I hate being alone.
Well I guess
that’s not entirely true.
It’s not like I constantly need attention
or even like hanging out with people.
It’s being alone with nothing to do
being alone as in sitting in bed
when everything’s dark
breathing heavily as you think of all the things you’ve done.
Being alone as in that horrible moment between darkness and sleep
those moments when you fall down
yet never truly fall asleep,
thinking of all the things you should’ve done
all the things you will do
the sinking abyss in your stomach
the moment between darkness
the moment when you try desperately to claw yourself out –
out of the spiraling self-doubt
that keeps edging at your mind.
The reason you can’t stay silent
because the voices grow louder
the voices you can’t drown out
the ones that say you’re selfish
the voices you pretend aren’t there
but are reasons you’d give your life for someone
because anyone’s worth more than you.
The voice that goads the blood slipping down your leg,
scolding you for how selfish you are to adhere to
the razor in your hand,
the voice that keeps telling you
that you don’t matter
that other people have it worse
you’re being dramatic
for thinking you are the only one with problems.
Everyone has that voice,
at least I hope they do.
Mine gets deafening
Maybe mine’s not as bad as others,
I can handle it
I can talk it around.
But it’s there,
it’s why I cry at night
it’s why I type
messages to people
that I never send.
Is it normal?
Why does no one talk about it?
None of my friends know.
Of course they wouldn’t,
I’m not the label stereotype.
Often people look at me
they think I’m carefree.
I shouldn’t be judging or think I
know what they’re thinking,
sometimes I just feel it,
I learned a while ago that if I acted on how I felt, it made people uncomfortable
so I started faking it.
It’s not that hard.
People prefer to think about themselves
as long as not paying attention to others doesn’t make them feel bad
That’s why conversations amuse me,
they’re not conversations at all
only shouting matches.
Of course I’m no different,
I’ve been talking about myself this whole time without asking how you are.
How are you?
Are you well?
How much of this is relatable to you?
Please tell me,
no one ever speaks about feeling this way –
Maybe another time then?
I should probably mention the label
just to get it out of the way.
It seems people find things easier to understand when something is labeled.
But at the same time
labels can be dangerous,
used as shortcuts to
They don’t always work.
There’s a difference between understanding a label
and knowing a person.
After all, labels are just words,
a form of communication,
People are more than labels
they are experiences
Not just a single tag attached to a single individual,
not just an all or nothing.
Perhaps I’ll just leave it to you.
what are you going to call me?
Jocelyn Saunders is an emerging writer whose work has been published in Okay Cool Magazine. A video poetry piece of her’s has also been presented at the Victoria’s Arts Learning Festival. Saunders is a student living in Warburton, Australia (aka the middle of nowhere) with her family and incredibly cute Jack Russel, Merida.