then you say “go slow”

(I can’t.)

Lying in my bed, I hear the clock tick and think of you
Caught up in circles
Confusion is nothing new

I feel sometimes like I am running out of things to say:

(Hello again. My name is Dani, still, I think. You can also call me Daniel. I love Star Wars and I write Good Omens fanfiction and I do have bipolar II disorder, yes, but it’s okay. I am okay. I need you to believe me that I am okay.)

But I still want to come here. I still want to say something. I don’t want to stop.

(There’s nowhere else to go.)

What did you have for breakfast? (I am stalling, I know.) I made banana bread muffins last night, because, like all of us, I am bullshit at actually eating bananas in a timely fashion. So, I scarfed down a muffin this morning and I’m drinking my rapidly cooling coffee. It’s nice coffee. I got it from the Internet.

I feel like a stain. I am afraid to reach out and touch anyone anymore. I feel like I will just leave them sticky and worse for the exchange, you know? I feel like an emotion-bull in a china shop. I am too loud, too big, too messy. I will knock over your nicest plates and I will catch a glimpse of my monster-self in your mirror and I will run, because I just cannot contend with the reality of myself.

(I’m sorry about the plates.)

How many chances do we get? Because I am trying for this Big New One, you know. This grad school thing. I am trying to start over. I am trying to open the door to Playwriting 101 on that first day with fingers that do not tremble or wobble. I am trying to drive myself to Iowa, Rhode Island, New York, Illinois with a cat and a record player in the backseat.

Here is what happens: I wake up, increasingly achy and creaky (being 31 is dumb), and I put on my pink bathrobe to hide my body and I go fix some coffee and I let the caffeine and the hope wash through my veins and I just start APPLYING TO THINGS. I hunt for jobs, for programs, for grad school, for anyway to change. For any tangible thing willing to scoop me up and offer, “Yes, we will remake you. We will make you better. We will offer you structure and, in exchange, you will become who you are supposed to be.”

What would that be like?

(What’s your story? What’s your deal?)

After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows
You’re wondering if I’m okay

I mean… No. Not really no. Unraveling trauma is hard no matter how long it takes you to call something trauma. I blamed myself for Something for a decade and I am only now undoing that language in my brain and it is going to take some time and I am going to be not-okay for a minute longer. And I hate it. I feel guilt and shame. My programming still suggests that it was all My Fault. Maybe parts of it were. These things are messy and gross.

Hello again. My name is Dani. (Definitely Dani this time.) I am sad a lot. It’s just a thing. I’m working on it. (Always, I am.) I think sometimes I come here because I always feel like I need to explain it. Because maybe I didn’t explain it well enough in the past and I regret that a lot. I never want to keep a secret again. It hurts my stomach.

The narrative in my head says, “You ruined your own life. You don’t get another chance. You were bad and wrong, and that’s why you will always feel this way. You will always feel this way. It will always hurt.”

But I still wake up and sip at this now-cold coffee (it’s from the Internet, so I’m not throwing it away). So, there must be some healthy skepticism still, right? I haven’t totally given in to what my brain says.

But it hurts all the way down to my bones and sometimes I just want to tell someone that. I don’t mean to be dramatic or to make you worry. I just want to tell the truth.

If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time

(I will sure try. I promise that much.)

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