I take drugs every day to help with the nerve pain. I find it odd that it's called nerve pain when really, isn't it all? I opted for these ones because they're not as strong as the others. I'm supposed to be able to function. I'm supposed to be able to live and to have a little relief from all of the parts of my body that hurt (everything but my stomach). They're not supposed to be addictive. I don't do drugs anymore, I say, but I swallow a handful of pills every morning. I find no relief. I wander back and forth through the nights, wearing the thickest socks that I can find so that I don't wake my family. I sweat, my clothes soaking through, my teeth grinding and my hands balled into angry, frustrated fists. I wonder about the futility of being alive. About being forced to live in a body that hates me being here. I wonder about the future and what it might hold for me. If there's something worth hanging on for, or if nighttime circles around the kitchen might just be all that there is now. Where can I find the dignity? Where can I find the will to push myself forward? To endure and endure and endure. At what point am I allowed to break? I can't believe that I tried to kill myself when I was seventeen, before any of this started, just after I had fallen in love with a boy that I should have stayed with for my whole life. I can't imagine what was so sad and so rotten back then. But I was crawling out of my skin, I know I was, with the desire to be seen and felt and heard. With the inability to be who I am. I couldn't stand myself then and I can't stand myself now. I don't find relief with the drugs, and yet I swallow them whole every day. Three times a day. I am in a haze, and I am supposed to be able to function this way but I wonder about driving and about safety and about where my brain goes. About how my vocabulary floats out the window when I'm not paying attention. A fork becomes a stabby grabby. A book becomes a block of pages. A heart goes thump thump thump. And yet I continue to take them. Maybe to feel as though I'm at least trying something. To feel as though it's a start. Along with all of the other things I do, I do it so that they can't say that I'm not trying. That I'm not keeping up my side of the bargain. But I didn't bargain for this. I didn't.