I told Nadine that if math stays interesting I’d like to get my Bachelor’s in it. She told me that in the five years she’s known me math is the only thing that’s managed to keep my interest.
Today I didn’t work. I held my nephew instead. All baby sweet and squirming.
My roommate’s mother has been visiting us from Iran for the last month. Today she went home, but she left our fridge full.
Despite going to bed at two in the morning, I still got up at five to go running. The city was asleep and I had the trail around the lake completely to myself.
I left my wallet on home by accident, but the barista at Broadcast Coffee gave me my macchiato for free without hesitation.
It was snowing this morning, but now it’s nothing but blue skies and sunshine. I can’t remember a New Year’s Day that wasn’t gorgeous out, but this one feels like an especially good sign.
She reminds me that each day brings us closer to when the days start getting longer again. That in thirty-three days it will be as dark as it’s going to get. I try to remind myself of this when I’m outside smoking a cigarette at 4:30 PM and the sun is already sinking below the horizon. When I’m wrestling with my brain to get me out of bed to go running without light. We’re getting closer to it getting bright again.
Like every year, I take my vitamin D, I try to remember to eat, get enough sleep. And like every year I struggle to take care of my most basic needs while I’m living in the dark. All the things I know I need to do to feel better seem to be just out of reach.
My therapist tells me we’ll work on motivation. My psychiatrist tells me we’ll figure out if my medication is draining me. My sister tells me she’s only always a phone call away. My mom sets up my old apartment in case I need to be somewhere else. Chuck says I can stay “for a night, a week, forever”. Andrew checks in on my wellbeing over and over. Vinnie shares smoke breaks with me. We’re rallying.
There has to be a way to get through this again. I’ve managed it this long, it’s silly to think I won’t be able to this time. But every day my alarm clock goes off and I can’t make myself get out of bed. Today I slept until 9:45 when I had to be at work at 10:00. It’s hard. Everything is so hard. My mom tells me how much fight I have in me and follows it up with, “I just wish you didn’t have to use it all the time.” And I find myself wishing that, too.
I don’t want or need life to be easy. I just need it to be a little gentler with me. But I guess like anything it just comes with practice. It’s just muscle memory.
Photo courtesy of Jason Leem.