How Much Can I Lose?





College has forever pushed me into a never-ending information overload – too many things to know, too many things to learn, too many things to understand. Every semester brings with it a whole new set of challenges and gifts – both academic and personal. And I’ve noticed that at one point in every semester, I feel like giving up. A constant internal monologue keeps bothering me in thrusts: “Where am I going?” Blank. “What am I doing?” Blank. “Where is my destination?” Blank. “Does anything matter?” Blank. And repeat. Sometimes, nothing seems right. Sometimes, nothing pleases anymore. Sometimes, nothing breaks anymore. Perhaps that’s because sometimes nothing matters anymore.

 

At times like these, I pound out bruised, stilted prose – harsh, plain, and not very nice to read. I try to resist the onslaught of prosaic mediocrity by not writing for weeks on end. As expected, not much usually improves in that time. Sometimes, I write out a line and rewrite it again with all new words to see how many ways I can do it. And then I delete everything because I can’t judge things anymore. I seem to have lost the ability to tell better from worse. And I’m afraid I’m turning a little insane.




 
I’ve already exhausted most of my coping mechanisms. The ones that were once my favourites in school have almost stopped working here in college. Ignore, shield yourself, run away when things turn into a sticky mess – Have I become immune to all these techniques due to constant overuse and abuse? A small voice, which I’ve tried to muffle for so long, burst today. “YES!” it screamed. And the echoes brought with them an avalanche of disaster. To mask it all, I tried to distract myself from that nagging voice. Three hours of badminton, two hours of Oscar Wilde and two seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S later, I was back to square one. And when F.R.I.E.N.D.S didn’t work either, I knew for sure that I was in for some serious trouble.

 

Rubber-padding your life from wreckage is no protection against tremors. And when they come, they come in overlapping droves, the hum of which drives all other sounds away. Something that happened almost a year ago has sent my feeling centres into hibernation. Even after months of effort, I find I cannot temper my responses. A rough day sometimes has me shaking – too sensitive to the world. At other times, my brain decides not to respond at all and I blunder through the day. I’m losing my defences. I’m losing my homes – the place I grew up, my family, my hobbies. Everything seems to be ebbing away from me. I just hope I don’t lose myself. I just hope that at the end of the day, someone stays – anyone stays. No questions, no doubts – just stay.

 


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