I’m not sure when, but at some point between high school and now I started talking about myself as a person without feelings - maybe because my closest people are usually closed off, or maybe because some really terrible things happened that I couldn’t process, or maybe because I’ve never been great at articulation when it comes to anything within me or around me, but the fact is that I majored in writing poetry and anyone who has ever taken the time to get close to me knows that I am filled with feelings to the point of bursting pretty much always like seeds in an overripe fig (sorry, I’ve been living in Israel since August, can’t help it). I remember this one moment when my family was together talking about my lack of feelings, and my dad started talking about how I’m actually feeling the world all the time, and after arguing the point for a very small amount of time I ended up crying at the kitchen counter and ending the discussion. Another time, my mom was not being helpful at the doctor and for some reason this brought me very near to tears, and the doctor told her he thought I was overdramatic, and when she told me I was shocked and overwhelmed like I don’t have feelings about everything all the time. It wasn’t even something I particularly knew about myself until recently, when I was complaining about a future roommate to my mom and she suggested I figure out how to stop thinking so much; that off-handed comment made me start thinking about everything I’ve constructed around myself. My whole life, I’ve been really self-conscious about pretty much everything I do/say/wear/live, and I’m always surprised by how apparent that is. One time, in fifth grade, Daniel Mardkha (the cutest boy in the class) asked me how come every time he touched a CD in my CD case, I would immediately put it away, and I just remember feeling so mortified that he noticed what at that point had pretty much become a tic/physical manifestation of my social anxiety. At some point in the last few years I found an old report card where a teacher noted my social problems, and I felt that same wave of shame that someone was able to pick up on what I thought was an internal struggle. The first time I took prescription pills was at the end of my junior year of high school, when I was sixteen; David Hahn slept over at my house and we took Adderall and stayed up all night folding clothes and watching Brokeback Mountain. When I got to college, I was definitely some sort of terrible binge drinker, but it was within the bounds of normal until the end of my freshman year when, in rapid succession, I fell in obsessive love, got raped, had my first one-nighter, failed my first class, and started abusing prescription pills. Over spring break during my freshman year, my mom took me to a psychiatrist near on Long Island who was known for giving out prescriptions easily, and this doctor prescribed me two kinds of Adderall at 70 mg/day, as well as Klonopin. It didn’t take long to add a Xanax prescription to this, and within a number of months I went from a pot-smoking hippie to a brainless pill addict. I don’t remember much from this point in my life, except for feeling pretty much constant anxiety every time I wasn’t taking pills - my family somehow didn’t notice a change in me, or at least not a change anyone was willing to act on, but my friends were very vocal in expressing that I had a problem and I needed help. I remember one time following my uncle out to his car and trying to tell him I thought I had a Xanax problem, and him telling me to just stop taking it if I had a problem and driving away. My mom has this big thing about my sister and I not labeling each other, which only served to keep my sister out of eating disorder treatment and therapy for what is probably Aspberger’s, and to keep me from getting any kind of drug treatment. The summer before my sophomore year of college, my mom asked me if I thought I needed treatment, but that was before I hit any kind of low and while I was still enjoying the ride, and I told her under no circumstances did I want or need that. Xanax has always been my drug of choice because it makes everything stop - it slows down the outside, it makes me worry less, it calms me and soothes me and keeps me in check. There is a boy in my life who I prioritize because he is the only one who tells me to slow my roll when I need to; he is a jackass and he doesn’t care much for me, but he is more honest with me than anyone else has been in a way that isn’t manipulative or terrible but is firm and definitive. I am attracted to people who are not weak-willed, who tell me what they want from me and from life and it has made a lot of problems for me but also has brought some great people into my life. The biggest problem I’ve faced has been keeping these people around, because I can think of a number of people who loved me and cared about me but for some reason faded and I don’t want to that to happen anymore. Where this is going is, I’ve always had a lot of feelings but lately have been trying to avoid/ignore/suppress them and that isn’t working. I’m a raw nerve, open wound, overripe avocado, cat carcass crawling with maggots, whatever is filled to bursting and sensitive to touch and that’s the way it is, has been, will be, and I’m over denying it. I’m ready to own my emotions, and I think it will be good for me.