(content warning: ED and SI)
I’m not okay again. And if it’s anything like every other time, I won’t be okay for a few days, maybe a few weeks. But eventually one day I’ll wake up feeling a little bit better than the day before, and that will happen every day until I’ve returned to something that feels like baseline. And whether I’m okay or not, I will do my best to enjoy any moment I can. I’ll try really hard to. You’ll find me smiling and laughing, often laughing louder than anyone else in the room. You’ll see me out in the world. I’ll show up to work. I’ll get my workouts done. I’ll see my friends. I’ll try new things. I’ll keep showing up, and I’ll do my best not to show that I’m down.
Maybe I’ll take a long time to answer your message. Maybe I won’t answer at all. Maybe I’ll flake out on some plans. Maybe I’ll be really quiet.
Or maybe I’ll talk too much. Fill the silence so there’s no space for my thoughts to enter it.
Right now, I am at the point where it feels like I’ll never be okay again. But I’ve felt this way enough times to know it’s not true. I will be okay again. But knowing it doesn’t make me feel it.
Right now, I’m a little bit worse than I was the last time, and I wonder if it’s possible each time I am breaking in ways that do not heal, if each time I’m getting a little closer to a time when I really will never be okay again.
I tried so hard to enjoy myself. To not just hide the pain but to escape it. To plug into my life like my therapist says. This time “my best” was crying on the bathroom floor and barely resisting the urge to make myself throw up. My aim was just to keep laughing, but that was where I landed.
I found some hope in a recent therapy session when she said, “This is probably the hardest thing you’ll ever have to go through.” So much of my life has felt painful and hard and it’s only gotten harder. The idea that actually, things will get better, this will end and no pain this prolonged and compounding will ever happen to me again, makes me feel like I could survive this. Even if it breaks me. Even if it has broken me already. Even if it broke me a long time ago. And stomps the pieces of me into dust. I’ve known I have to see this through, but sometimes that’s because I think I know how my story ends and it’s right at the end of that tunnel. Like when you can keep running faster than you are capable of sustaining only because you see the finish line. I will not drop out of this race but I may never walk again when it’s through.
But maybe the other side of the line is the easiest my life has ever been. Maybe walking and laughing and showing up will not require the massive amount of effort that it has before, that it does today. I want to start to picture a life like that. I want to feel hope that doesn’t turn around and punch me.
Of course life will always have its challenges, and this won’t be the last time I ever feel pain. But someday I won’t have to worry about e-mails delivered to my heart via bullets sent by my rapist through his legal team, and I won’t have to dissect myself to respond. I won’t have to feel like no one really understands that the war cannot end until it’s over and the war was not started by me filing a lawsuit in 2017 so the war would not stop if I withdrew from it. Do not ask me why I don’t make myself a casualty. You don’t know how hard I’m trying not to be today.
But it will pass. And I’ll try to, instead of wonder if each time I break it will get worse, wonder if when this is over, each time I feel okay it will get better.