I know there are billions of stories walking around, some of them will vanish, others will be known. But, I do not feel as if my story is any different from anyone else’s. I am 23 years old and I live in a small, riverboat town in southern Illinois. I have struggled with anxiety and manic depression since I was 14 years old. What started the horror, the feelings, the thoughts is certainly unknown to me. But, I do know that life can be wonderful. It can do things to you that drugs cannot do. Yes, I do believe my life has been taken from me, my dreams, my passions, my interests, all of it. They do not belong to me. There are times when I feel like they belong to someone else, perhaps a character in a book or in a film. There are moments when I will grin and shout, “That’s me. I’m him, right there. I wish I could be like that, live like that. Wow.” I know tomorrow will have the same face as today. Hope, love, and all those Hallmark words do not make me feel anything but guilt, sadness, and hatred. At the center of my condition, I am an artist. I have always seen the world through a glass darkly, but I have also created things during my darkest hours. I create. When I am creating or creating with someone else, I feel that I have found the meaning of life: to give life meaning. But, I have grown weary of people kicking me down. I have given my last dollars away. I believe in helping people, trying to give them something important like a laugh, or a conversation or a friend. Now, there is no one that needs me, no one that understands how hard it is to always be identified as the funny one, the smart one, the artistic one. Hell with it all. I am not anything: I want to be me. I do not want t care what people think of me, but I do. I do not want walk through the mall or the store fast as a thought because I do not want to see faces that know my name. I do not want to hate the reflection in the mirror, but I do. I do not want to be lost, scattered across America as a nameless soul who published a few fiction stories and bitched in a few published articles. I would like to bring people together and do more. But, I cannot. After losing my job last year due to a descrimination issue in the work-place, I lost all hope, all love and self-esteem. I was there, standing on the ground of education. Everything was great. I was addicted to Klonopin for over 2 years. I smoked Marijuania to silence life. I loathe it too much. I just want to sit there, smoke, listen to music, dream, draw and dream and ignore all. I have a girlfriend. It is horrible. She cannot reach me anymore than I can reach her. She is so far away. She does not understand why I am so moody and cruel, but it comes from some unknown place inside my soul. I wish it would die. For now, I am just waiting for an answer, just waiting, only waiting. This is my fractured story. That’s all for now.