You worry that if you focus too strongly on your racing heart, you'll freak yourself out hard enough that you have a heart attack.\n\nYou have to be awake for work in a mere 8 hours, and you know <>your performance has been sagging lately, and that this won't help the situation one bit.<>that your work is so much worse on only a few hours sleep.<> \n\nWhat do you do? \n\nA bright clear day is giving way to a still, temperate evening. "// he enthusiastically greets you. I kept them in in case there was anything that could get recycled into other instances.//\n\nYou fall into a pattern of avoidance with the hopes of staving off any potentially uncomfortable confrontations with your coworkers or boss. I just need to sleep. She's a wonderful woman and you feel like a constant joykill on nights like this. The notion of trusting people with your vulnerabilities is very frightening to you, and in your self-loathing you realize that your behavior did cut them out. "// you think, repeating it in your mind. You explain your fears of being worthless, she tries to tell you that she doesn't see you that way, you insist that she is biased or just being nice to you because she's your girlfriend, and she gets frustrated. \n\nYou imagine Alex, out with her friends, much like you would be tonight if you weren't so horrible at socializing. You take a "break" to loosen up, popping into your email inbox, Twitter, and various other internet-based distraction fodder.\n\nFrustratingly, this pattern continues throughout the course of the evening: as soon as you try and focus on work, your brain diverts all its energy away from the task at hand. You check the clock and see that over 20 minutes have already passed since you sat down.\n\nAs your self-imposed time limit creeps ever nearer, you become more and more anxious. \n\nYou get very little sleep that night.\n\n[[Next.|innerLife1]]\n\n<>, <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>\n\n//"I know it's not what you'd usually be up to..."//\n\nAlex frowns. Sometimes people who are feeling depressed think about hurting themselves or dying. \n\n<>Things with Alex have become more and more strained. //"It's not you, it's me, right? <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>\n<><>You've been in therapy for some time now, and have started to be able to realize what is a rational fear and what is not. She takes it well, though still seems wounded by it, and the two of you end up having a conversation about how to better manage your schedules so you can see more of each other. Sorry it's been a few weeks. But I don't think this is working anymore..."//<>\n\nShe starts to tear up. She's also got a wide variety of interests, and often times you worry that you might be too "boring" for her, but she has been good at trying to reassure you that she's happy with you. //"I don't think it's normal for someone at that age to not have a path. This way we don't have to have a kajillion checks and can just put people through a short ringer all at once and the point will be made. Nothing in you is able to move forward on this, and you go back inside in spite of yourself.\n\n<>[[Next.|workSucks]]<>\n\n<>, \n\nWhile you certainly can't say that things over the past few months have been easy, you're almost ready to let yourself believe that the worst parts are behind you. Have the option to make 1 of 3 friends locally and grow your support network. Even if you did think you were worth the resources, you don't know if you could actually bring yourself to dial the number and say the words out loud. As you leave the office, you stare at the phone number your boss gave you.\n\n[[Next.|placeholder]]<>\n\n//thinking of eliminating this as a separate track to enter therapy just for the sake of simplicity. She told you that you seem to "love being miserable more than you love her," and that you cling to that comfortable misery as a way to keep from effecting any positive change, and after several weeks of having the same fight she decided it was too much to bear. At least you can leave early if it gets too unbearable.