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Clare Martin Clare Martin
Recommendations: 12

To Feel On One's Own Time

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She had a friend.

The motivation for this short piece, written on the spur of the moment, was inspired by a recent psychiatric diagnosis I received, just a few weeks after my 18th birthday. I was diagnosed with manic depression, or bipolar disorder, as it's most commonly known. Before my diagnosis, however, I wasn't able to control my devastating mood fluctuations, and was often left with so many questions as to how anybody else could manage their emotions so easily that it almost seemed as though they had none at all. I haven't had much opportunity to write about my disorder, even though it's been roughly 6 months since I received it, but that'll probably be changing very soon.  I love studying the mind and how each one differs, and it always makes for the best stories I read.

My mind is as sensitive as they come. It takes nothing more than a feather to tip the scales of my emotions, and render me utterly unpredictable. I wonder why I was born so distinguishable. I find myself inspecting faces in crowds, and am so often granted more questions than answers as society paces on with every fiber of their emotion locked within their souls. Even the eyes are difficult to read, and the eyes often provide me with most of what I want to know. For example, I can easily tell when somebody is exhausted. I usually see the large pupils and dark shadows in the early hours. In cars, driving to work, on the pavement, walking to school, or even just getting some breakfast, like I do most days I don't feel like downing a bowl of dry cereal. But why are so many pairs of eyes I see so totally devoid of feeling? Why do they blink periodically only to add moisture rather than prevent it? I do not know if this is a talent or if I am just weak.

I try to follow in their footsteps, not to become like them, but to see if I can actually do it. I order a cup of hot chocolate and a brownie, and my smile is unnatural to those who serve me. When I laugh, they slightly recoil, as though surprised that I dare show my show in such a public place, and alone, no less! I feel deflated as they hand me my sustenance. They smile, but there is no crinkle above their eyes, no glow in their iris. I don't understand...and they step back again as my expression changes. I am close to tears now, I feel it, and while I don't care if they see that their falsehoods have hurt me, I'm just not up for being asked if I'm okay. So I ask for my drink in a takeaway cup and get on out of there as soon as I can, trying to hide my face as I walk home.

I cannot do it.

Most of my tears are shed in my presence alone. Likewise, most of my laughter comes from me, too, or maybe it was some article I read online or some picture of a kitten that my mother sent to me. There is some strange anxiety that I can only relate to daring show my emotions in a crowd of masked monsters. I feel more and more like an insect, ready to be crushed.

Do these people really feel no elation or devastation? Is their entire range of feeling simply an even scale that not even a boulder could budge? What does their brain produce to render them so utterly lifeless, like possessed thralls, going about their daily tasks with the stiff motions of an empty husk?

Or am I the monster with the desire to crush the insects beneath me?

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