There’s nowhere to go but up.
That’s often what people tell their friends when they’ve hit rock bottom to comfort them. We don’t tell ourselves because there’s no actual light at the bottom.
But what if you aren’t at rock bottom but simply floating through time and space, trapped in an infinite loop of sameness?
That’s how I feel. Likely many of us feel.
Not depressed. Not overjoyed. Just neutral. And I’ve learned it washes out my skin.
For the most part, I am stable. The way a rolling office chair is stable. As long as I’m not stuck in one place, I remain seated. But every now and again, I need to test the boundaries on how far I can lean back.
A hint of danger.
Nothing that would make anyone worry about my stability per se. Just the usual break in routine — a spontaneous trip to a new far off destination, a night out drinking in abandoned warehouses sneaking away to scale rooftops, sporting fake tattoos at biker bars to see if the type of guy that hits on me changes.
I guess that was the first hint. I never cared much for men my age. A little younger and a lot older were far more titillating. Familiarity is nice. But too much of it makes me want to become a sprinter. I’ve done that run more times than a professional athlete runs laps in circles. Maybe it’s what I’m an expert in.
But right now, I’m feeling stuck. Stuck reading a twisted and exhilarating book about rape and drinking wine on the couch by myself. It wouldn’t be my typical Friday night, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I’m not desperate, though I bought a bondage lingerie set I fantasize about sporting in the act of playing desperate over the holidays. I like the loss of control in the bedroom. It wakes up my senses. Resets me creatively. Reignites my curiosity for a short bit.
Until I need a hit again.
As I reflect on the three volumes of my life, I realize my go-to response is to retreat into chaos to pull forward.
Routine terrifies me more than spiraling out of control.
I’m a responsible, healthy adult with a nice savings, a good job, a loving family, and a boyfriend that drives me wild. Even a fucking ocean and downtown view.
Maybe that’s the problem with stability. It creates complacency. And many of us are retreating into it while spinning our wheels on how we retreat out of it.
It’s a feeling of being trapped. It reminds me of a recurring nightmare I have when I’m feverish, covered in cold sweats. I’m in a cold room with high ceilings and fake fluorescent lighting. Everything is black and white. And there’s piles and piles of books that need to be filed, but I have a pounding headache. And the walls — they are slowly closing in around me. The only thing that would stop them from crushing me is to finish filing all the books, an impossible task in the amount of time ahead. Feels eerily ominous with the present.
I don’t think it means I have too much to do. Quite the opposite. It reminds me of a life not lived. Of doing the same thing again and again until you die, hoping there’s something exciting or just something on the other side. Not that you think about that much. You’re too preoccupied with finding your next emotional thrill.
You find comfort in the cheapest kinds — sugar and coffee. They fall into all the little crevices of your mind and flood them with endorphins. Then there’s a short familiar little crash until the next day.
Rinse. Repeat. It’s a nice change in scenery. But it’s starting to get old. Am I starting to get old? Have I lost my passion for play, I fear?
Nah, I just need a trip to reset it. Any type will do.