I’m so glad that, for once, I didn’t value sleep above adventure. After my first week at work, I’m so mentally and physically exhausted that I could easily have slept all weekend. But I decided to prove something to myself. I’ve never had an easy time connecting with people and I always end up as the odd one out for some reason. I have many acquaintances, but almost no one that I can just hang out and talk about life with. So rather than desperately look for companionship, I took myself into Paris today. Alone. If you have serious anxiety like I do, you know that’s a big deal. I can hardly take myself to downtown St. Pete in my own car. But today I made it into one of the biggest cities in the world using public transit (even switching trains!) and I didn’t even panic once. Well, maybe a little bit when I couldn’t find a bathroom. But even then, I stayed level-headed. Go me!
“Some say the soul of the city’s the toll of the bells of Notre Dame.”
The silence hits you first. You leave the noises of Paris, the pushing, the rushing, the laughter. Suddenly in this space, everyone respects peace. And it’s easy to see why. You turn and you are standing at the end of the cathedral’s nave, where so many millions of people have stood across the centuries. You walk along, gazing at the stone walls and the sheer immensity of the structure surrounding you, until at last you see the light streaming through the rose windows.
Depersonalization- a mental disorder characterized by persistent feelings of detachment or disconnection from one’s own body and emotions.
Derealization- can be connected to depersonalization; characterized by persistent feelings of detachment or disconnection from one’s surroundings, causing the world to appear foggy or dreamlike.
I’m moving to Paris tomorrow. I have my passport and visa in my hands. I have my flight itinerary, suitcases, and a wallet full of euros. So why doesn’t it feel real? Everyone I’ve come in contact with in the past few months has asked if I’m excited. I feel obligated to say yes. But there is no such simple emotion as “excitement” inside me. With depersonalization disorder, it’s not easy for me to get excited. There is no cure for the disorder and it covers everything in my life in a fog.
On the morning of the Columbine massacre, Brooks Brown happened to be outside the school when his friend Eric Harris drove into the parking lot and started unpacking his arsenal, disguised in duffel bags. Eric said, “Brooks, I like you now. Get out of here. Go home.” So Brooks went. As he walked away from the school, he heard the shooting begin. “No Easy Answers” is his account of what led to the tragedy and what occurred in its wake. As a friend of the killers, Brooks offers insight that no one else can. His most compelling argument is this: “Eric and Dylan are the ones responsible for creating this tragedy…However, Columbine is responsible for creating Eric and Dylan” (163). I was fascinated by his ability to convince me of this truth.
“The man who kills a man kills a man/ The man who kills himself kills all men./ As far as he is concerned, he wipes out the world.” (Quote by G.K. Chesterton, taken from Andrew Solomon’s introduction.)
After the 2012 Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings, I felt helpless. Like the world was spiraling out of control and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I have always been morbidly fascinated by violence. I can turn any conversation into a talk about death. So rather than panic frantically about the attacks, I threw myself into exhaustive research on the topic of mass shootings.