I miss my madness. It was so singular, all-encompassing, a monomaniacal egomania. I couldn’t think or see around myself. In a way, I felt the most alive when I was most strongly wishing to be dead. I didn’t really want to kill myself, but my lack of agency. I wanted to be able to choose: my life, my obsessions, my definitions.
My life was not mine; I existed, but it was within this predetermined set of parameters: go to school, make good grades, get a respectable job, succeed, impress those around you by buying more, bigger, better things, become a brand, sell yourself, sell your soul. The things that mattered to me only mattered to the world if I could commodify them, make money and social capital off of them.
But my obsessions were my dead poet lovers and girls who lost their Ss and sexless red dresses and: no one cared, but me. So I was a “failure,” but I didn’t want to be a failure.
But I am a failure. I’ve given up my obsessions, yet I still don’t fit in that other world. Now, in my saner days, I exhibit less agency than ever. I can see around myself. I can barely see myself at all. I can barely stand, even though I’m making it through a life, holding a job, paying bills, being responsible.
I have no fight left in me. My madness was my fight to be myself. I’ve since given up. What good is my self? What has it gotten me? Called insane. Told to get over myself. An inability to sustain friendships or relationships. My self drives people away. So now I’m nothing, and instead of blanching at this thought, I just shrug. Is life better? Is it worth it? What do these words even mean? Nothing is just that: nothing. Nothing means nothing? Yes, it does.