I am supposed to be sleeping. I said I would go home and go straight to bed as I should. I’d just be lying there faking it though. Eyes popping open every two seconds thinking about various things and how I could be writing.
Work wore me down tonight. I suppose it’s to be expected since I’ve had a long stretch of not-so-bad nights. My patients have been making me feel good about myself, telling me how apparent it is that I love what I do. I hadn’t realized that prior to the past few months, I hadn’t heard anyone say that to me in quite a while. I may be quite good at separating my home life and personal emotions from my professional world, I guess I couldn’t prevent fading into the woodwork as just another employee going through the motions, fading away just as I had at home. That was a strange realization for me. I’m familiar with the practice of “see and be seen” but I never attributed the concept of transferring states of invisibility. If I’ve become a shadow in one plane, I will be equally ghostly in others.
I’ve been suffering for a long time. Long enough that I can feel ashamed for having let it get so out of hand. I am in pain now and nearly every second that passes…. but it’s different now. I can describe it in no other way than as despair with a silver lining.
I’m not eclipsed by the shadow of another, blocking the light and stealing my heat.
I’m not reaching into the dark to find my fingers numbed with frostbite… frozen joints that couldn’t so much as claw at my chest to signal that my heart was dying.
My patients have been intriguing and diverse lately. From the woman who’s decline is evident, proclaiming the importance of the poinsettia on her sill and how I must bring it closer so she could see it as she fell asleep… to the elderly couple- one a patient of mine and his wife sitting by his side in a wheelchair and hospital gown, visiting him from her floor 3 levels above. They joked about how they’d prefer to be ringing in the new year doing “other things” (wink, wink) and I laughed at that because it was sweet but definitely a nauseating mental image. The patients of various levels of insanity and their bizarre affinity for me when they couldn’t stand anyone else. The cold ones who saw a light in me and gave me cards and presents for the holiday because I said or did something small that made a difference. I can actually remember them.
As I become something more than absent from the world around me, the voids in my memory are filling. I may never recall the events transpired during my existential hiatus, but I can begin again. I am done rebuilding on the same foundation over the same burial grounds. That land is now less dirt than grave as I’ve spent far too long tossing the earth over pieces of myself that were deemed unsuitable for presentation. I will dig them up and pack them with everything else and I’ll repair. Maybe I’ll be me again, and perhaps that would be alright.