It could have been a touch of narcissism, possibly a good imagination running wild, but it seemed like I had been walking with someone through this treacherous journey. Alas, I have been reaching out a hand, hoping for a connection and it seems that the only ones willing to try are strangers.

The small smiles that light up my days are the only ones to take notice that I have seemly taken a knee in the game of life. I called a timeout and no one heard me. Still, the earth continued to spin and all I could do was watch. Exhausted in so many ways. Even my spirituality is on the fritz. Ignoring things for too long will affect your vision as a whole, yet, it seems to not be able to take the sting out of the ugly truth.

Part of me wants to stay in bed. Part of me wants to run, to where I don’t know. Lastly, part of me just keeps placing the mask over my face and telling myself… now is not the time. The suppression and donning the mask (even when it is not necessary to do so) has left me awkwardly hanging in the balance of auto-pilot and manic.

A strangely complicated disposition for a woman who rarely changes out of her pajamas.

The world has fallen silent in the loudest way. News is being shot across every airway. Some with the intention of fear and some talking just to hear their own voice. It’s an odd sensation to feel concerned and interested, but not be able to hear the truth in any of it. Like watching mouths moving on hand puppets, but no sound coming out.

Winter has shown her head and made it clear that what days we do have left in the sun are numbered. As the skies keep a constant grey coloring, it is only a damper to an already dark mood.

I watch my children play and feel their energy start to build already. Blanket forts and crafts only do so much for boys their age. I miss their muddy feet and dirty faces, the days where they would be asleep before we made it through the door.

My creative energy has been hidden somewhere, probably in the same place, I hold all the words to finish my novel. The assumption is that I put it in a very safe place and one day I will remember where that place is.

I feel myself going transparent when others are around. The fact that demands are generally the only form of communication. Except, of course, for the rare story of the person, I don’t know, in a place that we don’t know, doing something mundane. Yet, they felt the need to post it on social media. Assumingly so it would travel all those miles just to bring a conversation to a drearily quiet room.

My heart tells me that I need more, but my brain tells me it is just a phase and to wait it out. The numb feeling consuming parts of my days only confirms the undeniable fact that more than likely I will keep fading into invisibility until I am completely gone.

I don’t know whether I need more noise or more quiet. Do I need a hug or space? Is it simply a phase everyone goes through? The tears in the back of my eyes that build but never face the light tell me it is more, but my heart tells me I need to adjust medication and get more sleep. My heart refuses to believe things have come to this.

The dream is collapsing.

“Mommy,” is called out and brings me back from my collapsing world into my home. It firmly plants my feet on the ground and reminds me how much I have to be thankful for. How much I have to be happy for. So I do my daily duties. Kiss little booboos and hold little hands. And I smile simply because they exist and they love me.

Then after they are asleep, I reach out my hand in hopes of a meaningful connection. Nothing yet. “I can’t give up, my kids are watching,” I tell myself as I fall asleep with tears in my eyes. Just to do it all again tomorrow.