Lana had a really difficult day yesterday. Actually, the last few days have been very difficult for her, and she has talked a lot about wishing to die.

It helps me to understand her role, that she has been in charge of pushing forward. She’s the force, sometimes in front and sometimes acting from behind, that makes us get things done even when there seems to be no point and nothing has worked and there seems to be no hope of anything ever working. She pushes the despair aside and makes us all keep moving so, of course, what she has to integrate with is the despair she has helped us to keep out so that we could go on doing things. Despair is what she’s having to feel now. That’s why everything feels so awful for her. The awfulness is what is on the other side of the wall, and the wall needs to come down now.

I also realize that pushing through despair is mostly her slice of things, so she has actually never seen when things did work. She has never experienced anything getting better, because that’s not her slice. If things got better, someone else got to feel that. She didn’t. She doesn’t come out for success. She isn’t needed. She comes out for failure, because then she needs to be there push on in spite of it. So she doesn’t know that anything has ever worked. She only knows when they didn’t. All she has known of life is this kind of endless slog through muck with no relief in sight.

Yesterday, I said, “Just stop. Just stop for a while. Lie in bed and do nothing, feel depressed if that’s how you feel, feel suicidal. Feel however you feel.” It was maybe three in the afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten. I said, “Don’t bother making lunch. It’s just one meal. We won’t starve to death and Hannah and Ruthie can understand you need to stop doing for a while, that you need a break. They are okay enough now that they won’t panic. You can stop. Stop trying to keep going. Stop trying to formulate a plan to fix things. Don’t fix anything. Just lie in bed and stop trying for a while.”

So she did. It seemed like the first time in her life she’d ever been able to relax.

It seemed like it was really going to help.


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