Diary entry: Christmas

Had a nightmare that the world was ending. Woke up in a pool of

> sweat. Grabbed phone and looked at social media. Felt inadequate.

> Put phone down and stared at the ceiling for half an hour. Got out

> of bed and washed. Saw myself in the mirror and wished I was

> somebody else. Switched on the radio. A drill went into my brain

> disguising itself as music. Felt nauseous. Threw radio against the

> wall. Collected mail from postbox. Read my bills and felt trapped

> and helpless. Sat at kitchen table and stared at wall for 15 minutes

> thinking of a way out. Felt anxious. Poured a bowl of cornflakes and

> slowly ate in silence. Turned on the tv news. Was told I am under

> attack. Felt scared. Changed channel. Watched people argue. Felt

> angry. Changed channel. Got lied to. Felt confused. Turned tv off.

> Sat in silence, petrified. Picked a record and played it. Slowly

> felt better. Got dressed and went outside. Walked in the snow and

> brown sludge. Met an acquaintance. Had meaningless small talk that

> went on too long. Felt awkward. Made an excuse to leave before

> making fake arrangements to call each other. Left feeling stupid.

> Went to church and stood at the back. Felt guilty. Avoided eye

> contact with anybody I knew. Left church feeling sinful and doomed.

> Went to local shop to buy headache tablets. Stopped at the

> newsstand. Read the papers. On page 1 I felt threatened. On page 5 I

> felt paranoid. On page 8 I felt violated and was convinced I was

> being watched. Ran back home in terror. Locked myself inside.

> Barricaded door. Pulled phone out of the wall. Waited in darkness

> all night for imminent attack that never came. Felt alone and

> isolated. Hid underneath the blanket in my dark, cold room. Snow

> fell past the window. The only sound I could hear was children

> singing carols in the distance. And the only light in the room was

> the Christmas tree blinking.. Blinking… Blinking.

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