4 AM

A lot happens at 4 am, usually I arrive home, change from my work clothes into pajamas, turn on YouTube and I’m on my way to winding down. However, lately that hasn’t been the case. 

YouTube plays in the background while I am slowly spacing in and out, as if I’m slipping from my skin, in search of answers to questions I haven’t even asked yet. I question my purpose, and wonder if I’m slowly losing my mind. 

At 4 am I refuse to find my reflection in the mirror to the left of my bed. 4 am is not the hour to admire your appearance. 4 am shows all the worry lines and dark circles, the redness in your cheeks from giving your all on your shift, it shows the worry in your eyes because you said the wrong thing when you meant something different. No, 4 am seems to be the hour of over thinking and wondering. 

I come back to earth, glancing at the man sleeping next to me. Tears threaten to break through and flow down my cheeks as I wonder how he does it. How does he handle someone like me? My constant snarky commentary, my constant need to be accepted, and my inability to ignore the hurtful things people throw my way. He watches my panic state while I figure up bills, even though we both know that our income is enough to pull through with extra each month. That’s just another thing I do, worry too much. 

His alarm will go off in an hour, yanking him from his slumber to send him off to work once more. He does it with no complaint. He turns slightly but doesn’t wake. Thank goodness, I’d hate for him to see me without the mask I put on daily. I pretend to be in control, when really there’s a storm brewing in my mind that never seems to calm. Between the constant worries and stress, I’m surprised I haven’t lost all my hair. 

I tell myself that one day things will be different, one day I won’t be as stressed and I’ll be able to ignore the hurtful things people throw my way. One day I’ll come home and be able to fall asleep without my mind roaming the world for knowledge that isn’t meant for me to know. Until that day I still come home and sit in bed until the alarm sounds, waking my boyfriend and ending my day. Until then, I’ll avoid mirrors and lose myself in thoughts at 4 am.