Story by "Anonymous"


Hello. This would be my story.

I couldn't tell you what started it. The first time I noticed it was during my sophomore year. I woke up one morning feeling like I was high off of marijuana. I'd only smoked pot a few times, and that was during the summer of my freshman year. I had no real adverse reaction to it; I don't think it contributed to the state I was in when I woke up that morning.

I woke up and don't remember much until I got to school. Everything seemed blurry and distorted, and I was unable to focus on much of anything. I could still act normally.. I remember turning in a math worksheet, but it felt like I was "going through the motions" of living. Touching my backpack felt extremely weird. I couldn't believe that there was an object, an object I could manipulate, in my hand. The idea of being alive, being in a world, would dawn on me all of a sudden and I couldn't comprehend it. It didn't make any sense at all. I felt like I was living in a dream, but it didn't worry me too much at the time.

I thought about death and it scared the hell out of me. It seemed more than a theoretical "someday I'm going to die." It felt real, tangible, I could feel it coming and know there wasn't anything beyond it.

This faded. A few years later, I realized that I could make this state come on by thinking about the right things. If I started looking at the world as a dream I could wake up from, it would stop making sense and I'd get confused. Objects would appear foreign to my hands. I remember being at work as a hostess and being unable to grasp forks. Forks, forks, why were they here, what are they doing in my hands? My body felt numb and I was watching everything from a third person perspective.

This too faded after about three days.

Fast forward to my freshman year of college. I'd been drinking heavily every night for about two weeks. By heavily, I mean to the point of blacking out / throwing up. Huge gaps of memory loss. I was averaging about three hours of sleep a night those two weeks, and while I obviously felt terrible, I was also feeling super hyper, insanely crazy, eager to please and eager to do every experience possible. I didn't care what people thought about me. Nobody would laugh at me, everyone would like me as long as I kept things "fun."

The two weeks passed rapidly. The last few days were marked by muscle convulsions when I tried to sleep, a rapid heartbeat, and shallow breathing. I thought my skin was emanating heat and sweating cold. Sleeping was impossible - I couldn't obtain anything more than a shallow, dreamless state.

The very last morning I woke up still completely trashed. It didn't fade for two days. I was sober, but felt like I was still drunk. It wasn't a pleasant type of drunk either - it was absolutely terrifying. I'd walk around campus looking at people and thinking, "A human. What is a human? It's breathing, it's living, look at those legs. Look at those arms. What are they doing here? Every human is different. It's ok, calm down. A human is NORMAL."

I kept looking to be normal again. However, the world had changed. It looked like a fake, like an illusion, like a top layer I could rip off and reveal what was supposed to be there. It looked like a computer simulation in which one could manipulate objects. I'd think, "Look at that, objects! Objects are fun, we can play with them. I don't know what they're doing here, where did they come from?" The concept of a *world* was frightening me. I'd tell myself that this was how it had always been, things have always been the same and always will be the same. I'd tell myself I had gone to sleep every single night for my entire life and nothing had changed; I'd go to sleep again tonight and things would be fine.

The entire idea of "life" was extremely strange. It didn't make any sense, and still doesn't. People will think about life, but they can only hypothesize. When I thought about it, I felt it, I couldn't understand my memories or my present or my future. I couldn't understand that I was the sum of my experiences and my experiences were gone.

It was difficult to put into words. I felt like there was supposed to be something beyond this world and this life. I thought that if I died I could get to it and things wouldn't be so strange. People scared me a lot, I couldn't figure out why they were different from me. We were vessels for our thoughts, nothing more than that.

Every experience was new. Everything seemed interesting and fun, I wanted to try all of it. I would do anything anyone asked. I was trying to feel. I didn't know why there were only 5 senses and a limited amount of colors, and that was one thing that really bothered me. There was supposed to be more, more, more.

All I wanted was for things to return to normal. I'd focus on things that seemed like what a normal person should focus on. I'd try to think about individual goals, about what I'd have for breakfast, but then these would start to scare me. Food was extremely weird. I saw why it was necessary but I didn't care about it.

I didn't know why I was a person, or what a person was. I couldn't grasp the idea that I am myself and nothing more or less than that. I thought that maybe I wasn't a person after all. My self, my ego, my identity - all gone. It was like watching every scene I experienced through a television. The very fact that I could experience things fascinated me. Everything fascinated me, but I was terrified at the same time.

I was afraid things wouldn't return to normal. I avoided alcohol and tried to sleep. Sleeping helped a lot.. I woke up after 15 hours or so and physically felt a lot better. Emotionally, I'm the same.

Things still aren't the same as they were before, and I don't think they ever will be. The world still seems unreal. Everything seems like a setting in a play, or a painting full of things to experience, or a computer game. I don't know how to fix it, and it's a horrible feeling.

 People don't matter to me. Nothing matters to me. I don't feel emotion. I am not a person. I am numb, dead inside. If there is a soul, I've lost it.


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