I haven’t had a drink in three months, I haven’t touched a cigarette in much longer. It doesn’t matter how much my body screams for me to put something vile inside of it again, I refuse to ever go down that road once more.
So why do I feel like nothing’s working? Why do I feel like I’m a day away from my next breakdown?
I’m so afraid that something horrible is just waiting to happen to me, something bad enough that it will set me off. Then I’ll become that person everyone thinks I am again, the person who can’t even breathe without someone telling her that she’s not doing it right.
I don’t want to be that person again. I don’t want to have something bad happen to me, I don’t want to be set off. I can’t keep running to the nearest bed or bottle when things get tough.
I think a while ago, I knew I had to change all this stupid shitty coping. I wanted to change the second I saw myself, but there was always this little voice inside of me that was dead-set on convincing me that I couldn’t.
I would always be stuck as that person, the person who drank too much or smoked too much or scared the shit out of everyone who was stuck in the same room with her.
I want to change, I want to move on. Can’t someone be proud of me? I’m trying as hard as I can.
Will anyone believe me if I tell them that I’m trying to get my story straight?
I’ve been back in the Tower for months. I’ve already accustomed myself with the room around me. I’m re-familiarized with seeing the San Francisco skyline outside.
On one morning, I’m lying awake in bed. A glance to the bedside clock tells me that I’ve got a little bit of slumber left before it rings. But even then so, I’m left tossing and turning in the sheets. Nothing seems to be working.
I can never sleep properly anyway. Most hours of the night are spent staring up at the ceiling. On some nights, it feels like I don’t even sleep at all. There’s always going to be a reason to stay awake.
There’s always this sliver of uncertainty swirling inside of me. It makes it difficult to relax, to calm down. It makes it difficult to sleep even on the most peaceful nights.
Some things, even certain feelings, are like wounds. You learn to take care of them even after the most painful part is over.
It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get your feet to the floor, to grab that eyepatch off the bedside table. But you manage to make it through somehow.
I get myself to my dresser and put on that green turtleneck I wear too much, then I’m out my bedroom door and walking in the Tower’s hall.
On this morning, I can hear bits of noise coming from all corners of the tower. I go to the closest one, the one coming from the living room.
The closer I get, the more I hear what’s going on. Some kind of cartoon is playing on the TV. From that alone, I start to get a good idea as to who’s in there.
Lo and behold, my instincts are right. Once I’m in the room, the first thing I see is Bart Allen sitting on the couch.
There’s this carefree grin on his face, a lightness in his eyes while he takes in a re-run of Jem and The Holograms. A plate of toaster waffles sits on the coffee table and he’s also wearing some kind of ugly grandpa sweater that I’m definitely sure he borrowed from Jay Garrick.
It’s such a change in feeling from the moment I woke up. It’s hard to ignore the warmth of the scenario. I almost forget about all my shitty feelings for few seconds.
That little sliver of insecurity inside me, it’s still there, but it’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller. It’s becoming more manageable with every step I take into the room. It’s hard not to feel something lighter in the atmosphere.
Bart turns his head and sees me walking towards the couch.
“Hey, Rose, just woke up?”
I flop onto the spot on the couch beside him, “Yeah, how could you tell?”
It’s easy to smile at Bart Allen, even I can admit that.
“More Jem again? Really?” I bring up.
“Wally got me hooked,” Bart explains. He relaxes on the couch and focuses back on the screen. “Want a waffle?”
Bart reaches for the plate on the table and offers it to me.
Who knew? I started this day doubting myself, wondering if I could really get all my stupid shit together. Now I’m eating slightly-burnt toaster waffles with the fastest boy alive.
It’s not a morning I expected to have. It came to me as a surprise. I’m not going to reject it.
It’s helping me believe that there’s still a chance for me, a chance that I’ll somehow get my story straight and manage to make it through the day.