I know I haven’t written anything in a while, but I just couldn’t do it. I feel like I should apologize for not being over this by now. For not being better. For not doing better. For not smiling more. Nobody is making me feel like that, but I see how people look at me when I have my headphones on or when I’m struggling to write or figuring out how to do even the simplest freaking task with just one hand. I know they aren’t rushing me or babying me, but I know they feel sorry for me too. Everybody but Isa and Wren. They still treat me like everybody else, and I’m grateful for that.
I really thought I was getting better. I thought the good days were starting to outnumber the bad. I thought I would find a way through and come out stronger on the other side. Now, I just don’t know. I just don’t know. Like, how many times can you get knocked down before it’s just not worth getting up?
Have you ever felt like you are so deep at the bottom of a hole that you aren’t sure you’ll ever be able to crawl out? I was at the bottom, and I was so sure I was almost out, but just when I got my fingers on the edge to pull myself up, somebody has kicked me back to the bottom.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel? How many people can we keep losing and still be okay? What even is okay anymore? And the worst part is I feel like I am dragging the people I love down into this pit with me. I watch the others in the pack, and they just keep going. Tristin…man, the things she’s dealing with, and yet, somehow, she just keeps moving forward. Kai and Rhys? The same thing. I look at myself and how I used to just let everything roll off me because I felt like I had a purpose and now, now I just feel like I was deluding myself.
I try not to let it show. I stuff it down so the others can’t see it, can’t smell it. I will not become a burden to my pack. Not now, not ever. But I try to distance myself from them for their own good. I’m contagious, and I don’t want my darkness infecting them. I cling to Harlow and Neoma and the Gemini because I feel like they understand what it’s like to be trapped…to be tortured…to be the victim of circumstances you never thought could happen to you. They’ve been through hell and have found a way to endure. Some people see us as damaged, but we’re still getting up every day, and somehow that has to be enough.
I used to say being happy was a choice. I used to honestly believe that. I didn’t hate on people who weren’t happy, but I felt sorry for them because I thought that maybe they just weren’t trying. I was an asshole. Depression isn’t a choice. Who would choose to feel this bad every day?
Sometimes I think the only way to be happy in situations like ours is to be in denial. To pretend that the world is not falling apart around you. Happiness isn’t a choice, it’s a fucking gift. If you’re happy, hold onto that shit with both hands because when the world falls out from underneath you, you’re going to need something to hold onto, so you don’t plummet to the ground.
Tell the people you love that you love them right then and there. Just do it. Even if they think you’re crazy. Even if they’ve done something that makes you feel like you never really knew them at all. There are no second chances. Even when you live with witches and necromancers and who even knows how much longer any of us even have.
We sounded a battle cry for a war that was set in motion eighteen years ago by people who’ve been dead for almost as long. What if they were wrong? What if this is all wrong? But I guess that doesn’t even matter now. We’re surrounded on all sides, and there’s no way to know who’s truly a friend and who’s foe.
Ember has a plan, but it’s borderline suicide, and I don’t throw that word around lightly. The things we’re doing, the games we’re playing, the magic we’re casting...it all has consequences. This isn’t a game. People are bleeding. People are dying. Nobody is innocent.
We’ve all got blood on our hands now.