that essential reminder

I have to remember to slow down;
I have to remember to step back;
I have to remember to listen;
I have to remember to read bedtime stories;
I have to remember to read fiction novels;
I have to remember to draw elephants;
I have to remember to be patient;
I have to remember that I can’t solve the world’s problems.

I will respect my days off and the days off that others need.
I will not chase tragedies.
I will dance and dance and dance every single day.

My work sometimes feels like a drug, and it’s hard to walk away. It is my escape and my healing. Sometimes I want to change my name and start over, but I’ve done that enough times to know that I’ll always find myself back in the same position — in crisis, someone else’s crisis most likely, and feeling so invested that I can’t walk away.

I have forgiven you, and sometimes I’m so angry at myself for it, because I worry about the ways I jeopardize the health and safety and happiness of my family because I fail to see us as separate from our community. You need that separation, you need boundaries.

I teach people about boundaries, but I fail to set them for myself. In some ways.

“You built a wall so high not even you can climb it,” she said, and I know she’s right. And how desperately I’d love to climb up and over and into someone’s arms in a way that makes me feel vulnerable and happy. Instead, I jeopardize my relationships.

I am happiest when I’m alone, and I always fail to be alone because I am afraid. And also I want to be alone because I’m afraid. So instead I cycle back and forth.

Sometimes I behave in a way that makes it seem like I don’t believe anything in the world is real. Like I don’t believe it’ll exist tomorrow, like I don’t think it’s really happening. I convince myself sometimes that I am untouchable, that I can do anything, that all of it matters, that none of it matters.

I want to be healthy, and I will work toward it by taking breaks.


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