the diary

8

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter Seventeen: The Heir of Slytherin


Harry seized the basilisk fang on the floor next to him and plunged it straight into the heart of the book.

There was a long, dreadful, piercing scream. Ink spurted out of the diary in torrents, streaming over Harry’s hands, flooding the floor. Riddle was writhing and twisting, screaming and flailing and then —

He had gone. Harry’s wand fell to the floor with a clatter and there was silence. Silence except for the steady drip drip of ink still oozing from the diary. The basilisk venom had burned a sizzling hole right through it.

man, definitely one of the weirdest things about long-term mental illness is knowing that you are allotted between one (1) and three (3) emotions per week and you gotta make a lot of decisions on whether or not to spend them and what to spend them on and also you don’t always know in advance if this is going to be a one emotion allotment week or a three emotion allotment week so it’s really hard to plan and prioritise accordingly 

also you don’t always get to pick what you spend it on sometimes it just FALLS OUT UNEXPECTEDLY and you really hope the thing you spent your Real Genuine Emotion on was worth it and you won’t regret it in two days when something Important happens and you don’t have the ability to Feel it

also, do you spend your Allotted Emotion on a positive thing? feel the rush of Actual Brief Joy or Genuine Contentment? or is it more important to spend it on The Ability To Actually Feel Grief Or Sorrow Or Compassion, which isn’t positive, but is healthy and important and often feels like progress (and also when something important happens and you don’t feel the genuine unmuffled grief or anger that you know is down there that a healthy brain would experience you feel really weird about it and it leads to Problems and sometimes bizarre stunted emotional issues and accidentally being an asshole) 

WHAT IF YOU PICK THE WRONG TIME TO SPEND YOUR EMOTION TOKEN

and what if this time you don’t get a new one afterwards – you’re always waiting for that to happen. you know? you don’t have a contract, at any time Emotional Allotment Tokens could just stop being delivered, because once upon a time, even though it’s hard to remember that time and what it felt like, you had Unlimited Emotion Tokens and you could spend them??? whenever you wanted????? on anything???????? you could spend two at once on one thing if you wanted to. which just seems absurd and naive and wasteful now and also unimaginable luxury. and then suddenly you stopped having as many, and nobody told you that was going to happen or why, so it could happen again, which makes spending a token on the wrong feeling even more fraught, because even though you’ve always gotten a refill eventually, this could finally be the time you never do again, and that was your last ever real emotion, and then you’ll really regret this choice

8

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter Thirteen: The Very Secret Diary

Harry and Ron looked under the sink where Myrtle was pointing. A small, thin book lay there. It had a shabby black cover and was as wet as everything else in the bathroom. Harry stepped forward to pick it up, but Ron suddenly flung out an arm to hold him back. 

“What?” said Harry. 

“Are you crazy?” said Ron. 

“It could be dangerous.” “Dangerous?” said Harry, laughing. 

“Come off it, how could it be dangerous?” 

“You’d be surprised,” said Ron.

and if you change the rules a little some of the memories that most jut out of the file as Good are, if not in cars, on buses and planes and trains and teaching myself to drive a moped on Kentucky back roads

only: it gets strange here, because there are memories I think of as Good and Vital and ones I’d choose to get back inside of if I could, but they are not Happy

the train journey I took from New York to Kentucky was not an experience in which I was happy. I started it off by sobbing for two full hours. 

but I was fully and absolutely and incontestably fucking alive the whole way.

and I think, whether or not I ought to, I value and crave that more.