After another onerous day of interacting with strangers
After another vexatious day of awkward social intercourse
After all the anxiety all the toxicity that been accumulating inside of me like a volcano
I escape to my safe space a land of immersive video games
Its a virtual universe where I’m free from all the sadness all the stress of life
My anxiety my depression evaporates temporarily as i play for hours in linear single player video games
I can not only escape the world but myself my limited introverted introspective personality and become a alter ego a id
I sit down on the edge of my bed plug in my gaming headphones and begin hours of escapist immersive gaming
My favourite game is the last of us a breathtakingly beautiful and poignant game
A game which elicits me to cry on numerous occasions
I cry on a video game when important characters die so tragically
This game is my escape my 21st century literature
I hide in the enclave of my room forgetting all the troubles of being afflicted with a variety of mental disorders
The pain of existing dissipates as i plug in the video game and lose myself in a seductive virtual landscape
These worlds are my escape that inspire and inflame my imagination
After playing a engrossing linear first player game I’m inspired to create sublime works of literature
The curtains are closed I’m tucked inside my cosy duvet
I’m gazing at the assemblage of art scattered on my wall
Soft soothing jazz is blaring from my speakers
I’m lost in a trance like mediative state
I smoke a thick cannabis joint that dulls my anxiety
I am enthralled by the combination of music and psychoactive chemicals that subvert my consciousness
I stare at my ceiling hallucinating colours dreaming of being in love
With the elicit cannabis in my lungs I dream of being somebody else somebody normal who isn’t afflicted with a array of mental disorders
I survey with my stoned eyes the dreamlike surreal surroundings of my gothically decorated room
This room filled with red and black colours and art that elevates my melancholic mind
This is my safe space where i escape the anxiety the disquietude of being me of being alive in a nightmarish world
No soul other than i enters my sacred secluded kingdom
I am alone in here feeling the beauty the euphoria of my privacy
I am transfixed by the haunted sounds of billy holiday bellowing out of my Bluetooth speakers
The anxiety that’s been building up throughout another onerous day has now dissipated in the calm tranquillising ambience of my room
The elephant man is my favourite movie i most have seen it at least 20 times. I can still recollect the firsts time I watched this seminal piece of cinematic brilliance that a brilliant depiction of the human condition. I was 14 years old feeling this socially awkward alienated teenager who was suffering the formative symptoms of body dysmorphia. My condition has now I’m a fully grown adult metastasised into a socially debilitating disorder that effects my self esteem that leaves me crippled with anxiety I’m unable to cultivate romantic relationships all because of this disorder.
When I first watched the elephant man this glorious sentimental masterpiece it resonated deeply with the themes of alienation and being outcasted by mainstream society. The man John merrick a victim of a incredibly rare congenital disorder that leaves him horribly disfigured and basically disabled. The way he’s discarded cast out is how i feel leaving with many various mental illnesses the depression the social anxiety the body dysmorphia that have grown. John merricks hideous physical appearance is how i see myself when I glimpse into the rare i don’t see a normal person i see a grotesque freak. My disorder precludes from ever venturing outside except when I’m forced to by social convention or to attend my university lectures. When i am outside i become anxious paranoid feeling everyone look on horror at this gollum creature in human clothes. I have to plaster my face in makeup or simply obscure my face by hearing a hoodie or large sunglasses. In public or in the sanctum of my home glaring into the mirror is a horrifying experience that i eschew until it’s absolutely necessary. In the film when john is looks into a mirror and sees his deformed ugly face that scene brings me to tears. His consternated reaction as he sees himself looks into the window of his soul is what i experience when I see myself in bathroom mirrors when i go to my hair salon.
Many scenes in this film which is imprinted on my consciousness provoke a powerful reaction in the depths of my mind. One of the most enduring scenes is the diner scene when John attends a dinner with his protector his friend the DR. Treves. He’s made to feel normal for the first time in his short adult life. He wears a three piece suit looks for the first time as a respectable gentlemen and is welcomed into their home as a equal treated with humanity. That feeling of being accepted of needing validation is what i desire in that scene it moves me profoundly. The best moment is though when John shows his guests a photograph of his estranged mother. Rather than being a ugly homely women devoid of beauty its a image of a angelic women. Then John talks about losing his mother how he most of been a tremendous disappointment to his mum. When I initially watch the elephant man it had been less than a year since my mums tragic suicide. That scene i watched alone was a tear inducing powerful moment that elucidated my grief. That spoke to me of the sadness of losing a parent the pain the feeling I Of worthlessness. Every time i watch that scene and John is talking about his mother expressing his sadness i am transformed into a blubbering mess. The pain of my mums suicide has never subsided i never divulged my pain to anybody kept the pain hidden kept it suppressed. In that brief moment i experience a cathartic release of the pent up grief.
There are numerous other scenes that express the pathos of isolation of being cast out into the wilderness. To never have love to be denied the euphoric beauty of a intimate relationship with the sex the companionship the emotional elation of a long term enduring love affair. All these things i am precluded from ever experiencing due to my socially impeding disorder. The scene where John is inquiring to Dr. Treves whether he can be cured of his rare disease the doctor politely says no. Then John looks forlornly into a painting of a man sleeping on a bed and almost despairingly wishes he could sleep like a normal person. To me that scene is a powerful encapsulation of whats its like to be afflicted with a crippling mental disorder that you’ll be cured from. I want to sleep like a normal person a potent metaphor of the desire to be normal to have friends to function in society to be remedied of your mental illness. I believe any depressed person anybody suffering from a pathological psychological condition will be moved to a tears after witnessing that scene. When i watch it i cry profusely usually i have to pause the movie from the cascade of tears that are flowing down my ashen face.
The ending of the elephant man when he accept his fate when he decides to kill himself by literally sleeping as a normal person on his back. This act kills him cutting of oxygen to his his lungs chocking him John cant sleep like a normal person due to the size of his deformed head and the mutations on his chest. He has to sleep sitting up put laying down is suicidal act but a glorious act of defiance to be a normal to experience a semblance of normality. To sleep in a bed laying horizontal as his last act. By the end I’m crying uncontrollably as i watch the ethereal ending as John floats into the cosmos as his soul floats into heaven as finds liberation from the shackles of his gnarled body. A lone female voice eloquently says nothing ever dies. I’m shacking by now as the credits roll and its a compelling ending of being stricken with a body that society is repugnant.
The film acts as a potent analogy of mental illness or isolation. The way the character is treated how he’s looked upon as a oddity a freak how he’s forced to live sequestrated from society having no socially life. How the elephant man appears with his hideous visage is how i view myself. Being tortured by self loathing finding it unfathomable that anybody would find me physically attractive. That my personality is as deformed as the elephant mans ravaged body. The scars the mutations are a mirror into the darkness that lurks in my damaged psyche. This film i watch when I’m low when i need a 2 hour piece of poignant drama. I weep throughout it makes feel less alone in this vast godless universe
Can’t shake this pain
It makes my bones ache with sadness
I can barely walk i can barely function its so excruciating to live with
This depression this pain is terminal its like having a cancer infecting you’re entire body
One day i will awake and be unable to carry on living this way
One day i will end my life the pain of being me will grow so severe suicide will be the only plausible path to banish this pain
This day is coming soon the anxiety the loneliness the weight of this severe depression is slowly crushing my fragile soul
I cut myself in masochistic act to feel my pain i write poetry as forlorn acts of self expression all to no avail the pain the cancer only metastasises in my mental ill psyche
Oh lord rid me of the suffocating existential malaise of being me
I want to expunge the depression to be normal to be happy to fall in love
I want to liberated from the chains of my depression i want to be glad to be alive
I will never have these fantastical illusions i am doomed to be tortured by this untreated terminal depression until one day i will have to end my life to end the psychological torture of being me
Tonight’s the night when i will force myself to overcome my fears my crippling social anxiety and go on my first date in nearly 4 years. It will be my first official date as a adult women and I’m overcome with terror and excitement at the thought on embarking on a date with a man I’ve only interacted with on tinder. My previous dates were when i was a precocious adolescent who wasn’t inflicted with a crippling social anxiety but was a shy awkward teenager. I can recall going to the cinema or bowling with teenage crushes but nothing really happened on these innocent teenage dates.
Today though at the tender age of 19 i am going on my first date in nearly 4 years. I have spent the past years never having the gumption to ask men whom I’m sexually armoured with on a date. I have lost my virginity in a handful of drunken one night stands in meaningless promiscuous sexual encounters. Now i want something real to cultivate a emotional connection with another soul that’s why i finally taken the plunge and going out facing my fears and actually going on a date.
The date is tonight i have intercommunicated with this individual who calls himself Kyle who is 21 years old. I looked at the entire gamut of his tinder and instagram photos I am enticed by his physical appearance. He wasn’t trying to hard there is no shirtless selfies no thirst trap cringe inducing photographs but casually confident images that projected to me a self assured confidence and unusual degree of earnestness. In our multitude of messaging conversations over the preceding months i built up an idea of how this man is what is personality is. He isn’t a stereotypical tinder egomaniac machismo man he appears to be a amicable kind considerate young man.
When I first set my tinder profile and uploaded a variety of my finest photographs that projected a positive image of myself to prospective male suitors i was filled with apprehension and enormous anxiety. Still the anxiety remains but i feel I have made enormous strides in overcoming my social phobia. Being on tinder has given me these moments of enormous validation of myself where men are actually attracted to me. I’ve had a horrible negative opinion on myself seeing myself as a hideously deformed freak who no man in their right man would find alluring. As well as suffering from a pernicious social anxiety i also suffer since i was a teenager from body dysmorphia. This means I have a severely altered perception of my physical attractiveness than other humans. I eschew most normal social functions never am able to peer at myself in the mirror because of how horrified i am at the ghastly image that appears in the mirror. The body dysmorphia is why I remain perennially single alone without love without sex. The thought of physical or emotional intimacy is terrifying to me to be that vulnerable with another person especially a person you have profound feelings for.
In spite of the paralysing social anxiety the self loathing the neurotic fears that circulate in my psyche I prepare myself for this date with Kyle. Kyle is a 21 year old training to be a mental health counsellor he lives within the local area of Cambridge a town where i am studying and residing. He live within 10 miles of each other so meeting up for a rendezvous is easy as he live in close proximity to each other. After many months of talking sharing photographs casual flirting talking profusely online about our interests we have finally set a date for our first physical in the flesh meeting. Tonight we will meet up at the local Italian restaurant within the Cambridge town centre. It’s a modest Italian restaurant that’s well within our price range. I a struggling student living on a meagre budget supplemented by my part time job at a local bookshop can ill afford to fork out on a lavish night out in a prestigious restaurant. Hence he agreed to meet up in this reasonable but charming Italian restaurant called Pinocchios for a night of engaging flirtatious conversation complemented with liberal quantities of alcohol.
Its 6 o’clock in the evening i am diligently getting ready for a night of possibilities. The anxiety is off the scales i can hardly breathe i am at risk of suffering another traumatic harrowing panic attack. The idea of making myself beautiful of going out into the cruel world with judgemental people with my slender body on show and having to appear interesting and charismatic to a prospective lover is filling my heart with terror with disquiet. The fear at what could transpire on this night the humiliation the possibility of a anxiety attack in public is constant. I can’t rid myself of the fear the loathing that is pulsating in my neurotic consciousness as I soak my homely disfigured body in the bath. I have meticulously prepared the appropriate attire that i will clothe my body in. I purchased several week ago a sender low cut black maxi dress which i purchased in the unlikely scenario of me going out on a date. Tonight I will wear this alluring beguiling dress that hopefully will convince Kyle that i am a beautiful women. Hopefully he will look past all my glaring physical imperfections and see this beguiling dress.
I remove my body out of the wet hot steaming bath now i am shaking with nerves barely able to walk or hold by electric toothbrush from the anxiety that’s radiating round my body. I frantically brush my teeth trying assiduously to keep my toothbrush steady in my mouth. I grimace with horror as I glimpse my gnarled visage in the bathroom mirror. This pallid ghostlike person that is looking at me fills me with loathing and disgust. I think to myself how is this person going to convince a kind interesting young man to fall in love with her. I disappear from the bathroom feeling refreshed and revitalised washing away all that filth and sickness from my body. Now i can hide myself in the fortress of my room wherein i can plaster my face in my feminine war paint in order to conceal to obscure my flaws my cracks. Hopefully with enough war paint i can by some miracle appear beautiful to Kyle.
The voices in my head as i gaze at my hideous visage in the mirror
Freak freak ugly monster you hideous unlovable cunt
These internal voices reverberate in my fractured psyche
They grow more vociferous as i interact with the general public
I’m a unlovable freak a social leper
Im cursed with this ugly exterior that is all people see
I see in their derisive glances people look down on me
They look at me with utter contempt with revulsion
I’m a subhuman creature to them and myself
A gollum creature who all twisted and gnarled on the outside and inside
My repulsive physical appearance is a reflection of my damaged deformed soul
There’s no beauty no life inside of me only self loathing and a deep perennial sadness that never subsides or abates
I imagine in my mind what people think of me
I theorise they call me ugly under their breathe that they shudder and recoil in horror as they glimpse my face
I am a freak a monster that no man will ever find attractive or alluring
I will be ignored become a invisible tortured soul who is shunned by society who is forced to exist in the wilderness in the desert never feeling love or physical gratification only constant rejection
Its a dream a far fetched unattainable fantasy to find happiness
I cant find love it eludes me happiness is a myth
I want to fall in love to feel the tender kiss of a lover
I want to feel the warm embrace of my lover to have him quell my depression my adult alienation
I see friends strangers kissing finding love I’m so jealous
I cant open up cant force myself to be vulnerable to fall in love
The intransigence of my emotional repressed personality has left me desperately alone wanting love like a drug
I meet converse with strangers there’s a connection a rapport but I can’t take the final step I withdraw I’m too afraid
Being naked finding intimacy is impossible unfathomable
The dream of happiness of falling in love only exists in my wild overactive imagination
I want love i want sex to have the beautiful physical and emotional connection with another soul
I dream of laying naked with my lover in our bed in new realms of spiritual ecstasy my lover kisses me the depression the isolation dissolves from me I am lost in the euphoria of love that’s my dream that remains elusive due to the limitations of my socially inhibited personality