r | mental health

Darkness should bring peace. The mind is supposed to calm. Tension leaves the body as it slips into another realm not fully understood, even today.

Pajamas are a prison.

Television is a friend. The only one still awake at this ungodly hour. The light patterns on the screen are the only company left.

A game show rerun. Seen before, but the questions long since forgotten, since they were of no importance. Now answers are whispered softly, as if breaking the silence of the room is a crime.

The response given is wrong, even though it was uttered with such conviction, but there is no one here to laugh.

The bed is a prison.

The warm water of the shower promised relief at the time, but once the spray was turned off and the pajamas were thrown back on, the promise was forgotten.

There is a dead cricket in the corner of the bathroom, its assassin unidentified. Someone should pick it up and dispose of it properly, but everyone thinks someone else will do it, so it will continue to sit there.

The house is a prison.

The stars outside are hidden by clouds, but they aren't interesting anyway. The constellations are never easily visible, and even when someone points them out, the patterns don't seem to make sense.

A dog howls somewhere. The sound is annoying. The keys on the computer clack too loudly. That sound is even more annoying.

The screen name and password for the instant messaging program are typed in from memory. A rudimentary glance confirms that no one else is awake. The program is closed with a soft sigh.

The mind is a prison.

The bed is a torture device. The pillows and sheets are reminders of what should be happening - what this place is designed for. Tossing and turning evolves into frustration and tears.

There's something wrong. The wrong chemical somewhere, or the wrong receptor. The brain has an error, but there's no patch to download to correct it.

Nails bitten to the quick, as if there's some substance in them that may induce relaxation.

Pills. There are pills, but they come with a price. Everything in this world comes with a price. Sleep will be given - but it will be unnatural. And there will be no dreams.

One more time. One more try. Close the eyes and breathe in deep. The enemy is fallible. It will be defeated.