Don’t get the date wrong; put it next to your name, in the title for your column, due in five hours.
Why are you so tired? Why have the days been draining you when the sun is out more often, when you’re happy—happy, but tired.
What’s that, in your throat? Eat a cough drop before you even brush your teeth, hunt through the cupboard for cough medicine on your way out the door. You’re letting people down; keep going; push through.
Don’t be late. Leave with time to spare because the road scares you now, so who knows how long it’ll take? You’re falling behind, on assignments, on deadlines, barely meeting them, pulling it all together at the last possible second.
Make sure you stay quiet, don’t escalate. Say the right thing at the right time. No, not that. Why can’t you just keep your mouth shut?
Keep your secrets; no one wants to know that thing you can’t stop thinking about. Write it down, fill a Note in your phone. Don’t overwhelm; time it right, decide what’s worth it, what’s not.
Stop getting distracted; stay focused. You’ve done it before—why can’t you do it again? Set your plant timer, put on the right playlist, hope it coalesces into a semblance of motivation.
Why is your stomach hurting? Could be the anxiety, could be dinner—the same thing for days on end. Why aren’t you hungry for much else? Why do you wake up some days, stomach churning?
And why do you wake up some days, angry at the world? Why is it always so much? Why can’t you just be less?
You’re doing fine; everything’s okay. It’s nothing compared to what they feel, to what she feels. Put it aside, be happy, the sun is shining.
Why are you so weak? You’re making something out of nothing, desperately searching for excuses. Why are you being so dramatic? No one has the time or energy for this.
Don’t tell anyone you’re hurting, not when they could be hurting too. You could always be a burden to someone—stay on the lookout, get out of the way.
Make plans, but not too many. Make them last-minute; then you’ll be happier. But then you have nothing to look forward to. Maybe it’s better that way—to have no plans. You’re probably annoying them all anyway. And you should start preparing, start preparing to be alone.
Stop dreading the future. Why can’t you just be here? Crochet a row—but you made it too long. Let the water run over the bruises from today—but the water is too hot, burning your skin. Get into bed by 11 p.m. so that maybe tomorrow will be better—but it’s already too late, and you haven’t even taken your meds.
Stop caring so much—wanting to be happy so badly. You want what you can’t have, and you’re naive, foolish, to believe you ever had a chance at it. Try to appreciate what you have, before someone takes it away, before you ruin it. Because we all know you will.
I guess all you can do is your best—just know your best will never be enough.