Learning how to sit still.

Wake up. Feel tired. Feel confused.

Go to a doctor. Say something’s wrong with you. Hear nothing’s wrong with you.

Feel tired. Feel confused. Pick up your kid. Hide the tired. Worry about the tired.

Sleep.

Wake up. Feel tired. Feel confused.

Go to a doctor. Say something’s wrong with you. Hear nothing’s wrong with you. Go to another doctor crying, say something’s not right with you. Get blood drawn. Tell work.

Feel tired. Feel nervous. Feel confused. Pick up your kid. Hide the tired. Worry about the tired.

Sleep.

Wake up. Feel tired. Feel confused.

Hear from a doctor that something is wrong with you. That a virus has been hiding and living in your body like a rent-free apartment for years and you need to yell “stop” at your entire life for a long time to evict it. That you have to sit still and be alone with it. That you need to change everything. Cry because you’re happy they found it. Cry because you’re scared of learning everything all over again. Wonder if you know how to sit still anymore. Worry they’ll go away while you learn how to.

Feel anxious. Feel tired. Feel confused.

Sleep.

Wake up. Feel tired. Sit still. Feel awake.

Begin to rethink everything. Cry like you’re turning on your face like a faucet and daring it to run out of water. Wonder how many things this has affected over the years and relive moments like movies in your head, wishing you could have a do over. Feel sorry for yourself. Realize for once there’s nothing to feel sorry for and life isn’t a mistake or anything other than something you either hold on to or let go of. Stop blaming people and chance. Start considering what life might look like when you do. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Start realizing depression isn’t a dirty word, rather the Voldemort of emotions and just doesn’t want you to say its name. Realize the funny thing about depression is that it’s the thing that wills you to not be depressed. That it is its own worst enemy, ironically, and the cure for itself. Start saying its name out loud. Start knowing that’s okay. Start changing everything.

Feel less anxious. Feel tired. Feel happy about it for once. Realize you’ve been tired for a long time and you don’t want to be anymore. Consider a glass of wine and instead have a glass of water. Realize you just reverse-jesus’d fate in a tiny moment and giggle. Feel hope.

Sleep.

Wake up. Sit still. Feel awake.

Go for a run. Realize you aren’t good at running, which seems like saying you’re not good at movement. Realize you aren’t good at movement, which is weird because you’ve been working on that for 37 years now. Laugh anxiously. Run.

Sit down. Feel the loneliness of that still rushing in. Watch your brain panic and want someone to come fix it for you. Slap your brain on the wrist and tell it that it’s no one’s job to. Breathe. Sit still. Begin to realize the hard moments are chances rushing in, that they’re paths in a choose your own adventure book. That you can choose to sit still with them or beg someone to tell them to go away. Sit still with this one. Invite it to a staring contest and feel a childlike joy when it blinks. Think about how staring contests are underrated.

Feel tired. Feel hopeful.

Sleep.

Wake up. Sit still. Feel awake.

Run. Read. Do things the older version of you would make fun of anxiously, like a boy kicking a girl in the shins on a playground because he likes her. Flail through yoga. See a nutritionist and instead of talking about food, talk about your feelings. Cry when she tells you that life is never about what you think it’s about. Cry because everything is now something you didn’t see coming. Smile because everything is now something you didn’t see coming. Fight off sad feelings that will always be there in you and realize that’s okay, that depression and anxiety are just like addictions and they aren’t something you put a band-aid on, but rather something you keep at for the rest of your life and take walks with to check in on.

Realize you miss them. Wish you could re-do things in your life with this version of you, and then realize you can, but maybe it’s just not how you thought you would. Maybe you’re just finally going to be doing instead of wondering what you didn’t do. Realize that’s okay.

Feel tired. Feel hopeful.

Sleep.

Wake up. Sit still. Feel awake.

Realize you can sit still now. Realize you’re becoming who you thought you were. Realize it’s okay to flail through every shin you’ve kicked and wonder what happens next now that you’re you. Flail. Flail with tears in your eyes. Flail with a smile on your face. Breathe.

Feel awake.

Sit still.

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