... who has suddenly lost the ability to do -- well, almost anything. I’m not, I swear, this person who is letting the weekly dinner plan fall to only what comes out of the freezer in vacuum-sealed packages: tilapia fillets, mixed vegetables, pot stickers. Not all within the same meal either.
I’m not this person who crawls back into bed after breakfasting on coffee. I used to do laundry and dishes and file the innumerable bills and other important items from the mail. I would read the news over my cereal, then start my workout. I’d shower before lunch. I'd even floss. I could go about my daily responsibilities without feeling like each small task required so much will. And pleasurable things -- they were effortless to pursue, not these chore-like endeavors they've suddenly become.
It will get better. It has to. But this person who's taken over my body in the last week since I got back -- you're not welcome. You're no stranger to me; I remember you all too well from previous dark times. I'd just forgotten how sneaky you could be. I mean, twelve days ago, I really did think I was fine. I was up to my elbows in revisions; I was chasing down thesis committee members. Hell, I even managed to sell a TV and a microwave on Craigslist to two different people and get a foster cat adopted by a third while I was three time zones away (thanks, D, for doing the in-person follow-up for all that).
And then, some time in the early morning of the last day before I was to fly home, you showed up. You hopped into the bed while I was in the hospital and curled right up under the skimpy white sheet like a delighted child who had found a new playmate. I'm sure I told you to go away. But you knew I'd been worn down, knew my defenses were gone. You'd been watching me for days, waiting for your moment. I realize that now and wish I'd recognized you sooner. Maybe I did and was just in denial.
I understand that you've decided to sojourn here for a stay of indeterminate length, but I'm not cool with it. Do what you have to do (or don't, as the case may be) -- I'll give you that. But tell me what it is you really need, tell me how to provide it, so I can send you away again, this time, I hope, for good.
Because you don't get to stay forever. One way or another, I will figure out how you work. And when that day comes, I'll be the person in charge again. Yes, me. And I won't make it pleasant for you to hang around. So do us both a favor. Help me help you so we can go our separate ways. Really, it'll be better for everyone involved.
1 day ago