It has been a rough road getting here, whereever this is. I have lost some bits of me along the way and picked up some others.

I am unrecognizable to myself. Things I loved feel unsafe, unreachable. Dancing, singing, cooking…nearly everything paralyzes me. Renders me devoid. Useless.

I refuse to be compared so I give as little to compare as I can. I pull myself so tight that living without restraint feels alien now and uncomfortable.

I used to live so freely. Now freedom chokes me and feels so unsafe that I make my own cage. And, oh, the bars are thick.

But once I danced and sang with a smile. Once I cooked and baked without fear of comparison. Even wrote without fear. I tried new things without these shadows lurking.

I just was. And I never really worried. Not in the same way.

Now I worry about existing and it’s exhausting.

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