Gather Up The Splinters, Build a Casket For My Tears.


If there’s one quality I’ve possessed my whole life, it’s optimism to the degree of naivety.

I lose my dream job as a career journalist in the big city and instead of getting sad, I keep writing, with even more fervor than before. I get my heart broken, callous and careless, by a masquerading boy I was convinced was the proverbial man of my dreams and I don’t feel angry or hurt. Instead, I pour all of my heart in to re-winning him over  because if he felt something for me once, maybe he could feel it again. I lose my virginity in a rape, I get an abortion, I spend twelve years languishing in eating disorder hell, in and out of therapists offices.  I lose friends and move around the country and I get mean songs written about me by boys that don’t know how to tell the whole truth of a story and I never feel upset because I know there’s something better. There’s always something better.

Today, however, I realized I was wrong.

I didn’t dream about my dad last night, for the first time since he died. Instead, I dreamt about a boy that I’ve resolved to never talk to again. I dreamt I yelled at him, told him every sick, sad, unstable thought that’s plagued my mind for the past month and I dreamt that I told him truths I’ve been hiding from everyone: That the reappearance of my OCD is more troubling than I let on, that the real reason for my drastic drop in weight and puffy face is not from depression but rather because I’ve relapsed back into bulimia. I dreamt that I cried and he held me and he told me that he wanted to make things better. I told him that he could, he could make everything so much infinitely easier for me and he wouldn’t and I didn’t understand why. And I dreamt that he was sorry and that he still cared.

Then, of course, I woke up to the knowledge that I was just as alone as I’ve been, if not more so.

And that’s when I realized that I’ve changed. The day my dad died, that naieve optimism inside of me that has made me so passionate for so many years is gone and I can’t tell if it’s a candle that’s been snuffed out but can one day be relit or if it’s burned it’s wick away I’m now fated to live with my sadness. Things will not get better for a very long time, if they ever do, and I know that. There are some events in peoples lives that change them irreparably. And my dad’s death, I think, was one of those events for me.

It’s been one month as of yesterday. Everyone tells me I won’t start to feel even a little better for at least another eleven. The fact that, for the first time in my life, I can’t fix things in a matter I deem timely is most troubling for me and the loneliness I feel at all turns is crushing. I sit in front of my computer and I want to write great American novels but all I can do is stare at rough drafts and outlines.  I go out and sit in the corner, disassociated from the party as all of my friends have a good time and I tell myself “This is not my life.”

The truth, however, is that this is my life.

And today, I accepted that.


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