The symptoms are the same, and you know it.
1. Pure bliss. Or, in these cases, what appears to be pure bliss. You don’t need it, you say to yourself. You believe you are absolutely, undoubtedly, genuinely fine. And you are, for the most part. Until..
2. The pangs begin. And at first, they do not have any bearing whatsoever in the way things are going. They are just there. Tolerable. Manageable. You are able to ignore them because you know you have this attention span closely resembling that of a five-year-old’s, and so. Spark up a conversation with anyone or ride the waves and sustain every single one that other people initiate. Read a book. Listen to optimistic Mayer songs. Bang your head to Pearl Jam’s Alive. And yet, know with a frightening sense of certainty that things are only about to get worse unless you do something about it.
3. Only now, it is too early to administer medicine. A remedy can only be called so after the symptoms have aggravated enough to transform into a singularity of all that is bad in the world fused into one consuming, mind-altering migraine, right? Deal with it. In literature they call this rising action. Believe that it is because once you enter this phase, you know there is no turning back. You are in it for the long haul, however long that really is. Fall into mild despair.
4. Here we go, this time, you are not in charge of things anymore. Keep your hands to yourself and try to contain every hissy fit dying to burst out of you. Surrender to the sounds of pure hopelessness and swim in the oblivion that is coupled with dependency.
5. Self-loathing. You know you shouldn’t have done things like this. The thing is, during that time, impulsiveness seemed charming. You were out of your element — in a good way. You know you are because it was an out of body experience you needed to keep doing again, and again, and again. And you did, that’s why we’re here, aren’t we?
6. The thing is, the initial point of anything seems harmless, and you know it. It’s a cheap trick that everyone falls for. This is not me saying we don’t know better because we do. One could not deny that. Only, then, it seemed like it was worth it. Because it is, yes.
7. The moment you cut yourself off, even for just a few hours, you fall into a downward spiral. Such as this: this. Here. This. My friend, you are experiencing a culmination — but no, not really. You know you will resolve to patch things up again, anyway. The culmination I am speaking of is the end of this moment of sheer fright and frustration and confusion and melancholia all rolled into one with a ribbon on it.
8. The yearning kicks you from the inside. You are absolutely enslaved. For a moment it feels .. addictive. There is this thing about being a complete mess: it is degrading, yes, but for the meantime you belong somewhere. You are not flitting around the world in an aimless circle projecting the divine image of strength and pure, unadulterated bliss. You don’t need anything else but this sense of having lost it.
9. It starts to escalate into dangerous levels. You have to remind yourself of the things you need to finish or the ambitions you are clenching to keep yourself from the inevitability of collapse. Funny, huh, I used inevitability to describe collapse during the same breath I am speaking of damage control. I have been here before, you see. I don’t want to go back, but I know one way or another I will. Because I never learn, that’s the way I am wired up. Yes I add a few lines of experience to my name but on these things, whatever these things may be, I am a stubborn, obstinate monster.
10. You settle down and your mind automatically performs a search, a sweep, an initiation to resolve things. For a while, this works.
11. You give in.
12. Man, I really need a cigarette.
13. And I guess, I need to get my mind off you.