I recently saw a horror movie called "It Follows". It's an interesting premise- a sexually transmitted demon (you'll never look at STDs the same way) terrorizes a young girl after an ill-advised tryst with a guy she doesn't know all that well. The demon can only catch her (and kill her) if she stops moving- so long as she keeps going it moves slowly enough that it can't get her. If/when it does, she's dead. Game over.
This seems to work the same way. When I'm moving- working, stressing about the minute details of reality, keeping up with the demands of daily life- I'm ok. Genuinely ok. Functional, professional, responsible. I keep moving and I'm fine.
But when I stop- when life quiets down, when the world stops moving and I have space to think and feel- I'm caught. The grief which is always just a couple steps behind me catches up.
It happens in unexpected ways- the fact that the last time I was here I was worrying about getting home. Home. Something I no longer have. A stable base replaced by a strange apartment.
The memory of the way he used to play with my hands- marveling at their size and how small they felt in his. The feel of him playing with my hands- holding me, laughing with me, loving me.
The picture hidden in that pile of books I can't find a place for.
Ten years of memories. Ten years of sights, sounds and feelings that go so deep I feel them in my bones. Deeper than conscious thought. Deeper than rational timelines and facts- this happened. So deep that when I get on the mat and dig into my hip I'm only starting to scratch the surface.
And I know- I KNOW- this is normal. This is how it works. It's gonna come up, I'm gonna be devastated. And then, like everything in life, it will pass. I will breathe again. Life will move again. I'm not dead, it's not game over- I keep moving. Until the next time it catches me. The next time.