There are moments when the soul crushing depression hits and I’m crippled. My own voice betrays me that, if I even try to cry, it’ll crack. I hold a sob. In the stacks, I’m scanning the books. I’m putting them in order. I try to regain my balance, because it’s been too long since I’ve managed this on my own. Veronica once told me that I found my balance in the person I love. And it’s true. Back then, when I took a stumble for the worse, Jeanna was always there to keep me from falling. Now that’s all gone and I’m back to doing it by putting things in order. By fingering a coin. By counting the ceiling tiles. The steps I take in a day. By staring at white walls and hoping that I can center myself.

Today, at work, I did my best to regain my stride. The problem is, the more I tried to center myself. The more that I tried to keep the monster out. The more I did to hinder the disease. The more I sank deeper. Like struggling in quick sand. And what do you say to people without revealing your secret? That there’s a voice living in your head whispering negativities? How do you say it with a straight face?

Circumstances have changed. This demon will not be ignored.