Posts Tagged ‘ personal ’

I’m losing my mind, but I’m okay.

My problem with putting words into thoughts has been something I’ve been struggling with quite a lot lately. I remember when words were like a vivid dream to me; they’d shelter me from near madness, keep me focused and help me discover who I am. When I reached adolescence, music, specifically piano, helped me put my thoughts into words. I never cared about logistics of writing or how beautiful it sounded; I just wrote, wrote, and wrote. I was focused on cleansing my brain; writing was about me, till I discovered pain. I know that I’ve often written about this in previous blog posts, but I can’t seem to get over this one little thing.

Everyone has their pillar of reality, the one they’d all return to in case it all falls apart. My relationships with people I mostly cared about always spiralled back to their fascination of how beautifully written my words seemed to be. There was always one missing variable in that equation, however – my belief in myself.

It’s hard writing about this, I must admit with weary hopes. What’s even harder is admitting it. There’s this thing about wanting to be a perfectionist; it slowly eats you away. Kind of like when you smoke knowing with every breath you inhale, you’re killing your lungs, but you just don’t care about all these health ads, nicotine patches, and your friends telling you to quit anymore. You’ve grown immune to all these attempts to make you quit. Perfectionism is a cigarette that never seems to die out. It’s fueled by this insanity to defy all odds; this insanity is incurable, I’d like to believe we’re either born with it or not.

I’m not a smoker, nor am I advocating it as a habit. But I’m simply, beyond doubt, tired of feeling insufficient all the time. I hear people tell me nice things; I want to believe them, I do. I just can’t look at anything I’ve ever written or played to be any good at all. At times, I’d stay up just reading what I’ve written and dig through it for flaws. I find so many flaws. It’s depressing. I can’t even find the right words to express the amount of sadness I feel knowing I could do so much better, but here I am doing so much worse.

I wish I could go back to seventh grade. I wrote my first poem then. It was beyond lame. I remember being so happy about it. It was then that I started carrying a notebook wherever I went. I scribbled random thoughts here and there. I had a messy handwriting. It was my little pot of joy. I loved it. I recently went through the notebook and was taken by shock at how childish anything written in it is. But it made me so happy. I want to be happy about writing again.

Take me back to happy thoughts. Pain is ugly. I don’t want to become a bitter writer. All great writers of history had shady endings; they either committed suicide or vanished with mysterious reasons. I’m not comparing myself to them. I could never be that good. I just know that I’m living with the bitterness of a writer, and cursed with a black cat’s luck. There’s this unexplainable sadness within me that I can’t uncover. It’s consuming me. I’ve adapted to it. I don’t think about it anymore. I just let it grow like a cancerous tumor that consists of ill thoughts and voids. I’m okay. I’m losing my mind, but I’m okay.

When death came, I shed no tears.

Listen to: Sometimes by Wes Willenbring.

Winter departs with just another soul escaping to the other side. She often wonders what this other side is. They speak of it greatly in movies and books; there is always an aura of white light depicted in pop culture. Then a soul leaves its body, just like that. She never witnessed a death, even in movies, she’d close her eyes afraid it would come after her. She would also skip paragraphs that spoke so beautifully about death, she failed to see the beauty of it. She could never come to peace with the idea of moving on so easily. Death is such an easy thing for the dead, they say. They will look over our shoulders from up above and guide us, they tell her.

—-

My grandfather passed away when I was in first grade. I remember coming home one day, running towards my mother’s room as I normally would, only this time her arms were not open wide to embrace me. They were wrapped around a wooden chair with her head leaned down. She was crying. This had been the first time I see my mother cry. I threw my big purple school bag on the ground and ran to her. The hallway leading to her room felt as though it was stretched longer than it normally was. I reach to her, kiss her forehead and pat on her head asking what had happened. Her voice was shaky, her crystal blue eyes shimmering with tears, she told me, “Jeddo ra7, noora. Jeddo ra7.”

I did not understand what she meant by him going, I just cried along. Her tears ached me. I have never seen my mother cry this much or be wearied by sadness for that long. We were not in Syria at the time and I think part of her being sad was because she did not get to see him one last time. I have only met my grandfather a few times back then, and my memory of him is quite hazy. He was tall with white hair, pale skin and blue eyes. They tell me I inherited my height genes from him.

Edna, my grandmother, still wears her ring after all these years. She has a picture of him in her bedroom. He was quite the handsome young man. She never tires of telling my sister and I stories of him whenever we visit. The most prevailing memory I have of him, however, was while hugging my mother as she cried him away that day.

My father grew up as an orphan. He often tells me of his beautiful mother and how she passed away at an early age. Grandpa re-married a few years later, as tale goes by, but my father tells me it is always different without a mother. Sometimes, he closes his door and listens to folk music about mothers. I dare not disturb his solitude, for death has shaken it to its core.

Death steals. Sometimes it comes unexpected and takes the young away, and at times, we feel its presence before it arrives. So we make space for it. We set aside our lives and feel a certain heaviness painting our days in grayscale. It comes in rescue of the ill and leaves a void within us. It is us, those who mourn, that feel it most. I believe the only time we do not feel the ache of death is when it comes for us.

I grew up fearing death for my loved ones that every night, before going to sleep, I would pray to God to keep my family safe. I would pray for each person in my family. I often cried as a kid. I never understood death. But my mother, she cried when it came. And my father, he closed his eyes in silence at its mention. So I cried, not because I understood it. I did not. But because everyone cries when death arrives. Then they smile.

Then in my early adolescent years, my friend died and I could not cry. Not one tear. At first, I thought there was something wrong with me. I still do not know why I could not cry, even when I wanted to. I think I cried in fear of death so much so that my tears ran out. I rarely ever cry. I do not know why. Crying gives such comfort and people always refuse it. I wish I could cope with my sorrows in tears. It would be easier to cry them away than to bottle them up like I always do.

Perhaps, this is why I am too cold, too heartless, too apathetic – because I could not cry when she died. I went on with my life. I refused to think of her. I packed her belongings in a box and gave them away. She gave me a novel once, I had forgotten its title. After she had passed I sat hours staring at the novel. I could not read for years. I could never finish a book. I always felt cheated with no endings to my novels. I wrote instead. I mark everything to read and leave novels unfinished. I only started to read this year. Every time I go to that place, right between the covers of a book, I see her shadow haunting me. I wish I could cry her away, even now, but I cannot. I am devoid of emotion. I am heartless. But I cried once, I was not always heartless.