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9th of August, 1945.

There was a fork in the road and in both directions there were playgrounds. They were not like any playgrounds I had ever seen, they were far bigger. Each one was nearly a castle, and each one was different. One was an endless maze of plastic tunnels; another was a series of wooden platforms several stories high. The tallest one was to the left; it was a tree fort, attached to a giant sequoia several hundred feet high; ladders and platforms went all the way to the top. A play pirate ship hung down nose first from one of the branches, threatening to fall dozens of feet if anyone dared to enter it.

The entire place was vacant except for a single girl standing under the sequoia. She had her hair combed perfectly, was wearing a leather jacket and leopard pants and had on a great deal of make up. She was unbelievably still and kept a stiff posture and an expressionless face. When I got closer I recognized her.

She was in my grade, a sophomore at the high school. She had mentioned a new boyfriend; she must be waiting for him.

"I left my bike at someone's house, do you think you know which road I should take?" On my way to school I had stopped at some stranger's house because they knew me somehow. My memory blacked out when I was on my way to school from there.

"There's no houses that way," she pointed to the right, "so it must be down this road." Her voice was flat and distant.

"Ok, thanks." I followed the road for a mile until I got to a house with my bike laying in the yard. The yard was empty this time, as well as every other yard I passed down the entire road. My home was empty when I got to it.


That's where I woke up. I feel that there was a story to all this, it was so vivid and I remember it so well, but it doesn't have an ending. I hate dreams like that, I feel like I can't just make up an ending, that wouldn't be how it would end, but it's unlikely I'd ever have that dream again so I'll never know how it ends. It's sort of like life, you can never know how it ends.

True life
Begins behind the borders
You will never reach deep waters
If you do not change yourself

Recently I started tapering down off the antidepressant drug Effexor. As you can read the accounts of others in its node, it, like them, sapped me of my creativity, imagination, motivation, concern (with anything and everything) and may have contributed to the loss of my job back in April.

Effexor is a nasty drug, as any of the accounts of its (usually) former users can attest. I was on it for year; indeed, I'm still on it, just tapering down so eventually I'll be off it completely. I don't intend to replace it with another antidepressant—I figure that depression is a much more attractive option than not being able to feel anything at all. However, I'm not at all looking forward to SSRI discontinuation syndrome, which, despite tapering down, will still affect me.

The sun arises but you can't see
There is no touch that makes you feel
You trapped yourself inside an awful dream
You locked the door, and lost the key

My life over the past few years has been... nothing at all. I can't call it living because living requires a life, and I don't have one. With each year that passes, I sink deeper into a hole that's becoming virtually impossible to climb out of. It seems that there's nothing I can do to make things any better. Being diagnosed as bipolar recently hasn't helped matters much, though I'll venture that the medicines I've been prescibed have helped me control the ups and downs, but only in miniscule amounts. I can't find a job because I don't feel well enough to even try to find one. I feel that I have nothing at all. And it's all because of my doing; every decision I've made over the past eight years or so has put me deeper into the aforementioned hole. The hole inside my head.

True life begins behind the border
That exists inside your head
You will never reach deep waters
And get away from there
Take a look around
And look at what you have
But you will never reach deep waters
If you do not change yourself

True life is what I'm searching for. I long to see what lies behind those borders. But I can think of nothing that'll get me there. I go on, day after day, month after month, year after year with nothing to go on and no way to acquire anything to go on.

My thirty-third birthday was last week. Apart from a few brief, fleeting moments in my adult life, there's been nothing but disaster. To wit, I used to date beautiful women; I was popular; I prepetually weighed about 125 lbs. Now, I don't date because I think I'm an unsuitable partner for anyone and being popular like I was before is no more than fodder for dreams. Due to a combination of various drugs (i.e., Seroquel) and a, let's face it, sedentary lifestyle, has ballooned my weight up 60 lbs, yet I lack the motivation to exercise and get back to being attractive. As if that wasn't enough, three of my front teeth are broken (and I can't afford the $7,000 it will cost to get them repaired) and I'm rapidly balding.

I don't know what to do. But perhaps getting off Effexor is the right first step. Still, though, I am full of despair.

Lyrical interludes by Lights of Euphoria's "True Life"

CST Approved

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