I wished I took drugs. If I’d been that sort of girl, I’d have felt better. Thinking like that is easy in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep.
This is how people go crazy, I thought, and turned over again. I threw the covers off and tried to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. I curled up in a ball, my knees tucked under my chest. I could’ve called a friend, but everyone was asleep, and what would I say? I’d say, I’m sick. And she’d ask what was wrong.
I put my head in the center of the bed and my feet up against the wall. I rolled onto my stomach and hung my head off the bed. I was 21 and thought about the years of my life stretched out in front of me like a void and that I’d feel like that forever. Though I knew that I wouldn’t, I felt that I would. I sat up in bed and dropped forward to let my head hit the mattress as hard as possible. That eased the pain enough, briefly, to consider the wall next.
I called my best friend instead. A phone call at 3 in the morning frightens anyone, and I was instantly sorry. “Are you okay?” J. asked.
“I’m fine. I’m fine,” I said. I looked out my window down into the parking lot. No one was out. “I want my mom back,” I said, and felt like a jerk. What was J. going to say to that?
In my writing life, I want to ask to people to read my work, but then I feel like a jerk, like I’ve put them in a no-win situation. If they like it, they’re being nice. If they don’t, I’m crushed. If they say nothing, I’m confused and crushed. And why can’t I figure this out on my own? What answer can anyone give when you are taken over by insecurity? What keeps so many of us from writing and being happy about it?
I feel like I could run my head into a wall. I won’t, but I wonder what magic words will make this feeling go away?
Do you believe people when they say good things about your work? What is the best thing anyone has ever said to you about what you do?