It’s too hard.

The black hole has gotten a little shallower—it’s at least easier to keep trying to help myself—but it is more relentless, and in fact it has gotten mixed in with the stabbing. They come together. Pain and depression all at once and not just at bedtime, but in nearly all of my unstructured time. I can keep it out of the classroom—just—but that’s all.

I was trying to think how long it has been this hard, because for a while I was thinking it was all going to get better and it seems like it didn’t get better. It seems like it got worse. It helps to verify these things sometimes. People with chronic pain sometimes keep a pain diary—maybe mainly to see if their medication is working but it also gives you some sense of control.

So I looked back at my blog. It is worse now. It is more relentless. Before, the pain came in pieces here and there that receded later. Now, it doesn’t recede. I consciously set it aside to teach, and then at lunchtime and teatime and when I get home, it flows right back.

This seems like it might be a bad thing, but I think it’s because I’m dissociating less. The emotions are flowing in a more natural way. It’s just that my emotions are torture right now. They are hell.

And I think I just need to keep getting through the day.

We use our relationship to time to help us manage our emotions. When the present sucks, we often live in the past or in the future—these are better and the happier thoughts turn the heat down on our emotions so that we can cope. If we lived in the present at those times, we’d get melty brain and act like Ruthie. So we don’t.

Other times, the past is too painful and the future too bleak and we are forced to live more in the present.

That is the reason for “one day at a time.”

I think I’m in a one-day-at-a-time kind of phase. The past has bubbles of happiness in it for me, and they would help, but they are so close to the loss, it’s hard to keep them from making everything worse. And I don’t know when it will get better—not soon enough. All I can do is keep getting through the day, doing what I can to work on the trauma until it does get better.

It’s not a very pleasant place to be, but that is where I am.