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Hmmm, I want to watch something fun and comforting. Let's hit up what's on Netflix Kid's.


I haven't watched Anastasia in forever. That might be nice. Oh hey, I've never seen Disney's Hercules, and the Nostalgia Chick loves it, so maybe I'll watch that.



*decide on Hercules*

I seriously need some James Wood's voice acting to wipe away the horror of fucking Stripe Gremlin popping up on my screen. WHY IS IT ON THE KIDS LIST?!!!


Sep. 19th, 2017 09:14 pm
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The day to day is so mild as of late, I have to reach for things other than the daily grind to write about. I miss writing. I miss hitting just that space when I feel my own power, where the words twist like blown glass under my hands.

Inspiration is not a requirement to write. I tell myself this isn't the first lull I've hit with writing - and it will not be the last. It's nice to have the lull emanating from a place of calm. I also feel just the slightest of guilt, as if I am ignoring something. Hard to know if you're "taking a break" or "procrastinating."

I know eventually something will break and I'll be back to the keyboard with typing possessed. I'm not so far out of the woods as to think it will be smooth sailing forever. Not only is that not my luck (there's no "tragedy limit" for me and my life), but that's life in general. At least for me. In this quiet time, I'm settling to accept that.

There's been quite a bit of thought around that idea lately. That for whatever reason - karma, fate, the cold, cold hand of an uncaring Universe - my life will be a battle. Where most people have years and years of calm broken by events of crisis, mine is the absolute opposite. My calm waters are the punctuating events, not the rule that leads from year to year.

But in these glass seas, I can come to appreciate that. It's not so easy to be grateful when the ground cracks beneath you and sends you scrambling for an overhanging rock to keep you from plunging into the earth, but here, now, I can be grateful.

Maybe accepting my life as it has been (and for how it will be) is grace.

I can't bring myself to believe that there is some being out there that guides my hand and heart through the hard times. I can't bring myself to believe that I, as I was born and as I live, am deserving of some kind of divine benevolence. But I can take these quiet moments and reflect on my life, the things that brought me here and the things that propel me further.

I can take these quiet moments and think of things I might be able to believe.

I can take these moments of quiet and comb through the answers that I asked all of you to give me about ritual, about belief, and find ways to bring it back to grace. To an acceptance - a true acceptance, one not borne out of exhaustion - and continue to learn to love the Teressa that comes out of the other side of that acceptance.

This last year has been so hard. Hard in ways that I've never struggled with before. I do not believe there is some cosmic prize at the end of this finish line. I do not get the girl, I do not win the lottery, I do not get a Happily-Ever-After. Maybe no one does.

But I do get to learn just a little more about myself.

A great deal of what I've discovered over the last year has not been pretty. A huge chunk of what's been revealed about me has, in fact, been horrifying and shameful. But I am beginning to realize that there is no such thing as having too detailed a map about your inner self - craggy cliffs and raging torrents included. I know myself, in sickness and health, in ways that I never have before.

To learn those things as positives, as things to learn from...if I have any definition of "grace" that I can believe in, that is it.
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It is storming. Heavily, heavenly, beautifully. It is the first storm this year I have been home for.

Every time it has stormed this year, EVERY. GODDAMN. TIME. I have been stuck behind the soundproof wall of triple-paned hospital glass, hanging six stories above in the psych ward. I couldn't hear the thunder, could not open the window to hear the rain falling, could not smell the ozone of lightning strikes, could not feel the thunder rattling the floor under my feet.

I can now. The window is flung wide, Nature rebels, and I am home to revel in it.

Sweet, sweet sanity.

Sweet, sweet freedom.
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This is an issue that while I try to keep quiet, has come up frequently in the last year. As of late, it's been spurned by Jesse's and I's binging on the show Supernatural.

It can be difficult to discuss it with Jesse, as his spiritual beliefs are well-structured, complex, and very well defined. My questions and ideas about spirituality are anything but structured, complex, or defined. There are times he will even allude to having experienced spiritual experiences around and/or about me while I've been in dire times, but I always shut him down before he gets into explaining it.

While hospitalized, I have spoken to a few chaplains about it all, but they tend to be Jesus-centric. (It's a Seventh-Day-Adventist hospital). So half of those conversations wind up with me trying to steer the conversation from accepting Jesus as my savior and into something more generic. This is more than mildly frustrating for both the pastors and myself, so I no longer seek them out.

My hardline beliefs are that I do not accept the existence of ghosts, angels, demons, or spirits that would otherwise have any interest in my tiny, tiny little life. But now that I've had a little time to look back and see just how easily any of my sidesteps could have resulted in a bloody, projectile-vomiting death, I am beginning to wonder.

Chance and coincidence, along with a stubborn as fuck willpower, can carry almost any explanation very, very far. But does it carry it over the finish line? How far does the belief in Luck stretch until it smacks into a belief of faith?

What IS faith and does it have to be connected to a structure of beliefs about the spiritual realm? I find Paganism to be just as annoying as strong Christianity. Ditto for Buddhism, general New-Agism, Unitarian beliefs, and anything else that requires letting go of any personal reigns in order to trust a Higher Power.

But there is ONE thing I do miss about all of those beliefs, and that is ritual. The closest thing to ritual I've come to in the last several years is wearing a locket of Santa Muerte, and even that, to me, is more about the power of symbolism than an actual belief in a Death God.

But lighting candles, saying specific prayers, having a thing-to-do that follows steps and instructions in order to connect with the Universe as a whole...I do miss that. But how does one create, let alone follow, a ritual when you believe there is nothing there to hear it?

Jesse has said that he saw the spark of faith flare up over the last year. I respond by telling him that I was scared - terrified - and that faith is a pretty common refuge for the frightened. But even in that fear, I didn't come to any conclusions, find any beliefs, that comforted those fears. I just barreled through the fear until I didn't NEED that comfort anymore.

Except maybe I am still scared, because the idea of wanting to believe in something (something small, that doesn't have assloads of minor and sub-beliefs that have to be built as a foundation UNDER the belief itself) is still there.

Don't get me wrong - the show Supernatural is not enough for me to start stockpiling salt and buying silver tableware. This is TV-land we're talking about, and as fun as it is, I recognize that it's fantasy and adapted-folklore.

I just have to wonder if there is a way of not-believing that is somehow a belief. I've never had a paranormal/spiritual experience that wasn't easily explained by mundane things (or else experienced while flying high on mania), and maybe I'm looking for that. Maybe I envy people who seem to experience that all the time.

But I can't just make myself believe things that I don't believe in. This is, however, starting to get in the way of wondering if there, actually, things TO believe in, whatever those things might be.

Maybe, in the end, I just want there to be some kind ghostwriter to this narrative that is my Life. I don't know. I am still vehemently opposed when Jesse insists that he's seen my lack of spiritual beliefs shift, because while I've questioned, that does NOT mean I've settled on an answer.

I guess even having the questions is what's throwing me off.
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Despite having taken an extra 25 mgs of my sedative, I am up well before dawn. I'm also about to start my rag, so sleep disturbances are par for the course. God, how I miss the Depo shot. But it turns out heavy-hormonal treatments don't play with lupus, so back to monthly misery it is.

Speaking of lupus: Good news: The stomach problems came and went inside four days. Bad news: Afterwards, the lupus rash showed up again. This means my kidneys are not properly processing my food (thus leaving my body to desperately start shoving stuff through my skin) and I've had too much sun exposure. The renal diet does help, it'll just take a few weeks. And while I loathe sunscreen, it's a hell of a lot better than needing to put on two coats of foundation to cover the red spots.

I've finally figured that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of the cure. I'd just gotten so used to feeling better than I forgot that I am, now and forever and ever amen, actually sick.

I've decided I'm going to be less of a dick and start referring to David as Rachel and use female pronouns. Not so much because I think she deserves the courtesy, but because I realized I don't want to be on the wrong side of history when it comes to transgender rights.

Besides, it's a change of, like, two (three maximum) words. If I can't manage that, then I've got some serious laziness issues that go waaaay behind disliking my ex. Now to change my tags that deal with Rachel....

Erggh, does anyone know how to rename tags on the LJ side? All it's giving me is "Add new tags". Attempting to create new tags and then merge them (by pressing "Enter" like it says) just reverts it to the old tag name.

What I WANT to do this morning is go down to the treadmill and take a long walk. What I DON'T want to do is aggravate my cramps into turning from annoying to "let's curl up in the fetal position and pray we can fall asleep through them." I did go down and put a mile and a half on the treadmill. Ha, take THAT, reproductive organs!

As for everything else in the life That is Teressa, it's All Quiet On The Western Front. No wild ups, no wild downs, no intrusive thoughts, no compulsive urges or behaviors. It's slowed down my writing, but seeing as the slowdown is coming from a place of peace, not writer's block, it is infinitely easier to handle.

All in all, things are good. Even with the ultimate suckiness that my period looming, inside feels well. I'm becoming less and less shy about saying things that would previously make me feel like I'm jinxing things. These are all good things.
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** "I don't know if you know who you are until you lose who you are."

Immortal words of wisdom from Taylor Swift. (Hey you! Yes, you in the back! Shut up! I LIKE Taylor Swift!)

Something for me to contemplate.

** There's something to never be discounted about the adoring ways your pets can look up at you. It makes me feel so loved.

** You may be right, Matrixx. Though if I don't feel better soon, Monday I will go in for a walk-in with my doctor, and "forget" to mention that my insurance has likely been dropped. Sometimes that works.

** Jesse's listening to In This Moment. I'm listening to Taylor Swift. Sometimes the musical tastes in this household could not be more different.

** Actually, now I don't know why I didn't listen to, like, waaaaay more Taylor Swift when I was dating Rachel. Perfect bad relationship music.
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Yeeeeesh. Fate, you win again. *bows in honor* The day after, literally not even 24 hours after I write that I haven't experienced physical symptoms of Lupus, all hell breaks loose on my digestive system and I spend hours upon hours, for two days now, in the bathroom, either ass-nailed-to-the-toilet or sitting on the floor, head hanging in "Am I gonna vomit? Oh god, please let me vomit" states of ruin.

This means my kidneys are not doing so well, which after two days is freaking me out because I don't want to land in the hospital for two weeks again. I've pulled myself up and set myself back on the renal diet, but I'm scared that it might be too late. Also, we have no renal-friendly food and no money to GET renal friendly food, so every bite of food is flavored heavily with anxiety.

I'll see if I can get my doctor's appointment moved up. I was denied Disability again (time for another repeal! God, fuck the American health system) and am not sure I even HAVE health insurance at the moment.

Still, spirits are middlin' to "alright" right now, despite the anxiety. That is at least something good.
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It feels like the last year has been some kind of fever dream. Falling into the hospital for the first entire month, my blood pressure dropping so low that I had slipped into a coma, the subsequent wounds upon myself, the overdoses...all of it.

A dream. It all feels like a long, elaborate dream. I've been so long out of the physical symptoms of Lupus - months now - that I feel normal. Almost like I did before I got sick. I'm far less out of the psych ward at only a month and a half, but with the right medication now pulsing under my skin, the hysteria has faded into near obscurity.

(Of course, shall I say this and risk Fate tossing another cinderblock at my head? Sure, why not? There's always another right hook around the corner. I think that's what they call "Life".)

I've spent the last week combing deeply through the last year of writing. The high-rises of confusion, of anger, of violent panic which led me to jumping off bridges strikes like a bucket of cold water to my face. As, I suppose, it should.

My intensity both frightens and humbles me. It was a thing I flayed myself with. It was a weapon I wielded, no matter how unintentionally, at those around me. At the WORLD, which had earned my wrath for simply having the audacity to exist when I was falling apart. And fear - god, so much terror. The last year bore more terror than any combination of years in my entire life. And yet, I stayed.

No matter the fear, the confusion, the rage...I am still fucking here. And instead of being angry that I was so scared, tonight I feel overwhelming gratitude for just...being alive. For having some breathing room, finally. Enough space, enough stability, enough peace TO be grateful.

I am finally getting enough distance to start turning around and look at the year behind me. Soon I want to take the entries that were the hardest to read and write a second chapter to them. A year's passing, to write how I feel now about those entries. To apply hindsight to them, because if there's anything a journal was invented for, it is damn well hindsight.

Remember when I said that I didn't think Life was the greatest thing ever invented?

It is. It IS the greatest thing invented - and thank you all so much for being here for it. Dream or no, I never would have made it without you guys.
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For the record....

For the record.

For the record!

I'm feeling damn good tonight. This week has been splendid and all because of...absolutely nothing. No anxiety. No fear. Just a week of waking up, blinking in the late morning light, cup of coffee, a cigarette in hand, and feeling like the day ahead will proceed without disaster.

Is this how it's supposed to be? Cuz a girl could get used to this.
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What happened to me? I used to be so outgoing when I was younger. So...unafraid.


Okay, maybe more reckless, but still, my emotions never kept me so homebound before.

And so the days without me leaving the house continue to pile up. I'm trying to psych myself up to go out with Pat for even a couple of hours. I don't know if I'll be able to. I want to. I just don't know if I'll be able to take that step passed my doorstep.

This month marks the one year anniversary of being diagnosed with Lupus - the one year anniversary of the center constantly being unraveled and then wheeled back in.

Maybe that has something to do with it.

Also -

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:23 pm
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it is sad to watch The Defenders trailer (I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING TOMORROW, WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF YA'LL MOTHERFUCKERS) and see so many Youtube comments asking who did the original song....
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Nightmare Week has rolled well into a second week. The trigger this time....I can't write about it directly, because what more is there to write about it after so many years??? So we will do what writers are best at - we will circle the issue, fortify it with words, drown it with words, and see if it helps.

The question isn't "Do you want to write about this?" The question is "How deep do you want to go?"

And the truth is...not very deep. How many more years can I write about the same thing, saying the same things? Decades, paragraphs, prose and badly writ days, rolling over into nights and weeks where I wake up screaming, again. And again. And again.

For over 25 years now.

I am tired of writing about them. How many more times can I say they are insane? How many more ways can I tell myself that I am strong for having escaped, how many more words can others use to say that I am strong for it? How many more nightmares from just hearing about it do I have to log before the Universe deems I am done with it?

How long do I have to be strong before it is finally over? How long do I have to be separated from it, away from it, before it finally, finally assimilates and my mind no longer finds significance enough to dream about it?

When will I stop being afraid of them, even if that fear is buried so deep that it only comes out in my dreams? When will my terror be considered paid in full?

When will it be enough?

The answer is "When it is enough." And that is not now. As I woke up twice screaming last night, it is not now. I spill nightmares that were shoved into my chest by other hands for 25 years now and it is still not enough.

Vindication is so hollow. I didn't want this, no matter how much I thought I wanted it in my youth. This entry is hollow - I write about how tired I am of it rather than writing the words that sparked the nightmares, hoping it will be enough.

It won't be. But maybe it will be enough to let me sleep tonight. That's all I want.
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At what point do things like "showering" and "scooping out the litterboxes" stop counting as accomplishments? At what point do those become "given" parts of your day and the only accomplishments that count are things like getting a job (or setting up volunteer work, in my case, which is causing undue anxiety) or writing a book or something of a LARGER nature?

Cuz I took another look at Maslow's damned triangle and I realized I am trying to fix the top three items while the first two (basics such as food and shelter and the ability to be secure about having those needs met) are constantly on the verge of collapsing, which makes me wonder if I'm somehow going about this whole thing backwards...
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It's Cracked, so there's a few dick jokes in there for levity.

I do not have OCD, nor do my intrusive thoughts involve hurting other people. Still, having logged plenty of man-hours wrestling down intrusive thoughts of harm to myself, this article and the comments were not only interesting, but seriously useful.

Also brought up in the article, co-morbidity (i.e - presenting with multiple illnesses), as I've been - despite my chagrin, correctly - re-diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. (You had it right, Matrixx!)

Treatment lays mostly in learning how to redirect your thoughts and feelings v.s your actions. Really good things to add to the treatment I'm already on. I am not unaware of these concepts, but it's like I totally forgot them.



"The brain does not register negatives; it only processes the action associated with the negative. If, instead of saying, "don't think that," you say, "think this instead," you can weaken the neuronal connections responsible for the OCD and strengthen others at your will."


"You are not your thoughts; you are your reaction to them."


"It's not necessarily the thought that is the problem, it's how much meaning and weight we ascribe to it that can cause anxiety or worsening intrusive thoughts."


"That is what obsession is. The never ending stream of thoughts, good or bad.

The ones you notice, quite simply, are the ones that trigger anxiety. You zero in on them, instead of pushing them aside. You will examine every single instance of behavior or cognition that might relate to that particular thought in an attempt to find an answer because that seems like the only way to make it go away.

But here's the thing. f**k the thoughts. They will not go away. What you can control, however, is your emotional response. How you do that is up to you. But what you have to do is find a way to tackle the anxiety because beyond a point the deconstruction going on in your head will cross into the absurd and that, my friend, is where madness lies."


"She [my therapist] made the analogy of a wheel moving back and forth until it created a rut which it couldn't get out of."


"If you keep performing the ritual, you reinforce the belief that the ritual is preventing catastrophe, instead of teaching yourself that nothing bad will happen if you don't do it.


All this on a day when my therapist asked me what life would be like without Nightmare Week. "I don't know," I replied casually. "They're nightmares. They come and go as they please. I can't choose what I dream."

She suggested that it was possible to remove the nightmares, to wiggle free from this last bit of PTSD.

I call bullshit....but the idea is intriguing. So okay, Miss Therapist, let's see what you've got to suggest and I'll give it my best shot. Worst case scenario? I still have nightmares but have learned a few tricks to deal with my thoughts in a healthy, non-destructive manner.

**NOTE FOR SELF: Also must look up term "neural plasticity", as my therapist put it. It might apply.

*Also must find ways to work some dick jokes into all this.
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It's Nightmare Week, the last vestige of PTSD that I regularly have to pay for the abuse of decades past.

Yay. 4 nights of bad dreams down - 3 more to go.
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You'll never have to worry that if you have to cancel plans, they will be terribly offended, disappointed, or will question the validity and depth of your friendship.

We're hermits. We'll be fine.
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I asked both Pat and Jesse, the only two people in my life (at least in the last 20 years) having seen me in the drunken, rageful, hateful place I go into when drinking, a question. One that I can't ever recall asking before, even in the first rounds of recovery 20 years ago. Like, I'm seriously amazed it never came up before.

The set-up was this: I am not a violent person. Sometimes mean and with no small shortage of anger management issues, but verbally and physically, what went on that night does not happen at all. I want to think that the monster I become when I hit the bottle does not exist until that chemical is introduced into my body. I want to think that horrible person does not exist without a few too many shots (which in my case, equals, like, ONE shot).

But accountability holds a much greater weight than it ever did before, and I have to wonder...is she there all the time? Buried though she may be, chained to the walls she may be, is she just waiting for the time when I'm my weakest, alcohol being what weakens the chains enough for her to break loose?

I once heard someone say that whatever we are capable of when drunk, we are also capable of doing sober. Sobriety simply makes it easier to not repeat the actions we do when drunk.

Is this true? And if it is, am I the monster for what lies beneath, or am I victim of myself and a mix of bad chemicals? Do I really feel the awful things I said and did, or is it the lies of addiction that revealed themselves?

We already know the beast of addiction is carried in my veins. I learned that 20 years ago. But is what happens when in the throes of it something that I usually simply bury in the guise of peaceful human interaction? Am I that hateful a creature by nature and the only thing that keeps her at bay is abstinence?

I don't know. Jesse and Pat gave different answers, Pat saying that those traits have always been a part of me, and alcohol simply removes the barriers around the awful drunk. Jesse says it's more a a press of stress and addiction, things that are intrinsically part of me, but the actions are twisted things that I normally don't feel.

It leaves me confused, though the answer to either answer is the same - sobriety. I have simply become painfully aware of the intent of addiction and am not sure where to place those intentions.

And why did this never come up before, in my days of drinking an entire bottle of vodka a day and then putting needles in my arms? How in the world is this something that never crossed my mind when I was younger?
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*sigh* Maybe I should just give up and be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl again. I even have purple hair again. It worked really well for me in my teens and even late 20's.

But GODDAMN is that a lot of work. I barely have the energy to find my OWN wonder in the moments of my life. And dudes my age who have't figured out that they are ultimately responsible for their own peace, wonder and lives just annoy the shit out of me now.

Yeah, so I guess not. Keep working on rebuilding an identity that is not pre-packaged and bought right off the shelf.

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So it turns out that Jane's death from Breaking Bad is an accurate portrayal of what death by an unconscious overdose looks like. Except with more vomit. Like, bucketfuls of more vomit. Jesse had been almost out the back door for a cigarette, but then heard me gurgling, gagging on my own vomit. He came back in and tried to turn me onto my side, but I fell off the edge of the bed, and he still had to wrestle me into a downwards position so that I didn't choke to death on my own vomit.

That's not a pretty way to go.

The memory gaps of all the 911 calls are starting to get to me. Like any of the other overdoses, I don't remember starting to throw up. I don't remember not being able to breathe. I don't remember Jesse desperately trying to turn me over, me falling to the floor, hitting my head at a sonic boom, the EMT's barreling through the front door, the IV's, the ambulance rides. I don't remember the ICU until I've been up there for hours already.

At most, I get a few minutes of remembering being on a gurney, ceiling lights flashing by in strobe. What other pieces I do remember, in tiny flashes that last less than a minute here or there, disgrace me. There are holes in my mind.

And I'm the one who put them there. It is a private shame, though I understand it to be pure biology, pure chemistry, and pure insanity.

I don't know if I'd really want to remember it all. But I do know that I do not like not remembering it all, either. For someone who puts every goddamn thing in print, not being able to remember some of the most pivotal points is beyond fucking maddening.

There is little of the last 24 years that is not recorded. For all of these months, these moments, these hours? All I have to go off is second hand tales and those never satisfy as well as knowing what happened because I was there.

Because I wasn't there. Not really. I was too busy dying.

That's not how a journaler lives life. We have to remember in order to write.


Aug. 1st, 2017 08:01 pm
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The she that resides within, the flawed priori, sees the hole she has torn inside of herself. I see what is poisoned because I have cleared the tunnel of any obstructions. What lays beneath the end of the coal mine, where the canary's bones have long turned to dust, is open simply because there is nothing in the way of the stretching view. I have taken my hands and broken them digging to the depths of the darkness that I now see all around me.

Whether or not the bones ever heal, whether or not I can clean the rock and mortar from under my nails...this lies within me. I've dug away from the light and now need to twist around. I must use this broken body, this broken mind, this broken strength to crawl towards the light, where I began digging to start with.

What's hardest to accept is that if the road has been cleared one way, it is cleared the other way as well. Redemption is not counted by the eclipses we see from the corners of our eyes. It is counted by knowing that the tunnel is not endless, the light exists, and that we drag ourselves to it.

I've become used to being sick. It is now effortless to reach. I've come to count on the darkness as the answer to who I am. And while the darkness will always be a part of me, I must know myself as the day and night knows itself - one inexorably woven with the other.

As the sun rises, I've turned my head away from it. I've fled, seeking what is easier, the sickness that I've made so accessible. There is a time for being in the dark. And there is a time for the light of day as well. I'm flawed and can make no promises in my hurry towards the light, that my path will not plunge into the tar black of this coal mine again.

But I can make a promise that I know I need to accept the light as well. Though it may make me squint, though I may not be able to see for how blinding it may be, it is what I need to find my way towards.

This she knows. Some days that will be all I can say. But some days I can do more than know, and this is what I will do.


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