I hear footsteps. My pulse quickens. My conscious mind panics. They are her footsteps, there is no doubt. The sound is very distinct. No one else walks the way she does, and her shoes are quite loud.
She speaks to me. All that comes out of my mouth is gibberish. I do not know the color of her beautiful eyes, for I cannot maintain eye contact. She smiles. Her smile is radiant, glowing. Has there ever been such a smile on a mortal being? Certainly not. She is an angel. Perfection embodied.
She speaks, and if I could but continue the conversation, I could know her better. I could be happier. But I panic. I say something stupid and walk away, shaking. Why do I do this to myself? I know what to do to make my life better, happier. Why do I sabotage myself?
And then it occurs to me: I am sabotaging myself, aren’t I? I give myself advice every day, in a thousand different situations. Always I choose to ignore my own advice. I seem to be intentionally making myself miserable. Why? Why do I do these things to myself?
I forget or ignore work that is not only easy for me, but work that I enjoy doing! I choose not to pursue my greatest story ideas! I avoid social gatherings! I keep parts of me a secret from even closest friends and family! And then there’s always her: she brings me unimaginable joy in her mere presence. When I see her, I am happy. When she speaks to me, I am ecstatic! But always I avoid lengthy encounters. Always I run from bliss.
Is it that I enjoy misery? In a way, yes. Why? Because I want attention. I want my life to be so miserable, that people will pity me. Feel sorry for me. Care about me. I force misery upon myself to gain the compassion of others. Perhaps she will one day notice my pain, and speak to me about it. Comfort me. But of course, I will simply avoid her again.
Ironic, is it not? I make myself miserable to gain attention, and thereby achieve joy. But if I achieve that joy, I will no longer have my misery. Then what? How can I make people care about me then? So even when I am offered a chance at happiness, I flee. I choose misery. I choose pain. I choose depression. I choose it so I might have another chance at joy. And thus, I am caught in an unending circle of my own creation.
I write stories. I dispense advice. The morals I have learned from this self devised trap are truly wonderful things to be aware of. Still, I cannot bring myself to act upon these lessons learned. I have the key to the cage that traps me, and I do nothing with it. I cry for help, while choosing not to help myself.
People read my poetry, or hear me speak. They guess who she is quite easily. A second guess is rarely required. So, it is that obvious, is it? How so? Has the part of my mind that wants release from this trap intentionally made it thus? Are my poems, my stories, a cry for help? My mind, it seems, is waging a great war upon itself.
And no one wins a war.