The one who never loses her appetite has lost her appetite.
I only feel nauseous when I think about him, but I think about him all the time. It’s been a month. I’m still wearing his t-shirt, the one I was wearing when he said it and I left in a hurry.
It’s pretty dirty by now.
On the other side of the barred windows the trees are green and bathed in light. I am allowed outside for one hour a day. As far as being locked up for mental health issues goes, I have it pretty good. It’s not that severe. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. It works when the other people in there tell me about their problems. It doesn’t work when I’m lying in my bed at night trying to cry silently so as to not wake up the other three in the room.
When people ask, I try to explain that it wasn’t just him leaving me, it was the fact that I don’t have a place in society and how can I survive when there are no jobs I can do? But even as I say it I hear it doesn’t sound believable. But it was months of thoughts about death before he tipped me over the edge. I laughed when he said he was afraid I’d kill myself. He had no idea.
A friend tells me I’ve lost some weight. I didn’t need to know that. My body is not like I knew it. I constantly feel like my heart is convulsing, trying to reject every feeling I have ever felt, tipping them into my stomach and making it impossible to eat.
Most of my days I spend in the common room. I read one book per day. The sun doesn’t make me feel guilty because I can’t just go outside. It’s a relief. I’m doing the best that I can. Someone else can enjoy the summer. I’m just trying to survive.
My favourite place is the corner of the blue couch. That’s where I read. And that’s where I’m sitting watching tv when the book has ended. That’s where I’m sitting when I take the first step toward feeling better.
It’s Beyoncé. Public television is showing a Beyoncé concert, and I’m watching noncommittally. At first. It’s fun, she’s going through her history, singing snippets of Destiny’s Child songs, and she’s a great performer.
Then it happens. “Sing it like your ex is standing right in front of you,” she says. And she sings: “it sucks to be you right now”.
It sucks to be you right now.
The words drill themselves into me and I can feel my heart stilling. That’s it. I know I’m going to get through. I’m going to feel better, I’m going to have my appetite back, I’m going to survive. That’s all there is.
I’m going to survive. That’s all there is.