I keep telling myself this is just grief manifesting itself…that it will resolve with time, and maybe it will. On days like today, though, I fear there is something more hidden beneath this grief. Something darker, something threatening. Days like today my mind cannot comprehend simple instructions, instead I feel thrown into a full-blown trauma response. I find myself in tears just trying to complete the simple tasks of being an adult.

The kids are fighting in the background, they need me. The house is a wreck again, it needs me. We need groceries, there are bills to be paid. I have to figure out how to transfer all of these accounts. State exams are nearly here, but I can’t comprehend these instructions for filling out the requisite paperwork. I am highly educated I tell myself, I should be able to navigate all of these situations. I am vaguely aware of a persistent voice telling me this is a normal response to what has happened in this last year. A small part of my brain cries out to be heard: you will be ok. If you can set these tasks aside, take a shower, and nourish your body…you will recover. 

I can hear this inside of me, but I can’t grasp it; I can’t connect to it. I am having a hard time even connecting the sensation of hunger to the need for food. I can’t leave my bed, there are at least 87 pages open in my brain, I’m definitely swirling. My screen betrays what is happening in my mind: 18 tabs, 4 screenshots, 3 documents, various emails, and at least one document search currently lay open on my laptop. Even still, I will complete everything I need to today, except mother my kids, or feed my body. I’ll rarely leave my bed.

This is functional depression. Oh. To force accomplishment, to finish the day with an outside air of perfection. To feel lost and a little alone. If you stopped by today, I could whip up a smile, I could distract you with a little humor. You would likely leave me feeling refreshed. I, however, would wish I wasn’t so good at deception.

I am mad at this wasted day. Mad that I didn’t take that walk with my son. Mad that my kids watched too much tv and mad that the only time they heard from me was when I was shouting at them to get their chores done. Mad that I still expect perfection from myself on a day I needed just to be.

The sun has now set and I am sitting here in the dark of my room, my favorite space. I can smell the warm fresh scent of jasmine coming through the window, I try to let it tell me the story of renewal. I apologize to my kids, they are so accepting. Tomorrow, please God, tomorrow let me be free.

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