Meeting an Old Friend

It’s been a while, old friend. I want to say I don’t know how long it’s been, but I do know. It’s been about eight months. Give or take.

I’ve known you for a long time, but I still don’t know if you’re my friend or my enemy. Maybe you’re neither – or maybe you’re both. Sometimes I want you to be my friend, and that scares me.

I always forget how seductive you can be. How sly, how unassuming, how you can make everything seem like it’s all right until all of sudden it isn’t. You make me a different person, and I don’t know if it’s for better or for worse. There’s something about you that makes me change the way I think, the way I talk, the way I interact with people. You take my quiet, peaceful sadness, and take all the softness out of it. You make me a different person. You make me ask myself if there’s anything worth fighting for.

I know the correct answer to that question. I know what it should be, and I think that’s why I still manage to pull myself out of bed and interact with the world. But you make me hurt the people I love, the people I care about. You make me say things I don’t mean, or that I don’t fully understand. You make me push people away, because you want me all for yourself. You make me hurt myself, and quite honestly, I don’t know that I always hate that feeling. That scares me too.

You tell me that I’m not hungry, that I don’t need to eat, that I don’t need to sleep. You convince me that I’ll be able to make it through the day even when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, and sometimes it is only by sheer will that I’m able to go back to sleep and wake at a more sensible time. You make me upset and exhausted – it’s almost like you need my energy for some unknown purpose, and you leave me with just enough so I can get by.

You never tell me when you’re leaving, either. It just happens. And I’m left wondering – fearing, hoping – when you’ll come by again. Sometimes I wonder if it’ll come to a point where I just don’t care any more. I think about it every single time, and sometimes the drive to turn it all off is stronger. Sometimes it feels like it’s the best thing to do. This way I won’t be able to hurt anyone. I’ll fade into memory, and perhaps that’s for the best.

But in spite of your wiles, I’m still here. Somehow. And somehow, I still have people in my corner. Even though there are days where all I want to do is curl up into a ball in the corner and wish the world away, or run. Really far away. But I haven’t. That has to count for something, doesn’t it?

It’s been a while, old pal. And like every other time, I’m scared that you’re here to stay. You’ve shaped me into the person I am today – positives and negatives alike, and I’ve learned to deal with your being around over the years. But even when it seems like all is lost, amazingly, strangely, I always seem to have that little glimmer of hope. Hope that I will come out the other side. Hope that my friends will forgive me for all the things I’ve said or done. Hope that maybe one day, you’ll be gone for good.

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