Once, you looked in the mirror every day, and a stranger gazed forth to meet your eye. You hated this stranger. She looked unbearably upbeat, even perky. You wanted to tell her that life's no party. That someday she would regret this.
You knew that you could not tell her this, and you could hardly beat sense into her, that youthful girl in the mirror. You did not think of that face when you pictured yourself. You thought of the haunted face your dream avatar wore and tried to forget that the avatar was not your body.
The avatar could die a thousand deaths, leaving you untouched. Time and again you failed, and some part of you could still remember the agony that came, so long ago - or was it last night? - as the avatar was tormented beyond endurance. Yet most of you was at a remove from the pain, and it was that part which got up and walked (ran? flitted?) away, every time.
Some part of your mind lied, and told you that only the avatar felt your pain.
Some immeasurable time later, you stood at the edge of the dreamscape that was so familiar to you, feeling the dank breeze on your avatar's face. You knew that this was only a dream, and often a nightmare, but at this point you no longer care. It is your world now, not the drug world, and you rarely even call it the dream or nightmare world anymore.
It was an echo of your mind, a figment of your imagination. It was no longer the forgetting haze that you invoked when your memories became too much for you - because you had no memories, except for those of your world.
You started to walk. If you could outrun pain here, you could outrun thought.
You walked for a long time through misty forest and dreary wetlands. You have adjusted to the mist; you have known the mist since before you can remember. How far? your broken mind implores. How far does your memory reach?
Suddenly, the mist lifted. You were on top of a hill, and you could see for a long, long way. You saw the place where you entered, still mist-shrouded; and saw the terrain that was invisible and annoying as you walked through it, now beautiful and lush. A flock of geese rose from the marshy place that you struggled through.
You saw a field lying before you, covered in dew and dotted with shimmering spider webs. It was beautiful, but you were unmoved. Your world conjured many such sights, and they no longer interested you.
You gazed beyond the silver-studded field, and see a stand of tall trees. You looked at them hard for another instant, measuring their height, and started running.
You did not remember the journey across the field. This did not perturb you; you rarely remembered these things. You stood below the shortest tree and started to climb.