(Answer) Before (Listen)

Read between the lines. Listen then answer.

Empty glasses. Empty words. Empty night.         Empty answer.  Empty listen.  

(ANSWER)

Why are you helping me?

Seriously. Put that down.

I didn’t ask you to…

Why? No one just “wants” to do laundry for someone.

Did you do something?
Something bad?  Jesus. Is it really bad? Am I going to be pissed?

No, I’m fine, okay? Why are you..are you just trying to distract me?

Nothing. I’m just tired.

Whatever.

So, we’re not going to talk about it?  That’s the answer?

I said that two days ago.

You could talk to me.

Don’t hurt yourself.

This isn’t what you what.

I’m not what you want.

Look at me.

Right. Cause I want to do this. That it?
I want to put everyone through this shit?                                                                                I wish you’d listen.

It’s so hard.

God, just, stop. Stop saying it’s fine. Stop telling me I’m okay.
I’m not. Obviously I’m a mess. I see. I get it. Obviously I’m not okay.

No. I’m sorry. It’s just… It’s just a really bad day.
I know you do…um…I guess. Get me noodles. 7 1/2 heat. No five. No. Yeah. 7 1/2…
I’m going upstairs. Just…just put mine away if I’m asleep.

(LISTEN)

I’m just doing laundry. It’s no big-

It’s fine. I’m almost done.

I know you didn’t ask me to. I just wanted to help.

Well, no, I didn’t want to do laundry, I’m not weird. I just thought-

What? No, I didn’t do anything. Ok, I smoked today.
I’m sorry. I know you don’t like it, but I grabbed lunch with Mark.
It was one.
Am I missing something? Are you okay?

No, I’m not trying anything. What happened today?

See? Just sit down. Don’t worry about it. We’ll order some pad thai.

Ok. How am I supposed to know?

You said you didn’t want to.

I can’t read your mind. I want to listen. Talk. Answer.  I’m listening.

What have I been doing? I’m trying. I’ve been trying.

I don’t need to.

Of course I want this.

Why would you say that?

I am. Please stop.

It’s me. We don’t have to.
You don’t have to with me.

I know, baby. You’re okay.

I’m sorry.
It….,no. It’s not okay.
I know you’re not okay. It’s not your fault. And I get it.
I don’t have an answer. But I’ll listen.  I want to help.

Ok. I’ll be down here.

(answer)

Backslide

I really had it cornered for a few days. I had it on the run and then I tricked it, with my cunning, healthy wiles, and it was alone and helpless in a corner.

And then I let that son of a bitch get away. 
The cluster of towering negative thoughts. The big, bad ones. The ones that threaten harm and ensure the people who say they will stay, will surely go. My mystical golem of the feelings of worthlessness and stupidity. Fears and anxieties made real. I had it trapped. And then I screwed up and I let it go. 

I had been doing pretty well. I had loaded up my Instagram feed with body positive pictures and eating disorder recovery accounts. I had practiced writing down my stream-of-conscious negative thoughts and then editing them into more realistic and reasonable fact statements. I even attended a seminar on overcoming anxiety. It was coming together. 

And then shit fell apart. 

And I don’t know why. 

It just happens sometimes. 

I spent a solid hour on Sunday crying. Now, that’s exhausting business. I forgot how mentally and physically draining that kind of weep can be. I also ran got an hour. The crying was hands-down harder. 

(Sidebar: not a doctor so not actual medical advice, but I tried treating emotional pain like physical pain. I took some ibuprofen, and that actually provided some relief. )

I took a picture of myself for some forsaken reason. But I’m not including that. I’m not at that level of self-acceptance. Ain’t nobody trying to see tears running down my red, chubby cheeks and snot dangling from the end of my swollen nose. Maybe I want to remember that moment. A place I don’t want to see anymore. Keep it as a memory. 

The thing that pisses me off the most is that I was making progress. I had a few good days strung together on my bangle band of healing. I had mornings when I woke up feeling decent and nights where I was busy and not just counting the minutes until I could respectfully go to sleep. 

Then this bullshit. That’s what it is. Not real. Not actual tragedy. Made up mind lies and bullshit. But the result and my response is unfortunately the same. 

I’m flailing. I’m pushing people away. I’m snarling and snapping at the people I should be caring for the most. I’m kinda being a self-absorbed, indulgent asshole. I don’t like it. It scares me and I don’t want to do it anymore. So I won’t. 

Tonight, I’m giving up. 8:33 is a respectable bed time, no?

Tomorrow, I stop.  I get that greedy bastard back in a corner. Try to talk. Reach out. Connect. Initiate. Attempt to take another swing. Keep fighting for things that are impossibly far away but won’t get closer just by looking at them. 

Tomorrow, I dig my heels in, stop the backslide, and start climbing again.