2 A.M.

A woman sitting on a bench at the Art Institute of Chicago

It’s a diagnosis.
But it’s not an excuse.
It’s not a reason to lay in bed all day because
you’re too afraid of how quickly the blood will
rush to your head if you stand.

Or so they say…

It’s not an excuse to cancel plans last minute,
for the third time in a row,
because the thought of having to talk
makes you want to puke.
It’s not an explanation as to why
you surround yourself with people who
seem to hate you more than you hate yourself.

Or so they say…

It most certainly isn’t an excuse to starve until 11 PM
when you suddenly crave nothing but alcohol and trans-fat.
It isn’t a reason to make your dad feel like shit
every time he says you seem different.

Because you are different.
It isn’t a reason to let your little brother
feel like an only child because his sister
prefers the company of despair and misery
over his own.

That’s what they tell me.

It used to be unbelievable.
Enough to land you in admitting with
a strait jacket and some sedatives.
Now it’s glorified and it’s beautiful
and everyone seems to have it.

It’s normal to be anxious
and it’s okay to feel sad.
Take a Xanax.
You’ll be fine.
Doctors are afraid to give Adderall
to a kid who needs it.
But they’ll give Xanax to any girl
with a frown and a caffeine addiction.
Apparently, that’s normal.

But tell me…

Is it normal to fail out of school,
pay back your student loans on a
waitress’ salary, and become
a complete disappointment…
all in a split second in your head,
after you fail an exam?

Is it normal to need the radio on
in the car so you won’t feel tempted
to veer off the road if left to
your own thoughts?
Is it normal to rehearse 70%
of every conversation in your
head before you open your mouth?

Is it normal to like sleeping
more than being awake?
Is it normal to take 30-minute showers,
spending 25 just trying to catch
your breath?
Is it normal to lay awake for 2 hours
each night, replaying every step
of the day before you finally
fall asleep?

As I lay here at 2 am,
writing out these footsteps,
I realize, no.
It’s probably not normal.

Oh, how I would love to be active.
To fall asleep as soon as my head
hits the pillow.

I would love to be able to have
a normal heart rate when he doesn’t
pick up on the first ring.

I would love to know I’m not
a total failure at the end of a crappy day.

Sometimes, I can.

But I will tell you there is nothing beautiful
about the days that I can’t.
There isn’t anything slightly romantic or sexy
about a girl who bottles her emotions and
sleeps in the fetal position.

It is a slow and very painful
process to healing.
The second you allow yourself to feel
fear in your darkest hour,
is the second you can see hope.

Fight for it.


Caitlin Zaugg : Usually found quoting movies and laughing at her own jokes. Very good at pretending her life is not a total mess. Always oversharing about her non-existent love life on her personal website, Watch Cait Go