Forgoing the obligatory, “I haven’t blogged in a while” intro, let me ask you this:
Have you ever felt that desperate, irreparable, fuck-everything feeling where you feel yourself change? Have you ever had one of those moments where the switch from on to off is so tangible, so thick with contrast that you know you’ve simply snapped? Have you ever felt yourself so wound up with feeling and so distressed by emotion that the sudden onslaught of purely numbing emptiness was recognizable the moment it occurred?
For those of you who haven’t, what bubble are you living in, and is there room for two?
And for those of you who have, allow me to be the first to say it just in case no one has yet — You’re not alone, and I’ve been there.
Allow me a moment, if you will, to pathetically lament the very emo and tragic thing we call “life”. With all of the terrible things going on in other parts of the world, the sadness and the despair, the spread of disease, the chronically poor, the lack of a will to help — with all of that terrible bullshit happening all over the goddamn place, being upset over something as simple as, oh, I don’t know, a failed relationship or a tiff with a friend, it seems pathetically insubstantial.
But to that point, I argue:
Who gives a shit about the rest of the world when I feel fucking terrible?
Which is, I’m sure, what loads of people in my situation probably think when they resort to awful and self-destructive things just to try to feel better, just to get a little bit of the feeling back, just to feel like they haven’t really snapped, that everything is going to be okay, and that this dead, empty, and numb sensation they are (or aren’t, rather) feeling will work its way out of their system.
And, ahem, if you haven’t figured it out by now — yes, I feel that I have “snapped”.
What took me so long to admit it?
I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t blogged, or posted about feelings, or discussed anything publicly, really.
I haven’t written because, for a time, I felt it was imperative to my well-being that I stop focusing so much on expressing myself online (since I’ve been doing it my whole life), and focus instead on my actual life.
But now that it feels as if my life is falling apart at the seams, now that it feels like there is absolutely nothing I can do to repair the shambles of my pathetically first world problems, I have turned, once again, to my blog.
Did you miss me?
But … I should say that not everything is terrible.
I have a fantastic job with amazing coworkers and am employed at a company I 100% believe will succeed (if we haven’t already, anyway). I have a wonderful family who cares about me and hopes only for the best for me. And I also have people in my life who believe in me, support me, and want me to be happy. Not to mention, I am in perfect health, have probably never looked better in my life, and my hair is just freaking fabulous lately.
The “but” is that there is always a “but”.
I don’t know what to think anymore.
Something has happened to me that only those closest to me know the most intimidate details of. Something has happened in my life that has thoroughly caused me to doubt my abilities, doubt my own success, doubt my accomplishments, doubt the person I’ve become, doubt the person I’ve spent my life being, and doubt just about everything about myself that I previously felt I knew so well. Something has happened that is making me wish with ferocious hope for a “fresh start”, for some sort of magical reset button to appear and help me turn back the clock, for some fictional time-traveling machine to summon itself so I can go back and warn the fuck out of a younger me before I make any retarded mistakes.
And so I’ve snapped.
I’ve snapped because not only do I suddenly not believe in myself anymore, but because I feel that I can’t go on. I feel that I need to disappear. I feel that I’ve wasted my time. I feel that all of this, everything I’ve brought myself up to believe and everything I’ve made myself out to be, everything I want to become — it’s all useless. It’s all pointless. It feels hopeless.
In fact, I know that I shouldn’t even be writing this here. I know that I probably should not be pouring my heart out onto the Internet as I did when I was only fourteen years old. Because times have changed, because I am a grown woman, and because not only is the Internet no longer a “safe place” as it was when I was a kid (if it ever was, really), but because these are the sort of entries that others mark as a sign of weakness, as a reason to point and laugh, and in some cases, as a cause for worry.
There’s no point, really.
I didn’t write this entry to give any of you advice. I have no advice to give. I’m simply stating, I suppose, that I have reached this point where I don’t know what to do with myself anymore, and the only thing I could think to do was write. Because I am a writer, because I have always been a writer, and because self-expression — whether in words, music, art, or photography — has always been the way I’ve ever felt comforted in any little way.
And I don’t even want feedback.
It won’t do me any good.
I’m just writing because I need to, because I feel like I’ll go crazy if I don’t, and because this is how I’ve always worked out my feelings or made myself feel better about anything. Only now, I can’t do it because OHMYGOD, this isn’t even my personal space anymore.
The fact that I now have 159,000 subscribers on Facebook (where all of my pictures are now private), 8,000+ followers on Twitter (where I am not nearly as active as I used to be), and 25,000+ more following me on Google+ — combined with wherever else people seem to enjoy stalking me online — all of that really has nothing to do with this entry, because honestly, in moments like this where everything is consumed by despair, I wish more than anything to be invisible. To go back in time to when no one knew who I was, to when people weren’t surfing my videos on YouTube, and to when I had no reputation or “klout” or influence to speak of.
My friends, however, tell me how unhealthy that line of thinking is.
“You can’t just shut yourself in your room and forget about the world, Cheri,” they tell me. “You need to be surrounded by people who care about you. You need to put yourself in situations where people want the best for you,” they say.
Why would I do that when my first instinct is instead to hide?
Why would I do that when I want so very badly to just disappear?
And why the hell am I writing this blog post if that’s what I really want?
I don’t want pity.
It’s not that I’m looking for consolation. Although in some ways, maybe I am? What I’m looking for is something none of you can give me. It is a situation that hopeless.
A friend of mine, seeing how depressed I’ve been lately, said to me, “I feel bad for you. You can’t just disappear, and you can’t just go ‘offline’ like everyone else can when they need a break, because your livelihood depends on you being online. Your entire career hinges on your ability to connect with audiences, to reach out to people, and to build brands.” And she would be right. I can’t afford to disappear. I can’t afford to, because everything that I am, and everything I’ve made myself to be, everything that I now doubt about myself — it all relies on all of this crap.
And I’m not saying I’m not grateful.
So many things about blogging my entire life, responding to all of your feedback, watching my readership grow, seeing people start to actually care about what I say, and watching it grow from just people caring, to actual brands caring, seeing the respect others have for me rise monumentally — I am so grateful for all of that.
But in moments like this, moments where I feel so weak, moments where all I want is to disappear — I can’t help but hate it all. Just a little. Just a tiny bit. I’m no celebrity, and I truly hope I never become one, because if this is only a fraction of what true celebrities actually feel, it is absolutely terrible.
Sherilynn “Cheri” Macale