Do you remember folding your notes into tidy, small squares in high school so that nobody would read them? This is kinda like that, except this note isn’t to be shared with anybody else. You take everything that bothers and hurts you and turns your world to gray – your debilitating insecurities; the humiliation from your friends at being broke; the snarl-lipped, daily reminder that you are a “good-for-nothing;” your addiction to alcohol and drugs and food and everything that hurts you; the rejection of the person you’d love forever if they let you – and you scribble them onto a secret little note and stick it into a back pocket. And there it snuggly stays for a whole day or even a year until it tumbles out as you undress. You open it and everything spills out like a mudslide and you silently cry fiery tears and pound at your pillow cause what else are you going to take it out on? There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, they promise, but it’s been a long time of folding and unfolding notes, adding and deleting bullet points and you ain’t found shit but darkness. Your tears finally calm into hiccups and you are strong enough to force all the pain back into its neat little, convenient shape. You fold the note once, twice, into an L shape, across, down, and tuck in the loose ends until you can breathe again. After a while, the note has been folded so many times its lines are worn and it practically collapses into itself.
You better hold onto that note. It’s the overwhelming pressure placed on that lined, construction, or recycled piece of paper which allows you to attend the parties, celebrate the holidays, take care of the kids, get a paycheck, laugh at bad jokes, flirt with some schmuck at the bar, and wear your snazziest outfits, whatever it is you need to do. It helps you act like you aren’t putting on a brave face above the waterline as your legs and arms flail and fight against a whirlpool underneath. Like you aren’t drowning from the inside out.