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cut this day out

published: 2017-08-28

My sister said, “there is always one day you’d like to cut out of a holiday.”
I am on the beach wondering about what day I’d pick. Today is a hot day with no wind. The stone-like pebbles push into my bum and legs and feel like bruises.
A message rattles my phone: “Is there someone we can call for crisis?”
It is from one of my group members. Our two-year therapy has come to a completion. It is up to us now. When we all first met, two years had seemed excessively long. Today it feels like we only just started. I have been struck by feelings of failure that I didn’t do it the right way because see? I’m still struggling. And there’s fear of separation, and the certainty that I will sink, deeper.
But that’s exactly it. These are the patterns and schemes that are not ours. And instead of therapists telling us this, we have to start believing it ourselves. The schemes are not truths.
Yes I can. Can I?
I tell her to call our therapy center, they will call her back.
“But it’s Sunday,” she says.
“Oh,” I say, “sorry I am still on holiday” and hate Sundays with a vengeance.
“I need to calm down. I need something to calm me down.”
I text her things we learned – that she should think of what helped her in the past and do that again – call a friend? Sing? Write? Sports? That she can do this. That there is this one meditation that worked for her – remember? That valium could help and a good nights sleep – she is allowed to take a sleeping pill, no harm in that. She shouldn’t be so hard on herself. Especially that.
“Why do I always ruin everything?” she writes and on reading those words tears drop out of my eyes as if my eyes are glasses holding water to the rim and someone knocked into me.
I know, I want to say, I know. We always do.
I make sure not to let her notice my tears.
Later today, I am on my bed staring at the mirror across from me that reflects the light on the ceiling and I tell myself she is ok now. The moods are sharp but short-lived. The negatives turn to positives as rapidly as the other way around. Only now do I know what I should have asked her instead of all the things I texted.
“What is your innermost need right now?”
I get up and go to my sister’s and we drink a beer. She tells me her worries and then I am fine. Because my innermost need is to connect.

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