woman holding mirror

Confronting Every Version Of Myself

Denial sits in the chair in the corner and stares at her phone, waiting for his name to pop up on the screen. Waiting for a text message or a call, anything at all to validate his continued existence. “He isn’t a ghost. He can’t be! He was real,” she insists desperately. “What we shared was real, just look at all of the pretty things he gave me!” She pulls at the tiny crystal heart on the chain around her neck, leaning forward to show me. I hand her my phone charger and tell her I hope she hears from him soon.

Anger sits on the kitchen floor, frantically scribbling in her notebook. When I ask her what she’s writing, she says “I don’t know yet, but when it’s done, I’m going to publish it and fling it on his momma’s porch so she’ll know what a piece of shit her son turned out to be!” I notice her hands are shaking. I ask her if she’s hungry. “No!” She snaps the lead of her pencil against the notebook’s page resting on her knees and begins to cry. “Nothing tastes right, I already tried. I can’t eat anything!” I sit beside her in silence, and sharpen the broken pencils at her feet.

Bargaining has swollen eyes and bruises on her knees from begging the Universe for a sign that he still thinks of her. She won’t stop crying. I try to convince her to go to bed—maybe that way, she’ll at least see him in her dreams. She just shakes her head. “No, I already tried that. I can’t sleep.”

Depression hasn’t left the couch in weeks, refusing to get up except for absolute necessities. She is rewatching Supernatural on Netflix for the hundredth time. I try to tell her that the Winchesters can’t fight her demons for her, and she is eventually going to have to do the work herself. She rolls her eyes at me and opens another pint of ice cream. “It’s called self-quarantine,” she slurrs between spoonfuls, “now get the fuck away from me.”

That’s when I notice Acceptance standing with one foot out the front door, beckoning me. “I can’t just leave them, they need me,” I say, as she opens the door wider for me to pass through. She just smiles and says, “But you don’t need them. There is so much beauty out here just waiting for you!” She notices my embarrassment and reluctance to step through and sighs. “Just because you got comfortable here doesn’t mean it was ever meant to be your home.” I shrug and stare at my feet. “You’ve outgrown this place,” she insists. “You don’t have to live here anymore.” She stares at me, patiently waiting. I look back over my shoulder one last time before stepping over the threshold and onto the porch. She stands in the doorway with tears in her eyes. “Go,” she whispers before blowing me a kiss and locking the door.

I’m amazed at how easy it is to walk away. I don’t know why I felt like I couldn’t do it before.

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I'm trying.

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