therapy maybe

6

It’s just you, the room, and the devil on your shoulder

Okay but can we just imagine how different JD might’ve been if his mom never died. Whether his dad died instead or they both lived, JD would be so different. He’d have better coping skills, maybe his mom took him to therapy. Maybe instead of letting his violent, hateful thoughts consume him, he wrote it down. Or drew it. Maybe he became an artist of some kind. Maybe he moves to a new high school, meets a girl named Veronica, and he desperately tries to act cool. She seems to buy it. He doesn’t like the Heathers, in fact he hates them, but he and Veronica never hurt anyone. They get angry. At society, at the world. They start to organize protests against injustice. Imagine a JD filled with anger and a need for justice but now he knows how to channel that anger into something good.
Imagine a JD who got the help he needed and became a better person because of it

The Ricks of s3e6

I took Rick notes. Morty notes can be found here.

Toxic Rick 

  • 1st thing after gaining consciousness, he cries out for Morty and hurries to his rescue
  • Assumes the worst of the spa hand, blaming him for retaliation
  • Sense of ownership over Morty
  • Nothing is worth his time due to his overwhelming genius
  • He really does seem overwhelmed by it.. Imprisoned by it?
  • Rages as he does science, intense and urgent need for immediate and absolute control
  • Morty is weak and so inferior that he is undeserving of attachment
  • Equates genius to godhood, genius is everything
  • Immortality and God-complex, “If God exists, it’s fucking ME!” Might actually be undercut by a cry for help—this is his fate.
  • Conflicted by his godhood, and the pointlessness of it—he has nothing to prove to anyone, everyone is beneath him.
  • And that seems to trigger his realization of his Toxicity..
  • Seeks validation from Morty regardless, “Think anyone but me could do that?!”
  • Vengeful
  • Believes he’s the part of “Pussy Rick” that “keeps it real”—Real being pessimism, cruelty, suffering
  • Constantly indignant.
  • Calls Healthy Morty a “sociopath”, implying Rick is aware of Morty’s darker potential.. And maybe wishes he weren’t, since it’s with Toxic.
  • “Remember us?!” Us. Not “me”.
  • Denial of reliance on Morty, a reliance which sounds almost like a (psychotic?) dependency.
  • Affirms to Healthy Rick he must assume dominance over Healthy Morty. He sounded especially earnest, and anything but dismissive over its importance.
  • “Don’t negotiate”, anger and indignance but subtext might be worry and necessity for the ‘proper’ dynamic
  • Eyes adjusting, or so caught up in rage he misses what’s obviously going to be in front of him?
  • Demands Morty’s excitement, and includes him, “We did it”
  • “Fuck you Summer!”
  • Described by Healthy Rick as “literally unable to see the bigger picture”, implying he is myopic and self-obsessed
  • Incapable of humor. Too much suffering and self-obsession.
  • “Bottled up inside a sentimental jackass” Rick hates his own sentimentality to no one’s surprise
  • Coo’s to grow a monster into a loyal fighting dog with gibberish love, both manipulative, controlling, and possibly earnest
  • Straight into a violent brawl, immediately fighting dirty. No honor!
  • “I lie about everything!”
  • Fear of confinement, of being stifled or silenced. He values his freedom and autonomy above anything, and no one else’s.
  • Simply vacates once Beth shows up, not a word to her or about her
  • Can’t achieve vengeance, so he damns the world to his own hell
  • “You’re not impressing anyone!” Because impressing people is what HE wants to do, and he IS impressed by Healthy Rick’s callous cruelty
  • Requires constant validation, despite that impossibility when all of existence is beneath him
  • Rage as a plaintive call into the Absurd
  • “Grandpa’s here.”

Summary: Despite everything, he is paradoxically insecure and suffering his intense narcissism. He is wracked with oppressive psychological pain and tortures himself with his loneliness. Godhood is inescapable, a burden he cannot make peace with. He never seems pleased by his power, only harnessing it because there is no other way of being. His fate is eternal isolation, no matter how much he screams or how hard he thrashes.. or how much his familial bonds matter to him.

“Healthy” Rick

  • 1st thing he does is apologize to the spa hand, insisting on his wrongdoing even as the apology is accepted. It isn’t just politeness, he seems to feel real guilt.
  • Smiles at the infinite possibilities of the universe, and relinquishes his sense of control or understanding of it (Relinquishing self to Camus’ Absurd?)
  • His genius naturally wants to expand on Morty’s “interesting” music idea, before realizing he’d gotten caught up in trying to calculate happiness. Some things are out of his reach and not his place, and that’s okay.
  • Pride in Morty, and his familial connection to him
  • Blows off his genius and potential in favor of simplicity
  • Respectful of others’ autonomy and needs, “A moment of your time?”
  • Apologizes several times throughout
  • Personal responsibility
  • Feels concern, and openly comes to Healthy Morty about it
  • Shares the entirety of the problem, as well as his feelings on it
  • Nervous, uncertain when Morty blows off the phone call, and hesitates before continuing
  • Wants to work with Morty at an even level, seeing him as an equal?
  • Wouldn’t have detoxed, but knows he still would have if he had known pre-detox. Familiar with himself and his demons.
  • Not seeing the disturbing voicemails as the problem to stop, but rather the pain of the Toxics.
  • “We yanked them from their home.”
  • Trusting to a fault, even trusting his own inner demons not to lie
  • Seems okay with the concepts of finality and things being finite
  • Seems to smile as he works, implying a sense of ownership over his capability
  • Even smiles at his toxins. Does this Rick actually love himself? Empathy for others’ suffering? Seems pleased with himself for finding and facilitating an amicable solution.
  • Indecisive, insecure with his own judgement without Morty’s assurance. At first. Sense of adult responsibility bringing him to make the choice anyway?
  • Can’t disregard the “will to live” in the Toxics. Respect for and values life in all expressions
  • Has his sense of humor, though it is still capable of being destructive
  • “I’m accountable to my own toxins, right?” Strong sense of responsibility for his whole self and his behavior. Uncertainty, and a desire for moral integrity. Seeking validation and reassurance, expressing weakness in the form of uncertainty and insecurity.
  • Also responsible for their resolution, their happiness, homing them. Owning them as part of himself.
  • Startled by Morty’s outburst of breaking the phone– by the suddenness, finality, and violence of it.
  • Realizes Healthy Morty won’t be of help, confused and disappointed by it. Something else he failed to expect.
  • Doesn’t anticipate the actions or motivations of others, making only the best assumptions. Belief in inherent good?
  • Ready to fight only after being struck, and even then, he takes slow initiative
  • “We can resolve our issues without resorting to—“ This Rick believes in resolution and recovery! Maybe therapy too..
  • Tolerant to the point of absolute pacifism, even in the face of a world-scale threat that he should still be responsible for.
  • Honorable in his treatment of others, even attempting to fight his Toxic as a last resort and in a fair boxing fashion
  • Didn’t seem to predict that the Toxic would fight dirty, even as its obvious. Does his intelligence take such a backseat to his honor?
  • Capable and fully willing to self-sacrifice for what’s right(re-toxifying)
  • “Sorry Summer!” “Summer get out of here!”
  • “Leave her out of this!” Protecting Beth from his own personal struggle, and the danger it wroughts
  • “I’m so sorry, girls.” Accepts and embraces his role as caring patriarch
  • Appreciative of Healthy Morty’s drive to stop the Toxics, but explains in a fatherly way that it “isn’t their place” and the Toxics have “a right to their worldview”
  • States that Toxic Rick’s motivations “are a mystery”. Might be a vague answer to avoid explaining more than he sees is necessary. If so, doesn’t want his Toxic to trouble his family.
  • Describes Toxic Rick as his “entitlement, narcissism, crippling loneliness” and his “irrational attachments”
  • Too healthy to lie, and too uncaring to have a personal stake in Toxic Morty
  • Possesses Rick’s capacity for ruthlessness
  • “You’ve never done anything but complain about me being in charge” Healthy Rick holds dominance in Rick’s psyche
  • Sees merging with the Toxics as healthy. Becoming a complete and healthy person requires embracing one’s demons
  • Empathy for others, including himself
  • Forces his Toxic’s surrender by exploiting his love for his grandson. Ouch.

Summary: Doesn’t let his own shortcomings be a problem for himself or anyone else, apologizing when they do. He is never controlled by fear, unlike the Toxic, and finds peace in being passive when it comes to the grandiosity of the universe. Feels openly, unguarded. Believes in personal growth, being honorable, and talking things out. A strong sense of personal responsibility, especially in regards to his place as patriarch of the family. Either possesses a sense of empathy for the plights of others (and himself), or feels such responsibility that he will do what is “right” regardless.. and by any means necessary, as long as it doesn’t conflict with his own ethics. At times, he is contradictory, perhaps telling of his indifference.

elegy in two

(post-4x20 pseudo-speculative.)

i. ophelia.

‘don’t, please don’t touch me,’ he says, flinching back, sparking hurt in her eyes. she shows off her new skin and thinks he’ll find her beautiful. she can’t understand that she has burned a lifetime of memories he doesn’t want against the backs of his eyes. she stands in front of the mirror and sees an angel; he cowers from the devil.

‘please let me go,’ he says, because he knows and she knows this room is not his prison. because the ghost of a hand on his is enough to choke him. if she lets him go it’s because she knows he’ll never escape.

‘everything is so new and i am infinite,’ she tells him. she learns with lust, relishes the taste of even minor annoyances on her tongue. he sits in her shadow and wonders what it must feel like to start over. he imagines his brain unfurled like parchment: what would he erase first? he prays for a magical place.

she can’t reprogram his revulsion, the way her presence makes him retch. she can no longer draw promises from his lips. she doesn’t understand.

‘someday you will understand,’ he says.
‘but i understand the universe now. what else is there to know?’
she doesn’t understand why he craves the knife more than her caress.

to be human is to break and this is what breaks her: when his only action is to lead the team to her door, when he allows another woman to lead him out, when he does not once look back.

ii. jemma.

‘don’t, please don’t touch me,’ he says. she is still perfect but he has lost the right to the intimacy of her hand in his. her body is a warzone and he reads on her skin a mapping of his sins. here, he thinks, is where i betrayed you. here is where i will never forgive myself.

‘please let me go,’ he says, because this room cannot hold the weight of his grief, and she never agreed to share a bed with his demons. she does not touch him but remains tethered to his side, a string connecting their hearts, pulled as taut as it will go.

‘what i feel for you is so old and infinite,’ she whispers, ‘like we’ve been wrapped up in each other for so many lifetimes we don’t know where we begin.’ she is luminescent; he watches from the shadows and wonders what it must feel like to have only the burden of a single history. now he will always have lived a lifetime without her.

he begs her not to try; someday she will understand.
‘what will i understand?’
that her touch burns through him like consecrated water. that he’d never known rebirthing could be so painful. that he will pass through a thousand karmic cycles and never deserve the tenderness in her eyes. 

she stands on the shore as waves crash against his body. he wants the feeling of saltwater filling his lungs, but she lifts him back up every time. he can’t let her keep rescuing him; soon they will both be too exhausted to fight.

‘we promised we’d get through anything together.’

‘yes,’ he says, ‘but not this.’ these are not in the wedding vows i planned, he thinks. you’re meant to be so much happier.

‘yes,’ she says. ‘this.’

to be human is to break. to break and to break and to try again. he hands her his heart, because she has always kept it safe. because he has lived without it before.

he says: ‘take it, jemma’ and so she does.

daddyofive and that stepmom are so obviously abusers omg i’m not that big on philip defranco sometimes his videos are good and sometimes they’re shit but those parents are doing the classic playing the victim/shifting that blame to other people. with my mother i was always to blame for why she beat me. people who tired intervene or help us had some secret malicious agenda to tear her down/our family apart. the same thing is happening with daddyofive blaming defranco.

Idk it bothers me how maybe the “overreactions” of a /few/ not even the majority in my opinion has brought out the response that you can’t feel/are not allowed to feel bad/have negative feelings at all about this, like you can still feel disappointed on one small aspect of something, that doesn’t mean you’re dragging the rest of the group or putting down their efforts or saying the comeback is bad as a whole! You’re allowed to feel however you want as long as you’re respectful towards other people and the other members, which I feel like most people have been!

Anonymous asked: (jock!dean & nerd!cas) Cas sending Dean one of those school anon flower valentines day things with a little personalized note (cough cough mean girls) but thinking he’s not going to notice his specially. Little does he know Dean sent one to him as well.

Castiel was staring at the bulletin board, his mouth dry and his heart hammering against his rib cage as he read the new announcement.

Valentine’s Day 2016 at Lawrence High

Anonymously send a rose with personal note to the one you desire, our cupid will deliver the message on Friday February 12th.’

There was more information about how and where to leave your message, but Castiel knew that he had to talk himself out of this horrible idea before he gave in. Because he was this close to actually doing it. This close to acting on his feelings, to throw caution to the wind. This close to finally doing something about his crush on the most popular guy in school.

“Hey, Cas!” A cheerful voice called his name from not too far away, and suddenly an arm was casually draped around his shoulder. “I can already tell what you’re thinking, and I think that you should go for it.”

Charlie Bradbury, Castiel’s best friend, was wiggling her eyebrows at him, nodding at the school’s special Valentine’s offer.

Castiel sighed, shaking his head. “It’s pointless, we both know that.”

“Oh come on, you won’t know for sure if you don’t try!” Charlie countered immediately, one of her hands ruffling Castiel’s hair. “And honestly, if I have to watch you pine after Dean Winchester for another year, I will end up needing therapy.”

“It is not funny.” Castiel grumbled, giving his friend a sideways glare.

“You’re right, it’s not.” Charlie agreed. “Therapy costs a fortune.

“Charlie!” Castiel warned, lightly smacking his friend’s arm as he continued to glower at her.

Charlie surrendered, holding up her hands, calling a truce.

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry! I’m just saying, as a friend, that this is your chance, Cas. And it’s anonymous, so what do you have to lose, really?”

Castiel sighed, staring at the bulletin board again as he pondered that question.

“My sanity?” He offered after some time had passed.

Charlie shrugged. “Even better. If it doesn’t work out you can join me in therapy, maybe we’ll get a group discount.”

When Castiel reached out to reprimand her with another gentle slap to the arm, she moved out of the way before he could strike.

“Look, all I’m saying is, think about it. And before you start the whole he’s-popular-and-I’m-not argument again… It shouldn’t matter, as far as I know, Dean’s nice to everyone.” Charlie said, more serious now. “I gotta get to class, but I’ll see you at lunch, alright?”

Castiel muttered a goodbye in return when Charlie turned around and took off, feeling anxious as he considered the idea once more. The wise thing would be to forget about it altogether…

~

One week later, Castiel was deeply regretting the decision he’d made.

February 12th. He froze in his seat the second the door to the classroom opened in the middle of Math class. In walked Garth Fitzgerald, the janitor. Some students said that Garth wasn’t right in the noodle. When looking at him now, dressed in nothing but a giant white diaper with a pair of fake wings and a bow and arrow to match, Castiel suspected that they were right.

“I come bearing gifts.” Garth declared in a dramatic tone, holding up his right hand, the one that held at least fifteen red roses.

To make matters worse, of course it had to happen during the only class that Castiel shared with Dean. This was a scene taken directly from one of Castiel’s worst nightmares.

Garth was handing out roses here and there, and Castiel bit his lip, sinking lower in his chair, mortified. Jo Harvelle got one, and so did Victor Henriksen. Meg Masters got two, and Meg’s friend Ruby had scored three.

“Dean Winchester, six for you, the school record.” Garth whistled as he dumped the roses on Dean’s desk with an elegant hand gesture.

Dean frowned, green eyes narrowing. He looked sincerely surprised.

Castiel breathed out for the first time in what felt like ages, feeling a little defeated. Dean got six, of course. It wasn’t the first time that Castiel was reminded of just how doomed his infatuation with the guy truly was. He made up his mind there and then; he was never going to confess that one of those roses was his doing. Dean would never know that one of the messages came from Castiel, and everything would go back to normal.

“Castiel Novak, one for you.”

Castiel flinched when Garth’s voice was practically singing his name. Next thing he knew, a rose was placed on his desk. Almost all of Castiel’s classmates were staring at him, shock painted on their faces. Dean wasn’t one of them though, he was stiffly staring down at the roses on his own desk.

Garth had already moved on to another victim, and Castiel blinked at his rose, dumbstruck. There had to be some kind of misunderstanding. No one ever even paid attention to shy Castiel Novak with the dorky glasses.

Curious nonetheless, Castiel discreetly checked the card.

‘You’re awesome, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. PS: I think I could drown in your eyes, and I wouldn’t even mind if did.’

Castiel tried to hide a laugh. This had ‘Charlie’ written all over it. This was a typical case of Castiel’s best friend trying to make him feel better. He could appreciate the joke, and he was kind of thankful that she’d taken the time to make him feel like less of an outcast.

He decided to go find her as soon as class ended, so that he could thank her.

~

Charlie was at the library, using one of the school computers. Castiel grinned as he hugged her from behind, surprising her.

“Whoa, Cas. What was that for? You never hug unless it’s a matter of life or death.” Charlie accused as she turned her head, dragging her eyes away from the screen. “The last time you hugged me was back in kindergarten when my cat died.”

Castiel rolled his eyes. So perhaps she was right, but that was not the point.

“Very funny… I just wanted to thank you for getting me a rose, that was nice of you. The part about drowning in my eyes was impressive, especially considering that you’re not even into males.”

Charlie’s hands slid away from the keyboard, and she turned in her chair to stare up at Castiel, appearing to be completely clueless.

“Rose?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. “That sure as hell wasn’t me… I sent you a friendship card, it should be waiting for you in the mail when you get home.”

There was no doubt that Charlie was speaking the truth; Castiel knew his friend well enough to detect when she was lying.

Castiel’s blood turned to ice. Someone had pranked him. Great. Predictable, but embarrassing all the same. Without thinking, Castiel rushed out of the library. He heard Charlie call after him, but he didn’t stop, aiming for some fresh air and some alone time instead…

~

It was chilly outside, even though the sun was struggling to break through the clouds. Castiel shivered as he took in the empty school yard. It wasn’t time for lunch break yet, which meant that he was alone. Perfect.

He made his way over to a group of trees, sitting down on a wooden bench that was still slightly damp. Putting down his bag, he took a deep breath. Now that he could think clearly, he realized that he was overreacting. It had simply been a prank, and whoever had pulled it, at least the message hadn’t included any mean or harmful words…

“Cas?”

Castiel nearly fell off the bench at the sound of that voice, deep and warm, calling his name so casually.

“Hello…” Castiel mumbled as he looked up into troubled green eyes. “Dean.” He added in an even smaller voice when he realized that this was probably bad news.

Like this, Dean was towering over him, and Castiel felt the need to get up to his feet as well, so that they at least were on the same level. When he did just that, Dean was even closer, and Castiel took a tiny step back.

Did Dean know? Had someone found out about Castiel sending him that rose? Castiel felt sick to his stomach at the mere thought.

“Can I talk to you, Cas?”

For reasons unknown, Dean sounded nothing like the confident guy that Castiel knew, and it was a bit unsettling.

“I… Yes, I guess.” Castiel permitted helplessly, trapped by both those eyes and the intense look on that handsome face.

Dean nodded, but stayed silent for a brief amount of time, as if collecting his thoughts. Castiel shamelessly used that pause to count the freckles on Dean’s nose, until he caught himself in the act and swiftly averted his eyes.

“Look, I think this whole anonymous thing with the roses is one big load of crap.” Dean suddenly stated out of the blue, breaking the silence and making Castiel look up at him again. “I mean, why send someone a message if you’re not even gonna tell them it’s you, right? Besides, it’s weird and awkward…”

Oh no… Dean knew. It felt like Dean’s gaze was boring right into Castiel’s very soul, digging up all of the secrets that he’d tried to keep hidden for so long.

Castiel contemplated running away and hiding in a cave forever, or moving to the other side of the country. Anything, something to get away from Dean Winchester, as well as impending humiliation. But Castiel was not a coward, never had been. He stood a little straighter, squaring his shoulders, a confession on his lips, just waiting to spill out.

“I’m sorry, Dean…” He apologized, loud and clear. “Sending you that rose was stupid, I know it was irrational, and I should’ve known that it would make you uncomfortable. I wasn’t thinking…”

The dumbfounded expression on Dean’s face that followed after, was not what Castiel had anticipated. This entire conversation was getting more confusing by the minute.

You? No Cas, I was talking about me!” Dean blurted out, face turning pink. “I sent you a rose… I think you’re cute, and smart, and your eyes are just… they’re gorgeous, okay? That’s what I’m trying to tell you, because otherwise what even would the point be, huh?”

Dean was grinning sheepishly, one hand rubbing the back of his neck as he waited for Castiel to say something.

Castiel couldn’t believe what he was hearing, shocked that Dean even knew he existed, let alone that he’d taken an interest in Castiel.

“So did you… Was I the only one who got a rose from you?” Castiel eventually questioned, not knowing what else to say.

Dean put his hand over his heart in mock offense. “Of course! I think one Valentine’s date at a time is enough, don’t you.” He winked at Castiel, and Castiel was officially lost.

“Y-You want to ask me on a date, Dean?”

“Yeah, I do…” Dean replied with a grin. “But first, I wanna know which one of those six messages was yours.”

Again, Castiel was reminded of his competition, but he suddenly felt less nervous. This was Dean, captain of the football team, the popular kid, yet he seemed genuinely vulnerable when talking to Castiel. It made Castiel confident enough to tease him a little.

“How about you guess which one it was?” Castiel said, tilting his head as he challenged Dean.

Dean weighed his options, squinting at Castiel. “Okay… Do I get a bonus if I guess it right away?”

Castiel laughed at Dean’s obvious enthusiasm. “You’ll see.”

Again, Dean was staring at him, as if trying to lift the answer straight from Castiel’s mind. Castiel gladly took yet another opportunity to map Dean’s freckles.

“Ha!” Dean shouted triumphantly, almost making Castiel jump. “It was the message that compared my freckles to the constellations, wasn’t it!”

Damn.

Lucky for Dean, Castiel wasn’t a sore loser. Dean had earned that bonus, fair and square. In a moment of extreme bravery, Castiel stood on his tiptoes and lightly kissed Dean on the lips. When Dean pulled him closer and started kissing him back, Castiel could tell that this was going to be the best Valentine’s day ever.

anonymous asked:

I can see the comeback like this. After Chrom pulls her up Robin starts shedding tears of joy and they share one of those movie-like kisses near the tree where they met. After coming home, little Luci is a year old but says her first word upon seeing Robin, "mommy." Then she bonds with her for a while and Chrom decides for her birthday that they get married again, go on a proper honeymoon, and eventually make Morgan.

Originally posted by samisoffthewall

AWW JEEZ ANON THAT’S SUPER SWEET!!!! I can see it too… tho I’m also thinking that there’s sweet angsty moments that Chrom can’t fall asleep and just stares at Robin, kind of in a state of shock that she’s finally back…and Robin has to guide his hand to her beating chest as a reminder that she’s back and she’s real and she won’t leave him anymore, ever.

idk how I managed to think of something angsty despite them being back together lololol i embrace pain im sorry

2

Weary

90

“No shit,” Harry mumbled, still chewing on the banana in his mouth.  “Freddie Mercury, was a fucking king. Is a fucking king. Will always be a king.”

“Agreed.” I giggled, still wrapped up tight in his sheets, watching him saunter around the kitchen.

I can’t explain the joy of that sight, Harry with his hair messy and long, wearing a tight pair of boxers and nothing else, dancing around to Killer Queen with a banana in his hand. It was such a simple sight, but one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen all at the same time. There was a happiness shifting within the deepest pits of my stomach, heart and mind. He was a vision, a dim-witted smile on his face as he clicked his fingers and sang along, swaying his hips. So beautiful. So perfect.

“Do you know what I would sacrifice, just to see him perform even one song live?” He groaned, sulking a little.

“With the little show you’re putting on, I think you could easily start a tribute act.” I told him, watching a gleeful smile spurt onto his lips. “I once saw a Queen tribute act, and they were fucking incredible. Can you imagine the real thing?”

“Even the thought makes me want to cry.” He said, and then started approaching me, singing along again. “Drop of a hat, she’s as willing as, playful as a pussycat, then momentarily out of action, temporarily out of gas, she’ll absolutely drive you-

WILD!” I joined in. “WILD!”

She’s out to get you!”

He jumped back onto the bed, making me scream with delight as he knocked me backwards, kissing at my lips as I squirmed and giggled below him, wrapping my fingers through his hair and trying to kiss him back, but my smile was stopping me.

“Oh my holy fucking shit, I’m so in love with you.” I told him. “This is like, the weirdest thing I’ve ever felt.”

“Good weird?” He said between attempted kisses.

“Yes good weird.” I blushed. “Amazing weird.”

I’d never felt closer with someone. Never.
Being in his arms felt like home, warmth and comfort and something that was just second nature, like I wasn’t even fully aware of it, it was just my norm. Laughing with him sent this weird feeling bubbling through my stomach, like I’d never laughed that way before, like certain giggles belonged to him, released from me for his ears only.
Being in love was a weird feeling, one that I was still trying to wrap my head around at the same time as having this feeling in my gut that told me I should have always felt this way, I should have always been with him.
After littering me with a few more playful kisses, he jumped back off me, sauntering back over to the kitchen, swaying his hips to the music.
I sat upright so I could watch him, Moggy jumping and curling up on my lap as Harry attempted to prepare our breakfast, too distracted by his dancing, and I could see how happy he was. It was almost like he was constantly smiling.
It was the 5th of May, only two weeks since we’d first said we loved each other, since we had sex, and although not much had changed, nothing felt the same.

“You tired?” I asked him.

He’d had a pretty restless night, his nightmare shining through in the way it always did, ruining what should have been his one escape, but some nights were worse than others.

“I’m fine.” He said, though I was sure he was lying.

“You should get some more sleep.”

“Ren, it’s fine. I’m fine.”

I think with each progression of our relationship, we’d both been hoping that maybe it would trigger something within him that would stop the dreams, or at least calm them, but nothing had changed. There wasn’t anything I could do to stop them, no matter how desperately I wanted to, it just wasn’t in my power.

“Harry.” I called, signalling for him to join me again.

Looking a little sceptical, he wandered back over to me, sitting at the foot of the bed and reaching out, locking our fingers together.

“You okay?” He asked.

“How’s therapy going?”

“You don’t need to worry about me.” He tried to dismiss.

“Well, tough shit, I do. So… talk to me.”

I watched his chest shuddering, using his other hand to run through Moggy’s thick, white fur, to which she purred appreciatively.
He looked down to his lap, taking a few moments to compose and ease himself before finally being honest with me rather than trivialising his thoughts.

“Ren, I-I can’t even explain, how happy I am for you… that you don’t go to therapy anymore and that you’re doing so well. It… It fucking makes my heart beat harder when I see you happy, and loving yourself. It makes everything better. But… I guess, it’s just kind of… It’s made it more apparent that I’m not there. I’m not even close. I just… I can’t even see an end and… it fucking hurts.”

He looked back up to me, the mornings sun beaming through his large window and making the green of his eyes even more captivating than they were usually. We were in the latter stages of Spring, and his eyes mirrored the world, green and growing and vibrant.
I had never seen his eyes during Summer, but the thought alone was enough to leave me breathless, just envisioning the kind of life that would burst within them.
I tightened our locked digits, biting gently at my bottom lip, my heart hurting.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered. “I can’t even begin to understand how hard it must be for you.”

“Sometimes at therapy… it’s almost like I can see the hope draining from Dr Jacksons eyes. We’re both trying… so fucking hard. We’ve been trying for a year and a half now… every week… and we have nothing. I feel so… defeated. I’m so tired. We’re… trying all these new techniques with like… meditation and trying to access repressed memories but I don’t think it’s working. She even wants to watch me sleep now. We’re getting desperate and it’s killing me.”

I pulled him in closer, latching my hand at the back of his neck and making sure his forehead crashed against mine, looking deep into his eyes, residue filling them, just like the way that raindrops land on petals in thick splashes, beautiful but too heavy for their new home.

“How do you have the strength to not drink every night?” I asked him, trying to stay composed for his sake. “You know it stops them, so… I don’t know how you have that strength.”

“Because I’m fine with being fucked up when I sleep, but I can’t fuck up everything I’m lucky enough to have when I’m awake. That’s what would happen. I know it’s easier when I drink, but I can’t let it take over my life. I miss just… sleeping. I miss being able to enjoy my sleep. There’s only one good thing that I’ve got out of these fucking dreams. Just one. It just feels so… cruel.”

I lowered my brows, still trying to hold back tears because I was the one who was almost forcing Harry to talk. This was his time to be vulnerable, not mine.
But seeing him in pain and seeing him hurting was something that just recoiled. His pain was my pain. My pain was his.

“What the hell did you get out of this that’s good?” I questioned.

He swallowed, nudging his cheek further into my touch when I reached to wipe his tears away, his nostrils gently flaring.

“You.” He simply said.

There was an ache in my chest, one that I couldn’t distinguish. It was painful, like I was sad but reflective and grateful and this entire mix of things.

“Me?” I gasped.

“Without these dreams we wouldn’t have met. I wouldn’t have been at that group therapy session, and we wouldn’t have… been in a fucking fake relationship, which I still can’t believe we did.” He managed to laugh through his slow tears. “Without these dreams I wouldn’t have you in my life. But… you’re the only good thing.”

“Harry-”

“There’s supposed to be good in everything bad, and you were that. You were… are, my good thing. But… They could have stopped when I met you. They should have stopped then. It’s not fair. I’m so fucking tired, Ren. I’m so tired. I think fate might be real… and, if it took those dreams to meet you then… they were worth it. But I have you now. We’re here now and we’re in love so why can’t they stop?”

It wasn’t unlike Harry to see the good in something bad, no matter how difficult the search was. He would find a way to see some form of light within the dark, even if that meant sparking a flame himself.
I was the only positive he could see in this, and that alone hurt, because that meant that Harry had spent three years looking for light, trying to spark flint, and everything had remained dark.
I couldn’t comfort him. It was impossible. Any promise I could make, there was no guarantee I could keep. I wanted to tell him that everything would be fine, that one day he would wake up and realise automatically that he’d slept straight through. He’d wake up realise that his sleep had been nothing but pure, sweet dreams accompanying his tender slumber, and his nightmares would quickly become a thing of the past, something he couldn’t remember clearly, like most nightmares.
I wished that I could say that to him, but I couldn’t. I’d broken promises to him before and I didn’t want to do that again.

“I love you,” I told him. “And I’m so proud of you, for coping the way you do. You have to keep fighting and you have to keep trying. I’ll be here, all the way.”

He gave me a weak nod, eyes fixed with mine as his tears calmed naturally, composing himself, breathing in and out, and resting his forehead against mine.

“I feel like… I’m close, y’know? Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night, and you’re there… I get this gut feeling that I’m gunna have the answer soon. Is that naive of me?”

“Trust your gut.” I simply replied. “Maybe you’ve been making more progress than you’re aware of. Remember how abrupt me finishing therapy felt? Maybe it’ll be the same for you! It’ll just happen. You’ll be making progress without even knowing about it. I’m sure you will.”

With no warning, he pushed his lips forward to greet mine, the tips of his fingers pulling me closer like he was desperate for me, like kissing me could cure the ache in his stomach and the agony in his heart. So I tried to kiss him back like I really did possess that power, forceful and commanding, trying to prove how much I loved him with every subtle pant and caring touch.
I heard Moggy groaning a complaint before she jumped off my lap, meaning I could clamber from my original spot and move to straddle Harry’s waist, dangling my arms over his shoulders and rolling against him, whimpering my sweet tune into his open mouth.
He groaned appreciatively back to me, his hands searching up my spine until he reached my bra, his fingers beginning to fiddle with the clasps.
I humoured him for a while as he tried to mess with the thing and get it off, just continuing to kiss him until I literally couldn’t, letting out the softest chuckle against his kiss

“Ren, don’t laugh at me.” He sulked, pulling away from my lips.

“I’m sorry.” I covered my mouth with my hand. “I tried.”

“This is all very new to me, you have to be delicate.”

“Okay okay, I’m sorry.” I was trying to restrain my smile.

“Just… Let me…”

The tip of his tongue poked out from between his plump lips, one eye gripped shut as the other looked up to the side, snapping the back of my bra as he tried to undo it, but he was having no luck.
I tucked my lips into my mouth, and it reached the point where my cheeks were literally hurting before I finally blurted out another laugh, flopping my head onto his shoulder.

“I’m sorry!” I cackled. “I can’t help it, I’m sorry.”

“Y’know what, you are the worst.” He huffed. “I see you in the morning, Florence Daisy Valentine! I see you putting your bra on backwards and then swivelling it round because you can’t do bras either! No one can do bras! Fuck bras.”

“Don’t turn this on me!” I cried.

“I will turn this on you. How long have you been wearing bras? And you can’t even do them properly. You’re a backwards bra person. You can’t say anything!”

“You’re so right, I’m sorry.” I kissed him again. “Bras are the worst. It’s okay that you struggle with them.”

“Piece of shit.” He said, beginning to meddle with it again.

I heard my phone ringing down on the floor by my side of the bed, and Harry let out a huge sigh, flopping back down onto the mattress and dramatically sobbing to himself.

“It just wasn’t meant to be.” I laughed, clambering off him. “We’ll try again after breakfast.”

“You’re going to have to make breakfast.” He wallowed. “I’m too sad.”

I fell with a thud onto the mattress with my head poking over the side so that I could see my phone.
When I noticed who was calling, I hesitantly reached out to pick it up from the floor, turning around and sitting with my legs crossed on top of the bed, my phone still in my hand.

“What’s up? Who is it?”

“It’s my sister.” I swallowed.

He flipped round so he could so me properly, his eyebrows creased towards the centre, giving me a somewhat cautious look.

“Answer.” He told me. “Don’t miss it.”

It must have been seconds away from going to voicemail by the time I eventually picked up, pressing the phone nervously to my ear, Harry’s eyes still on me.

“Hi.” I swallowed.

“Hi.” She replied, seeming just as anxious.

“H-how are you?”

“Terrible.” She replied. “I’m… terrible.”

Those words stung me, regardless of the fact we weren’t really close, and I hadn’t spoken to her since I’d learnt she told our mother about me quitting my job. I’d said I was cutting them out, but I couldn’t bring myself to ignore my sister. She was the one member of my family that I felt like I’d made some progress with.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Just… Beatrice Valentine. That’s what’s wrong.” She seethed.

What?”

I was more than used to Matilda always having our mothers back, and fighting her battles for her, and attempting to overlook her mistakes and her failures. I was definitely not used to hearing she had any bad feelings towards her. At all.

“She let me think for a week that you just… didn’t show to my engagement party. She let me think that you decided not to come and didn’t tell me why. She let me think that. She only told me on Sunday that she actually… told you that you couldn’t come.”

At that stage, it felt like nothing my mother did could shock me anymore. I had expected nothing less.
It was Friday, meaning the following day would be two weeks since the event, and it almost meant that she herself had known for almost a week, and she was only just reaching out to me.
It was something I could have bit her head off for, but I chose not to.

“I’m not really… speaking to mum anymore.” I mumbled. “I… I don’t know how I feel about speaking to you, either.”

“Please don’t cut me out, Florence. I know I probably deserve it. I know there’s a million things I could and should have done differently but… You’re my little sister. I want to try and make this right. Even if that doesn’t include mum. I want to make things right between us because I feel sick. I feel sick all the time, Florence. I keep… I keep remembering all these different things.”

“Like what?”

“I remember when we were little… Before grandad died and left all that fucking money. They sat us down and told us that they could only afford for one of us to go to private school, and that they’d chosen me. It… It’s like everything they did was just-just to prove that I was their favourite. Do you… Do you remember your thirteenth birthday?”

I blubbered abruptly, tears forming and falling and fucking hurting all within a damn second, suddenly remembering something that I’d tried to bury years ago.
I covered my eyes, trying not to look at Harry who had just hitched even closer to me, not wanting to look up and see the worry in his eyes, but happily taking his hand and linking our fingers when we reached for me.

“Yes.” I blubbered, my chest aching.

“They said you hadn’t done well enough in some stupid, pointless mock exams, so they hadn’t gotten you anything. All they spoke about all day was how fucking disappointed they were in you, and all you did was cry. Because… you’d tried so hard. You always tried so fucking hard.”

“I’m not as smart as you.” I sobbed.

“But you’re not thick either, are you? They always compared you to me. They always have and they always will. But… they’ve always been so harsh. And I’m only just seeing it. I’m literally only just seeing it. How smart can I really be? I’ve allowed myself to ignore these really obvious things and I’m so, so sorry, Florence.”

My hands were shaking, but I tightened my grip even more, squeezing Harry’s hand so tightly. It couldn’t possibly have been comfortable for him, and no matter how weak I was, it was bound to be hurting him.
He took his other hand, tucking some of my hair behind my hear and edging to get closer to me, wanting to comfort me more than I was allowing him to. I couldn’t even look him in the eye.

“I just… I felt like you were never there for me.” I wept. “And… you’re my big sister. You should have been there for me more than anyone and you weren’t. You let them boost you by putting me down, and it’s been so horrible, Matty. I don’t want to cut any of you out… You’re my family and I love you all so, so much, but I’m so tired. I can’t do it anymore.”

“Please let me try.” She begged. “I’m not going to force you to talk to mum and… I’m going to try and learn and not speak down to you in the way I have done before. Please let me try and make this better. I really want to try and make this better.”

“How?”

“I don’t know, but I want to try. I want to try and just… be your sister. Be your friend. Please, Ren. Please.”

A part of me felt like being her friend was just giving up, going back against something I’d decided to do only two short weeks beforehand. But another part of me felt like this was the exact progress we needed, and though it was coming a little later than I had been hoping for, it was still happening, and I’d be stupid to turn that kind of progress down.

“Okay.” I unlatched my hand from Harry’s to wipe away a tear. “Okay… Yeah.”

Really?” She beamed.

“We can try, Matty. All we can do is try.” I sighed, not feeling happy, or sad, just completely numb. “I’m not promising anything, because… I’m drained. But… we can try.”

“Thank you so, so much Ren. This means everything. Thank you. Okay so, I’ll drive over and see you soon, alright?”

“Okay.”

“You won’t regret this, Florence. I promise you won’t.”

“Okay.” I mumbled again.

She rambled on about how grateful she was for another few minutes before the call, eventually, came to an end, and I still felt numb.
Harry sat silently waiting for me to say something, my grip on his poor fingers finally loosening a little. My head was all over the place, wishing I could find the words to say, but nothing came.

“Ren?” He prompted.

“I feel like I just always fucking let myself down.” I spat abruptly, barely aware of what I was saying. “I’m so fucking weak.”

“Ren, no! You-”

Yes, Harry!” I finally looked up to him, tears blurring my vision. “It took me years to have the courage to step away from them, and one call from my sister and suddenly I’m trying to figure it out? I give up so easily. I turn my back on things all the time and I always, always let myself down!”

“You’re not letting yourself down, Ren! You always wanted to figure stuff out, and they needed to know how bad things were and how badly they made you feel, and they had to approach you. Because this isn’t your mess to fix, is it? It’s theirs. And they’re doing it now, and the fact that you’re open to letting them only makes you a fucking better person. You’re not letting yourself down, you’re doing yourself proud.”

Harry always had the perfect way of wording things that could make me view things differently, and change my mind. Harry could somehow make me see myself through his eyes to a certain extent, and make me feel as though even when I thought I was letting myself down, that I was actually doing the right thing.
He just knew exactly what to say to make me feel better.

“You really think so?” I sniffled.

“Your sister is willing to change, and work at this. You’re… such a big person for giving her the chance. Most people wouldn’t. Not after all the shit they’ve put you through. I really think you could figure something out with Matilda, and I really think you should.”

“Okay. You’re right. Okay. I’ll… I’ll try. That’s all I can do, right?”

“I’m so fucking proud of you.” He smiled, tears filling his eyes again. “You’ve grown so much. Proper sunflower now, aren’t ya?”

“Stop it.” I managed to giggle through tears, as he wiped away the final few with his thumb.

“You’re amazing, okay? And I’m not gunna force you to do anything. Whatever you wanna do, it’s your decision. Just giving my opinion, alright?”

“Your opinion is always so much better than mine though.” I kissed his hand. “I’d be stupid not to take your advice.”

He moved in and kissed me sweetly, and I just had a thought, just for a second.
That maybe things would always be that way.
Maybe me and Harry would always be there supporting each other.


91

“Does Harry still get jealous about me and you?” Zayn asked as I linked my arm through his.

“Hmm… I don’t think so.” I cooed. “I think now we’re a bit more committed, he’s a bit more chilled out about the whole thing.”

“Good. Maybe he’ll get off my bloody back now.”

Vocatus were hosting another evening for their staff, but this one seemed a little different to the previous. Harry had instructed we both dress up to the nines, and he’d literally invited pretty much everyone we knew.
Ahead of me, Niall, Sasha and Molly skipped in the right direction merrily, laughing and joking together, and if I checked back over my shoulder, I could see Harry, Liam and Mo bonding about something or other. We all had on our best dresses and our best suits. It was irregular to see us all looking so presentable.
I was blissfully happy.

“How’s your fake relationship going?” I asked.

“We’re prepped to the max now. I think we’re good to go. Time to show her off to my parents.”

“You’re gunna end up shagging her, aren’t you?”

“There’s a slight chance… I already have.”

“For fuck sake, Zayn!”

What? I couldn’t help myself. I’m weak!”

“This is already too complicated for your own good.”

“Like you can talk.” He huffed. “You bloody live with Harry now!”

“I realise that it all seems very ironic coming from me, but I’m also speaking from experience. You’re in for some trouble to say the least.”

“Well tell me this, Ren, are you happy?”

I looked back over my shoulder again, Harry already looking at me.
Maybe he’d heard his name.
Then again, maybe he just liked looking.
He shot me a wink accompanied by a gorgeous smile, and by the time I looked ahead of myself again, I was blushing.

“Probably the happiest I’ve ever been.”

“Well then, maybe I’m getting myself into something good, and you should stop lecturing me.”

“Okay. I’m sorry.” I admitted defeat with a smile. “Just… don’t go into it thinking it’ll be easy, alright?”

“Whatever. Let’s get fucked.”

We walked through the front door, and the place was already heaving. The infamous V after D night there had felt so intimate and quiet, and this was the opposite. The room was full to the brim, everyone looking scarily beautiful. Everyone there looked sophisticated.
I’d grown up going to things like that with my parents, but I never thought I’d go to such a nice event with my friends, on my own time, by choice.
It was nice.
Harry appeared at my side a few moments later, snaking his arm around me, his fingers clasping at my waist.

“You good?” He leaned into my ear and asked as Zayn rushed off to the bar.

“I’m great.” I replied. “Are you?”

“Yeah. I’m really good. You wanna drink?”

“I’d love one. Thank you.”

“You look beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

Immeasurably beautiful.”

“Thank you.” I giggled.

“Have I buttered you up sufficiently?”

“Uh… I guess?”

“Okay, well… I told Liam about the fake relationship thing and he’s about to quiz you. BYE!”

He literally ran away from me, the crowds fucking parting for him like they were bloody helping him without even meaning to. Fucker.
Liam was literally next to me within seconds, giving me this knowing smirk, like he already had planned exactly what he wanted to say to me.
I awkwardly smiled back to him.

“Hi, Liam.” I cringed.

“You two are fucked in the head. Perfect for each other. Who else would do that?”

“Zayn!” I pointed the blame. “Zayn’s doing it right now! Be mad at him! Tell him off!”

“I’m not gunna tell you off.” He laughed.

“Oh. You’re not? Okay…”

“I just wanna… try and wrap my head around it. C’mon, let’s take a seat.”

Liam was kind of intimidating to me, and I was still trying to wrap my head around why that was. He had this incredibly friendly face, and this warm vibe to him, but he still scared me. I think I’d just gotten the impression when I’d seen him that he was incredibly protective of Harry. I think he was the type of person who would never shy away from warning Harry off people he didn’t trust. I felt like I’d really need to be in hid good books or else he’d go back over to Harry and not care about saying he didn’t like me.
It was admirable, but terrifying.
We sat down together on one the dark grey sofas, and I tried to loosen up a little.

“So,” He seemed friendly enough. “Why did you do it? Doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“Uh… I think it would if you met my parents.” I swallowed. “They’re uh… They’re hard work.”

“Why?”

“They don’t agree with anything I do. They think I’m a massive disappointment. I just… I wanted them to think that I had something in my life that was going well. Just one thing. It didn’t even work.” I shrugged. “They just… can’t believe that someone as brilliant as Harry would be with someone like me. Kinda backfired.”

“That’s shit. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine. It is what it is.”

“Okay, so, I get that.” He nodded, gazing out around the room. “But what about Harry? What were his reasons?”

“I think he just… kinda wanted his parents not to worry about him so much.”

“Well, that’s ridiculous.” He almost groaned, brows lowering. “That was never gunna work. They’re not gunna stop worrying about him until the dreams stop. None of us are, right?”

It made sense to me, why Harry had done that. I think in his head, it worked in the same way it did for me. It just felt like it was one less thing. Just something that had changed that they no longer needed to feel concerned about.
I guess I’d just never really thought of it in the sense of his parents knowing he had someone beside him to take care of him when the dreams got bad. It hit me in that moment, that that’s why he wanted them to think he had a girlfriend; so he wasn’t spending his nights alone and scared.
That was the main reason he wanted to get into that fake relationship.
It made sense to me, but what Liam was saying also made sense.
None of us were going to feel okay about what Harry went through until it was over, until we knew that he could sleep through the night peacefully for the first time in years. We were never going to stop worrying about him.
I nodded, feeling a little defeated, kind of numb to everything, even when I felt a huge thud beside me.
Louis had expertly jumped over the back of the couch and sat himself down on the back of it, his feet and his legs snuggled between the two of us.

“Oi oi, look who’s arrived!” He was a lot cheerier than I could allow myself to be. “Nice to see you both again.”

We both tried to cover it so well, but the greetings myself and Liam conjured up and shot back to Louis were nothing short of miserable.
He tensed alongside of us.

“Shit, sorry, have I butt in at a really bad time?”

“Louis, you know about Harry’s dreams, yeah?” Liam asked.

“Yeah. I… Yeah.”

He slumped downwards so that he was sat on the sofa properly, and his face had dropped considerably. It had taken just seconds for us to lower his mood considerably.
I suddenly remembered that not only did Louis know about Harry’s dreams, but he’d seen them.

“Do you worry about him?” Liam continued.

“I do, yeah.”

“And it doesn’t make a difference that he’s with Ren, does it?”

“I mean… I’m glad you’re there for him, and everything,” Louis turned to me. “But… No. It doesn’t stop me from worrying. Not after…”

Liam sat up a little, glaring back at Louis, and the grumpy look on his face proved to me that I had been right to feel a little bit intimidated by him.
His love and protection for his best mate clearly brought out this almost aggressive side of him.

“Not after what?” He prompted.

“Harry asked Louis to… watch him, once.” I sighed. “From what I heard, it didn’t go well.”

“He freaked out, I freaked out. It was a mess.”

There was a part of me that still kind of hated myself for ever suggesting to Harry that he should let someone else see his dreams, no matter how logical it was. I had used it against him for the wrong reasons, a way for me to mentally distance myself from the boy and convince myself that there was nothing special between us.
Hearing about how awful it had been only made me feel worse.

“What happened?” Liam asked, and it took all my might not to just run away from the two of them so I didn’t have to hear it.

“I mean… I knew it was coming so… Well, it wasn’t nice to see, but I’d been expecting it! It wasn’t too bad at first, but then… When I’d managed to wake him up, he like… He froze for a second, just looking at me… and then he flipped. He… swung for me. Thankfully, I dodged it, but-”

“He tried to hit you?” I cried.

“The worst part about it was how much he bloody apologised to me about it. Literally, for like, two weeks after. Every time I saw him. Drove me mad.”

“I can’t believe that!” I ran my hand through my hair. “I’ve never seen him like that! Not even close! He’s always been scared when he wakes up but never angry! I’ve never felt like I had to worry.”

“He said… summat about my eyes. I dunno. It didn’t make much sense to me. He was in a bad way. And then, like… I’m useless at the best of times, so then I start freaking out because he’s freaking out, and… I ended up knocking over and smashing this vase of sunflowers he had and… it was all just shit. He calmed down pretty quickly but, it did not go well. Like, he’d told me about them before but… I didn’t think they’d be like that.”

I was holding in tears as I took my eyes and looked to Harry, who was stood charming all my friends, nothing but magnetism and beauty shaping him. There was no way you would ever know the struggle he went through almost every single day of his life.
I knew from what he’d told me that afternoon, that he was actually exhausted. He was running out of stamina, slowly but surely.
I stood up rapidly, leaving Liam and Louis behind and just heading straight towards Harry. I don’t even know what I wanted to say to him or what my plan was, only that I wanted to be around him, to be in his company and to not be in complete denial that we shared a connection unlike anything else I’d ever known. I did help him, even if I wasn’t entirely sure how, I did.
I took his hand in mine as soon I could and dragged him to the corner of the room.
When I turned to look up at him, he saw the tears in my eyes.

“Hey, what’s happening?” He came closer to me, clasping his large hand against my jaw. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong. I’m fine.” I shook my head. “I just love you, okay? I love you so, so much.”

“I-I love you too.” He replied, seemingly confused. “Promise me you’re okay?”

“I promise. I just… I need you to know that I love you, more than anything. And I’m thankful that you’ve helped me so much, and I’m gunna do my best to return the favour.”

“You already help.”

“Well then I’ll do more.”

He moved his lips and kissed my forehead sweetly, wrapping his arms around and me and holding me close to him, and he whispered that he loved me over and over again.

The anxiety is mostly gone. I haven’t had a huge panic attack in a few days. But the sadness of my depression has returned. It feels almost like a painful pit in my chest that I can’t seem to get rid of or ignore. The sadness overwhelms me and fills my eyes with tears much of the time. I’m on a new antidepressant, but I don’t have much hope for it. The last bunch I’ve tried have been failures and this one feels no different. 

There is a new treatment option put before me. Something offered at my doctor’s office now. Ketamine. They’ve had some impressive results relieving depression with injections. Some people see results the first day of taking the medicine. Unfortunately it is a not a commonly accepted treatment for depression yet and is not covered by insurance. It costs $100 per shot. They may last a week. They may last a month. I don’t even know if it will help or not, but I am scrounging the money together to at least give it a try. If it does work. I’ll have to figure out the money part later. 

The days are so hard to get through. I try to do my normal things. Work on my tumblr and my comic. I’m afraid photography is just too hard to do right now. Which I think adds to my sadness. I’ve had to cancel visits with friends because I can’t find the energy for even a short visit and they all live sort of far away. Seeing them for five or ten minutes would not be practical. I have my parents and Otis, which does help a little. Having their support has been integral to keeping going, but it’s just not enough to pull me out of this slump. 

I guess this is my all time low. My friend mentioned that she doesn’t think she has ever seen me this distraught. I’ve had some rough patches before, but I must agree, this one is a doozy. I still have the will to live. I don’t think about killing myself. But I don’t feel much like I am actually living. Just merely existing. Hope is so hard to come by. I have this expensive shot that might help, and there is still shock therapy, but beyond that, I don’t know what else could pull me out of this. 

I’ve had to adapt to my health failing before. I’ve taken my new “normal” and figured out a way to make some kind of life out of it. But I’m really afraid that this time I won’t be able to adapt. I won’t be able to solve how to live with my health continuing on like this. It scares me and adds to my anxieties. I have two close friends that I talk to on a regular basis and I have had so much trouble keeping up communication. This deep sadness I feel is so damning. 

I wish I had more hopeful things to say. Maybe these ketamine shots will be an answer for me. Maybe shock therapy will be. Maybe I will just gradually work my way out of this pit of sadness. I don’t know. I guess I will just try to keep going. One day at a time. 

A sleep-deprived art student examines the completed product that is their final project (probably just barely making the deadline.) They sigh with relief, and also maybe a smidgen of bittersweetness as well. The painting’s finally done, finished, but sometimes it’s hard to let go of something that had been your whole world for so long.