[The inspiration for this piece.]

I came in slowly; I crept in. 

You were busy and distracted. Somewhere along the way I became part of your life. Most people in your life don’t know that I exist. They could never imagine that I’m here. Even those faults you share with the ones you love and trust--true as they are, they don’t take over your life the way that I do.

You won’t admit that I am there, even to yourself - until it’s too late and I’ve completely taken over.

Sometimes you start the new day, you wake up - and you remember that I won again. Whatever I am to you, you let me in again. I’m that sick feeling in your stomach, that reminds you that once again you lost. Maybe you were sad, or lonely, or you weren’t making clear decisions. Maybe the sheer force that I hold over you was too strong. 

Tomorrow you may find the evidence under your bed or in the trash or on your phone. Maybe all you have is the scarring memory of what you did or what you said. You clean up. You put on your face, and me out of your mind. You prepare yourself for the day. 

You’ll pretend it didn’t happen. That I was never here. 

You may be strong enough to go without me for a few hours or a week or a few months or even years. But you know that I’m waiting, I’m watching for the opportunity. When your guard is down and you think you’ve beaten me, then I’ll remind you clearly and definitively that I exist. That all the good you do is negated by what I can do. That you will never really control your life again.

I make you feel like you are barreling down a hill, and you can’t stop. You are drowning but you can’t move. I know that I can make you love me, and at the same time I can make you terrified of yourself.

The bad days are when you acknowledge that I’m there. You may still do what I command, but I get nervous when you see how ugly I am. You may come to resent or hate me for what I’ve done to you. Even worse than that, sometimes you fight me. You resist out of sheer willpower.

I become afraid only when you tell someone about me.  

I don’t like people to know who or what I am. Sometimes the people closest to you also struggle with me. But I don’t want you to know. I don’t want you to know that maybe I’ve also fought members of your family. Some won against me and some lost. But you can’t know that – you need to feel alone in this fight. I resent you when you tell others about me, even more so when you invite your god in. 

I like to remind you that even he can’t stop you from choosing me.

You think that the worst thing that could possibly happen is that someone finds out. And you’d be right.

It’s the worst thing that could happen to me. 

Those are the moments that you are close: to weakening me, to pushing me out of your life, to strengthening your own will and your own choice. You may not beat me in a instant, but if you keep trying over and over – you just might. 

You might realize that you don’t need me. 

That you can survive without me. That you might even be better without me. That without me, your life is in your hands again. 

In those moments it seems the most difficult to shake me, you have no idea how close you are to being free from me.

 

By S--