I form friendships on the rare occurrences in which I feel like a real person. The planets, my hormones, my scoliotic spine and the chemicals in my brain must align just right. And for a few precious hours I somehow feel able to connect. I wonder to myself why this is usually such a chore for me, this connection. I feel like a born natural.

There is a brief period of carefree fun. Like summertime, only before you had to get a job. A sort of honeymoon phase. But I'm walking on egg shells the entire time, wondering if you really want to be here. If you're actually enjoying yourself. If there's someone else you might be having more fun with. Then answering, Yes, of course there is. Who isn't more fun than me

And it all starts to unravel from there, this temporary state of lucidity.

Slowly, gradually, I sink back into my default state of paralysis, of self-doubt, of shutting down. Because I know it's only a matter of time, that eventually, you'll see it - This failure to connect. This irregularity beneath the surface that's sure to flare up again any moment now, like an undesirable skin condition.  I begin piecing back together my defensive armor, throwing out my well-worn disclaimers like weapons, "You don't understand. That time you met me? That was a fluke, an anomaly compared to the rest of my existence. I'm not really enjoyable to be around. I don't actually like doing things. All I can safely guarantee is my absence and my silence and you wondering what happened to that girl you shared some laughs with until, eventually, you stop wondering altogether. And maybe I'll be sad. But I'll tell myself it's for the better because then we'll both be off the hook. No obligation. Trust me. It's better this way. Trust me. I should know." 

And you're going to think it's because I don't care, or because I'm mad about something, or disapprove of you somehow. What else could you possibly think? I've given you nothing else to work with. I can assure you that this isn't the case, that there is an alternative answer for my erratic behavior, but I can't explain it. 

How could I ever explain to you that there is this other version of myself who I find disturbing and relentless? I can't explain why she considers going out to dinner on a busy weekend her own personal nightmare. I couldn't tell you why theme parks fill her with dread or why she'd rather shave her head than take a spontaneous road trip to Vegas. 

I can't account for her lack of motivation at work, for her inability to pay attention in meetings. I could not begin to tell you why she sees her bed as a cocoon from which she can never remove herself in order to do anything productive or of worth. I cannot explain her inability to come up with a response to the numerous unanswered messages in her inbox. I don't know why sometimes the thought of answering a phone positively inundates her will to live. I couldn't tell you why she acts so unusual when you're just trying to make conversation. I can't explain why she so often forgets appointments. I don't know why she is unable to shut up the self-debilitating monologue in her head, "You aren't capable. You can't do a single thing." 

And I don't know why I can't outrun her. But, honestly, none of this would bother me if I only knew where I end and she begins. 

All I can say is she is me, the majority of the time. And that I'm sorry she hasn't been better to you.


  1. This is so much on the dot of something I've been mulling over. This other part of you, it is the darker more critical part, she has a purpose but don't let her get overwhelmed with negativity. Forgive her, and besides, the person/people who love you will love you unconditionally.

  2. I see so much of me in you. Or in her. Every time I read you. I'm also sorry.

  3. Um I think you're fun even when you're not. And I hope you understand what I mean by that. Of course you do. Because we are us. But I've always liked doing things with you or not doing things. Or just knowing that you were there. So, there's that.

    1. Of course I do :) you understand me and I understand you in a way that gives me no doubt you were sent to me by heaven!

  4. There was a period in my life where I was just as paralyzed by the very thing you've described. I managed to get through it but it was years of hard work and honestly some of the same habits linger

  5. i want to send this to all the people in my life so that they will understand it better when i don't call them for weeks after a nice afternoon. or why i always cancel dinner dates on saturdays. thank you for all of your posts and your honesty and for writing just the words i'm looking for.

  6. This is beautifully written, and so honest. I have that side of me, too, and I think it definitely starts in the mind, with negative thinking. I realized recently that I have formed a pattern of negative self-talk, and once I began believing those lies about myself, it altered my actions. It's a hard pattern to break free of! Psalm 107:14 comes to mind. This is definitely something I pray about and am trying to work towards as well!


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