Solitude described in a very sad but determined way, "still I breathe." The inner and most complicated battle of not being alone brings loss of hope, lack of identity and a shit load of anxiety, especially around people you so dearly want to be around but eventually it is the people you can't relate or people you need to get away from because anything and everyone is a reminder that loneliness is your only friend.
"One more: I could never tie someone else to this sinking ship of insanity
So maybe I should get used to the loneliness
Doing my best impression of a functioning human being
I leave the house
Because that is what normal people do.
Getting onto the train I think,
I should visit my friends
Because that is what happy people do.
Remembering the worthlessness and existential dread,
I dutifully return home
Terribly embarrassed I almost forgot them.
When the desire to be free and unchained in a place where no one knows me
Is immediately followed by the desire to have never been.
My perpetual maybe-tomorrow prison
Feeds me on a steady diet of stress that gnaws tunnels through my consciousness"
As if you were writing an ab initio book or series that explains the stages of volatility from being alone, it is hard to imagine how anyone would understand you from an outside perspective. But you written these emotions so well we can get a glimpse of the tar-like place that you come from in this poem. I can only imagine how difficult it might be to try to explain to your friends why you didn't hang out, I'm sure they think you are avoiding them. And the most difficult thing is to try to explain that you are not avoiding them, you are avoiding yourself. Because the prison is not the house or the social structure of human beings or your friends that make you feel this way, it's the convoluted emotions and feelings inside you. It's very brave to write and try to explain these emotions and still want fresh air and you want to breathe, especially around Christmas when everyone is expected to be around family and friends and be happy and festive when you don't want to be. Hope is your way out.
Elizabeth, a honest raw write, I want to thank you for sharing this. The false gaiety we must put on our faces during the holiday season is extremely taxing. You want to appear if all is ok while your insides are screaming at you to disappear. Well done-