On boulders

Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If that is the case, I have been insane for the past two years. I am beyond exhausted. What drives insane behavior, though? It is a mixture of an obsession you keep feeding and the inability to accept reality.

Its expression is sad, pathetic, tiring (to its recipient), and at its worst appalling. To its creator it is sisyphian. A boulder you keep pushing up a hill. The worst thing, however, is not when you see it rolling down, but the feeling of hope just before it does. It wears away at your insides, to the point that you pretend to lose hope.

In reality you never do, and that is what ultimately renders you insane: the false hope of a different outcome. Just because you have made an effort, just because you are brave enough to speak up and say what the other won’t, even though their actions verify it: your worst fear, which they try to take away, bless their hearts, and which you want to believe so much that you actually do, for a fraction of a second. Just enough time to take a breath, to forgive yourself, to regain the strength you need to push up the rock that has now become the only thing you know how to do well.

While you roll, you think about and analyze the predicament you’re in. You rationalize just enough to keep on rolling. The boulder is made of your obsession and has a reflective surface, quite like a mirror. The first few times the surface is still clean, so you can see yourself clearly. The more you touch it the dirtier it becomes, the more you sweat the smudgier it gets, and so your image is distorted and twisted and transformed into something you begin to fear and at times despise.

The goal is not to stop the rock from falling, nor is it to push it more effectively up the hill. The only way to break the habit is to roll it up one last time, wipe it clean, stare at your reflection long enough to find and recognize yourself again, and then push the boulder down the hill with your own two hands.

You must watch it disappear. You must bear the pain of separation. You must learn to love yourself again as you destroy the only thing you considered to be truly yours.

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