Month: January 2020


I play with sillyputty in the counselor’s office. I knead it over and over, pressing it with my thumb, rolling it into spheres, squishing it into cubes. I like it better than playing with the hairband on my wrist, like I always do when I’m nervous or awkward, like the way you fiddle with your phone when you’re unsure what to do. I don’t know how the words keep tumbling out of me, every time I come here. Maybe because I believe she really wants to listen. Maybe because she doesn’t mind that I’m a teary mess. Maybe because she doesn’t seem to mind… well, me. I don’t know how I have so much to say… well, actually, I guess I do. Bottling up nearly three years’ worth of emotions will do that to anyone. I talk about all the things I can’t talk about with anyone else–my fears, my hopes, my memories, my pain, my present, my past, my hidden places. I stopped talking a long time ago. No one understands me the way I wish they would. If you were here, I’d talk to you. But you’re not. So the words stay inside. The hour always feels too short. I can’t believe I’m saying that–I resisted going for so long. But I didn’t know how the release would feel like breathing clean air, how freeing it is not to be judged or squished into a box, someone else’s idea of me. It’s a relief. An exhausting, difficult, scary relief, but still relief. Being heard is sometimes the best therapy there is… besides dogs and mountains and prayer. Afterward, I treat myself to donuts, for the second week in a row. Did you know that you were the first, and perhaps only, person who truly helped me try to love my body the way it is? I think about that when I go get donuts, trying to do something kind for myself after I do something hard. I’ve been trying to be kind to myself in general. It’s hard. You were always so good at helping me remember. I hope you remember to do it for yourself too.


thank you.

for speaking up,

when I know you’re afraid

of hurting me with hope.

for listening,

when listening costs you much.

for feeling,

when emotion isn’t safe.

for remembering, when it’s simpler

to just not.

for trying,

when even thinking about believing

feels impossible.

for loving, for all the moments you give me

that I can always keep with me.

I’ve always said that your silence

hurts me more than any words

you could say.

maybe one day,

you’ll believe me.

two existential crises in a day is two too many

once, I asked you what you were afraid of, when it came to believing.

you said you weren’t afraid. at least, that wasn’t the problem.

in the moment, i couldn’t understand how that could be true.

now, i wish you could come back and tell me how you did it.

lately, i seem to be anything but unafraid. sometimes depression is easier

to explain than anxiety, sadness easier to describe than an often nameless fear

that just follows me everywhere. it’s so hard knowing my mind is spiraling

out of control and not being able to do anything but just watch it happen.

today was a day of too many spirals, for no reason at all. nothing happened.

no reason at all to be scared. but i couldn’t slow the spinning of my thoughts and my body

followed and soon enough i was babbling about all the things that scare me and the words

sounded more and more irrational as they spooled out of my mouth but i couldn’t

stop them. wound up and crying. trying to explain to confused people why everything

scares me. from family to friendships to failing my dog to losing all my jobs to being trapped

in a life i don’t want to theology to my future to disappointing people to always being alone to

what if i’ve been wrong about everything always and just didn’t know it.

i know it’s anxiety. i know it’s pain. and fear. and love. and a scary, too-big world

without enough you in it. i know it’s because

i feel lost.

but knowing doesn’t fix anything.

i’m trying to be more unafraid. to feel all my feelings but to work with the fear until I am largely

unafraid. i know i can’t get rid of it entirely. i know that fear comes with love comes with

living. but i can’t make decisions afraid. i won’t ever trust them, and they’ll probably

be wrong. the best ones are made out of truth, faith, hope, and love… but fear gives all that a run for it’s money.

but i’m going to keep trying to outrun it, even when it keeps pace with me, and sometimes overtakes me.

because in the end, i’ll win. in that small way, i already know how my story ends.

i just wish i knew more than that.

the day i told you i was scared was one of the most vulnerable moments of my life, although you didn’t know it.

i don’t like to reveal fear. i don’t think anyone does.

but since that day, i’ve had to do it a lot, sometimes involuntarily. i’ve gotten good at hiding it. but fear doesn’t hide

very well for very long.

but when i told you, you made me feel so much safer. i knew you were scared too. knew by the way you held me tighter

than anyone ever had. but because we were scared together…

i don’t have words for how much better that was.

how much better

that would be.

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