes to admit they are wrong. Nobody in their right mind can admit to feeling any ounce of pain, when the rest of the world is feeling otherwise. Which is why in many instances we hide how we feel in the fear of seeming crazy or vulnerable. Because we were taught at a young age that showing a tiny fraction of vulnerability would be your ultimate downfall. We all want to be strong, we all want to be right, we all want to be just fine. As you grow up, the world changes. Now a days everyone wants to express their feelings. Everyone wants to admit they’re wrong and show their faces through feelings of weakness. How do you give up a lifetime of hiding your feelings, into tiny moments of vulnerability? How do you change the fear of feeling hurt when everyone wants you to embrace your pain? I wonder why it takes longer to forgive when we’re faced with everything we are trying to forget. I just haven’t gotten to that point yet.

The past few days I’ve felt more emotional than usual. I have cried more, complained more, fought this inner turmoil of the devil and god that continues to rage inside of me. As of recently I have begun to develop a paranoia of telling anyone my problems. As of lately I have been keeping a lot of my worries to myself. Its stupid, I shouldn’t do it, and it only makes me feel worse inside. However, I just don’t care to deal with the “What you should do”, “When that happens to me”, usual verbiage. I guess in a weird way, I want to confess how I feel without judgement. Without the shame, without someone stopping me to tell me their story. I feel suffocated with words but to express them would be my greatest downfall. I am not prepared to hear the outcome of my worries. I am not ready to express my feelings without worry or doubt. I am not ready for people to come in and nitpick my feelings and tell me how to change them.  Today of all days, I don’t feel very much like myself. Today of all days I want to shout to the heavens to hear me out. Today of all days I want to get out of this suffocated feeling and get out of myself. Even if it’s just for a few hours.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I have a hard time doing things alone. I have this anxiety in regards to my peers that paralyzes my social interactions. I can’t explain it and even writing it down, I have a hard time believing it. I am fine when I do social activities with my friends. I make jokes, I amuse myself and others, I over exaggerate situations, but to do anything on my own I am frightened. At any moment something could jump out and take me out of the safe bubble I am in. When I am on my own, I plot my strategies and plan my exit routes. Everything I do alone is perfectly calculated and memorized. You don’t know how frightening life can be when you can’t do things alone. I can’t tell you how this started, I can’t tell you why it continues but I can say that I can’t do this anymore. This never ending waiting for people to come in and help me realize my frustrations. Today of all days, I just need a moment to collect myself and get out of my current frustrations. If I had it my way, I’d run away to the highest hills. Into the deepest forests and away from civilization. However, I also have a huge fear of the great outdoors which limits my hiding places. On the days when I need to get lost within myself, I hide in plot lines and other peoples stories. I hide between melodies of film scores and conversations of other individuals written words. I have been in love with film for as long as I can remember. As long as I can pretend to be someone else on someone else’s time. I only as of recently started going to the movies by myself, as a way of entertaining the idea that I can do things on my own. But how many of us are really alone when we are attached to our cellphones and social media? For the past few days I have deleted all social media on my phone (which the exception of Snapchat). Since I haven’t been feeling like talking to many people, I haven’t been social with very many people either. It is no fault of anyone and under no fault of my own, I just feel this need to be on my own and alone.

Since giving up on social media, I have limited my outlets to be social. I have always been distracted with taking photographs and immediately posting my whereabouts on social media. The last couple of days, I just haven’t felt like showing people how I feel. Showing people what I’m doing, who I am with, or even giving people a glimpse into my life. I don’t care if anyone reads what I have to say, but to see what I am doing is causing a huge paranoia that I don’t need in my life. Everyone is quick to judge my hypocrisy but never want to comment about what I am going through. I really don’t know who I am without my phone in my hand or a camera in front of my face. I have almost lost my identity just pushing objects in front of my face to hide who I am. Getting lost in someone else’s idea of reality gives me a chance to breathe. A chance to pretend that someone else’s life is connected with my own. I’ll be honest, I don’t like the movie theater in my hometown. The snacks are lousy, the popcorn sucks, and they don’t have any fancy soda fountains that the other theaters do. If I had my way I would watch every film at The State Theatre in Modesto or The Vine in Livermore or Archlight in Hollywood. However, I live quite a bit away from all of those places, so the AMC Theater in Manteca will just have to do. I have my movements calculated that going to that theater is almost routine. I follow the same roads, I park in the same spots, and I just know what I am doing before I am doing it. It’s a routine I follow every time, mainly insuring that I always have a parking spot, another that I avoid every human contact possible until I reach the theater. It’s just little things I do to give myself a moment before I have to be faced with interactions of any sort.

I don’t know what I am doing anymore. That’s a fact. I find myself rubbing my hands together in frustration just trying to calm my nerves down. This anxiety of being alone and with no one to comfort these fears. This fear of being completely open without saying a word. I didn’t realize how much I depended on my phone. How much I depended on communications from the social media world. How jaded I have become from the faces I see in front of me, just by staring down on a tiny phone screen. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. What do you do when you can’t occupy yourself and your fears with a tiny digital underworld. I arrived to the movie theater early and after deciding to see the film “Southpaw”, (mainly the curiosity of the film being Kurt Sutter’s (Sons of Anarchy) first film script and second being the beautiful beast of Jake Gyllenhaal), I had time to kill before the movie started. You don’t realize how much you separate yourself from the real world when you’re focused on the digital world. You have a habit of forgetting how you got through life without a phone attached to your hand. I found myself sitting on a bench waiting to be let into the theater. Sitting, thinking, analyzing, wondering, people watching. Life has a way of wanting you to photograph everything. Every passing moment that happens right in front of you. I found myself fixated on these phantom photographs of people that passed in front of me. Men, women, and children, their variety of reasons for being in the same place that I was. For different reasons or this comfort of being surrounded by the people they cared about most, intertwined with someone else’s idea of reality. My hands still twitched, feeling this need to tell someone how I felt. Show people everything that I was seeing. Instead I rubbed my hands together and kept everything to myself.

Southpaw

I love films that give you this mystified way of feeling tragically heartbroken and happily moved. For my current state, I thought the film was great. I thought it truly emphasized this need to overcome demons and prove that people can be better than their past. I loved that it allowed me this need to escape from what I was feeling and transport myself into someone else. I know I am not okay. I know I have fears of doing things alone and being able to do something like this takes everything I have inside of me. To give this false illusion of being somewhere else in my mind, allows me to breathe again just for a little while. I have 99 more days to go and I wonder how much longer I can take it. How much longer I can continue before I completely break. Then again, maybe I am suppose to break in order to be put back together again.

Only time will tell.