On nights like this, there is no barrier between my thoughts and I.

I lay on my bed with my clock ticking along to four am. The air is heavy with summer heat and my hands feel clammy. My eyes long ago adjusted to the dark, now I can see my bedroom ceiling with startling clarity.

I ask the ceiling many things this night. It sees everything I do. Like always, it doesn't answer, doesn't offer comfort.

Earlier my thoughts raced and collided into each other and into the walls of my head. Now they just float around, bouncing from one to another. Vacant staring burns my eyes, so I make sure to glance away from the silent ceiling.

The dark of my room is more comforting than the ceiling. It interrupts my thoughts for a moment with its inky blackness.

Yet they return as usual. Thoughts of failure, despair, hatred, confusion and anxiety. Thoughts of nothing and emptiness. Thoughts of him, of her, of them, of me.

Being awake is so exhausting. Thinking is so futile. Why can't I just go to sleep and be unconscious.

On nights like this, it is hard to sleep and it is hard to be awake.

- Anna