For the uninitiated, packet loss is a term used in computer networking to refer to the loss of data packets when communicating between two computer systems or networks. There are some ways in which packet loss can be considered analogous to the way in which I struggle in life.
When writing I know the exact shape that the letters should take, I know exactly how my body should move in order to transfer ink to paper in such a manner to have the words take perfect form, yet I find myself unable to scrawl them down in a commonly legible manner. My fingertips miss the finer details of the motions and as a result the words become sloppy and unrecogniseable to those who have not taken time to decipher my script in the past.
An explanation of my thoughts and understanding may rest firmly in my mind in perfect form, yet my mouth betrays me. I become unable to send the words from consciousness to voice, unable even to express their sentiment.
Some nights I wake up in cold sweats, my pillow soaked and my skin clammy. If I’m laying on my back there’ll be a small pool of sweat in the center of my chest. I’ve tried everything – medicated antiperspirants, sleeping with a fan on and the windows open, sleeping without a duvet. None of it works. I just wish I could leave this body and be done with it, no more flipping over the pillow half way through the night because the side I’m using is damp. No more showers in the middle of the night to wash away the sweat. But unfortunately that’s not likely to happen any time soon.
I remember a time when I used to be full of passion, always motivated. A burning force that drove me to do everything I ever wanted or needed to do. A passion so strong that it felt like if I wasn’t working towards something I was choking, strangled by my own zeal.
But that’s the thing about choking, eventually you will inevitably stop fighting and embrace it. Even just for a short time, and when you’re choking you lose the strength to go back to breathing. The vehemence and desire to be something more was the first thing to die, without oxygen the fires of passion stopped burning and began to smoulder. No longer could it drive me forwards.
When you’re choking someone your muscles eventually fatigue and lose the power that let you grip their throat. Your hold on them wanes until you no longer put any pressure on them. Your hand just stays there; a distant reminder of what you once could do, and then it falls away. Never again to reach up and grab them.
That’s what happened to my passion. I let it burn too strong for too long until one day it had consumed me, leaving nothing but ash. Now when I think of things I want or need to do I don’t feel anything driving me to do them, I just leave them be out of habit. The fuel is there but the spark of life has gone, like a car with a full tank of gas but a dead battery and a faulty alternator. Sure, you can jump start it for a short burst of motion but that doesn’t fix the underlying issue. Nothing to keep that battery charged, no power to keep that spark alive. Completely useless without someone that has some energy to spare, and even then the moment it stops I’m back to square one but with a bit less fuel than before.
Over the past year or so I’ve been stuck in a hole of procrastination, unable to motivate myself to do anything. This ranges from simple things like turning the light off at night or opening the curtains in the morning all the way through to important tasks like university coursework.
My days are spent dossing around doing nothing useful – mostly scrolling through facebook or watching crap on YouTube. It gets to the point where every single day when I go to bed I promise myself tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the day I finally start that project. Tomorrow I will get my hair cut. Tomorrow I will tidy my room. Tomorrow I will jump off the bridge.
That’s right. Even though I’m suicidal and want nothing more than death, I lack the motivation to get off my arse and fucking do it. What a pathetic existence.
The trouble with tomorrow is that it never means today. When I wake up in the morning I plan to do all the things I need to do. I then boot up my laptop and open up YouTube or Facebook without a second thought. Each video I watch or post I read I will tell myself that afterwards I will start being productive. But I never do.
Now I have more work to do than can be feasibly done in the timeframe in which I must do it. Rather than kicking me into gear it has given me thoughts pertaining to not bothering to start since it’s useless trying.
Every breath I take is a waste of oxygen; used in order to do nothing but continue existing for the sake of it. Every waking moment is a waste of my time; used for nothing worthwhile. Every meal I eat is a waste of food; used to fuel nothing but watching pointless media.
I’m stuck in a hole of demotivation and I wouldn’t see the top even if I could convince myself to try.
I stand outside at night with a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other. There is no wind, the world itself has stopped momentarily leaving me in a bubble of time to stand patiently and think about life.
A tree in front of me remains motionless, frozen in the darkness. Barely backlit by light from a nearby window I can see the auburn leaves drooped down like husks ready to crumble. Even the lightest breeze would threaten to detach their old dying stems. But no wind will come.
A bird sits patiently waiting for a worm to rise from the ground, ready to strike at any moment, knowing that its next meal will be soon. Then it will fly off back to its nest and await the morning sun. But no worm will come.
This is my Time. Alone in thought but also space. A moment in which I and only I can consider my life. I think back on recent years, wondering what influences the choices I have made. Is it fate? Part of a master plan? I think not, the human mind has a way of fabricating patterns in the chaos of the universe.