May 30, 2015

Second by Second

I call her and cry. Hysterically. She lets me. Tells me to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. “Minute by minute” she says, I tell her it’s too hard, too long. “Second by second” she says, and I breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth between sobs.

“Deep breaths,” he texts me. I think of his terrible breakup over ten years ago, him on the side of the road. “It’s amazing what deep breaths will do.” I trust him.

I breathe in. I breathe out. It’s the only thing I can do right now.

She sits with me while I fall asleep. For a few hours, I don’t have to practice breathing.

“You don’t have to eat today, but you do have to eat tomorrow. Water for today. You have to drink water.”

She handed me the slice of pizza enough times that I took four bites. Half a glass of water to down the tylenol to cure the pounding headache.

It’s five am and the sun looks like it might, miraculously, rise again today. I cannot fathom how.

I tell him I am so scared I will not survive this. He tells me I am the strongest woman he knows. I am layers of shattered pieces. There is no strength left here.

They are literally holding me together. These people who love me. Who love me.

When I write, I do not have to remind myself to breathe.

These are things one should not post on the internet.

And yet.


  1. I see you. I hear you. I know you. I love you.

  2. Post away. We are here and we have all been you, trying to find breath, at one point in time or the other

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