It gets you when you’re alone. You spend the whole day, and most of your energy, trying to keep occupied and longing for home, and bed. But then you get home, and you’re in bed, and suddenly everything that you fought so hard to keep at bay through the daylight hours comes rushing in. And by now you’re too exhausted to fight it anymore, and there’s nothing you could do about it if you did.
That’s when it gets you; when you’re at your weakest and most vulnerable. It sneaks up on you in that insidious way it has. It wraps around you, almost like a hug, if hugs were crushing and cold and made you want to never, ever wake up. And you find yourself engulfed, struggling to breathe, and part of you – most of you – wants to succumb.
It brings with it all manner of malicious things. Doubt, and not just about the big things, like whether you matter. It makes you doubt tiny insignificant little things, and makes them so much bigger than they are. Numbness, which is such an absence of feeling that it is almost a feeling itself, and it is crippling and painful and you wonder how that can be. Lassitude, and it’s not just in your body, but your mind, and it all serves to make everything so much worse.
It puts thoughts in your head, the only kind of thoughts that give you any small measure of comfort. You toy with those ideas and you find that you want it, the only thing you do want, and you want it badly. But in that cruel way you know so well, you can’t have it; you can’t get a respite because people need you. You have to be the friend, the advice giver, the confidante, the shoulder. You have the be the rock, the wall, the fucking mountain. You just want to scream at them and tell them that you’re not ok and that everything hurts, but you have to help them instead. And even if they don’t mean to, they each take their piece. What you’re left with is such a small thing, such a tiny fragment of you, that it wouldn’t really matter if that fragment were to disappear. But somehow that would make you the selfish one.
It gets you. Even when you think you’re strong, that you’ve overcome, it is always there. It will always get you.