Internal Rehab

By Kerry O'Connor
Art by Mia Maric

Hello. My name is Kerry O’Connor and I have been an addict since adolescence.

I’m not sure whether… well, maybe it’s me… or society? Genetics? Whatever it is, I cannot stop fuelling my addiction to the physical and mental drive of reaching my ideal until I am burnt out. To which, I itch and scratch, hear the scream of my internal motor (that, I shall add, is revving). It is ready to race along the never-ending track in search of the finish line. Yet, I look from the outside, an object to my own spectating. I see my physical self, a body, yearning for a moment to swallow in every bit of oxygen, high off the purity, the nourishment.

I run, race, keep on, heavy-footed, running, racing, stomping, sprinting. I long to be removed from the treadmill of my picturesque destination, but my feet are beyond the ability to step off its high-speed belt. Dare to jump is a risk I am not willing to take; too scared of an injury I may not be able to come back from. What is there to do? Do I dare challenge the addiction to the completed fulfilled self I inspire to be?

There, at a distance, your gaze is glaring through me. A mirror reflection, the thundering echo of your internal beat is synced to my own. You slam a footing on the opposing running belt. We continue to permit our feet to land, one in front of the other. We drink from the stream, the stream of sweat we must lick to prevent flooding and pray to god that someday we inhabit an internal rehab of self-preservation (because goddamn, we need it).

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"Our mentality is embossed with success, what a beautiful disaster

Back down to earth. Here I am.

I have this urge to reflect on this challenging stage of running on an endless track. Trying to diagnose the itch of what I want, what I need. But, maybe it’s neither. Maybe it’s the wanting that brings such discomfort; our ideals, dreams, goals and end results fill us to the brink of our capacity.

Our mentality is embossed with success, what a beautiful disaster. Not being classified as successful in your ambition licenses a stomach turning sensation.

There are so many questions to be answered. How long is the wait? What step to take next? Am I doing this right? How are they doing this so well? And I am... here?

Should I just give up? Well hey, ‘losers don’t quit’. Or do they? I’m sorry but ‘EXCUSES DON’T GET RESULTS.’ It is this sort of conflicting mentality that creates the endless running. Instead of walking at an eased pace through the forest of uncertainty. Instead of inhaling the air of opportunity with appreciation and contentment, we are acting as the masters to our own demise. We demand the desire to be fulfilled at a pace. So I speak from my own contradicting tongue, it is the pain, confusion, speculation and nerves that shall make the expedition worth it. It is the nurturing of the mind that shall result in a clear destination.

So breathe, you are in it for the long haul.