True, it hasn't been the down on your face, lying on the bathroom floor with the door locked, wracked with grief, sobbing until there is nothing left but that eerie deadness inside, kind of crying since I've been here. (The day after that I found out I had lost the first baby and I still have to work on convincing myself that that amount of grief did not kill my baby.)
I don't think I am strong enough to go through anything like that again.
But I think people should know that it hasn't always been this easy.
"I ran away again last night," she tells me.
And I recall my desperate flight south from Altdorf. South because north was Stuttgart and traffic. South because you could just get going as fast as you wanted to without anything standing in your way. A freedom in the swiftness of escape, in the fields of rape seed flying past at 120 kms an hour.
A flight south to Switzerland, stopped only by the reality that I hadn't thought to bring either of my two passports and that I wasn't in any fit state - red-eyed, snot-nosed, vacant stare of desperation - to meet either Swiss border guards or German ones on the way back.
Hmm. Even in the worst of it, there was always thought of a way back.
"At my worst I huddle in a corner, and I can't explain it...there is like this barrier between me and the world."
Uh yeah. The hairs on my arms stand up as I recall THE NOTHING, the fog that creeps in around you, the heaviness of submersion in it, as if it is a real viscous liquid, making movement difficult, the days that you can barely move your limbs, that just getting the frozen pizza out of the oven and heated for the kids is a chore.
The days, weeks, months when the fog got inside my brain and erased the person I am.
Ryan and Andrew recall me huddled in a corner in the kitchen. I didn't know they knew.
It's what keeps me terrified to sleep when I am tired. What if it's not exhaustion, but the beginning of the fog?
"It's all right. It's all right." I tell her.
Most of my closest friends share some of this pain. Maybe it's what draws us to eachother, before we even know. Most of my closest friends are also the most creative, interesting, inspiring and loving people I know. (Interestingly enough the rest of my closest friends - and yes, I mean you Babette - are these totally centred, balanced oases of calm, who seem to be drawn to my whirls of erratic energy, creative in their own rights, but stabilizing as well as inspiring.)
"Everything strong comes from something broken," a friend has written.
"Trust your journey," another friend sings.
Dear friend in my arms, trust that you can do it.
I have to believe it, because I have to believe that I already have.