At 1am this morning, I am tossing and turning, a mess of sweat and blood and tears. And tears. I cannot sleep. I have survived another week at work; kept my temper when unable to open any of the departmental doors one-handed; when shut out of my teaching lab for that reason;  later – when asked why I wasn’t moving from the priority seat on the bus. I have wrestled the commute, been generous in meeting the students’ blank, bordering on mystified, faces. I am run-down, virus-ridden – of wool.

I need to sleep. I draw the duvet around me, try cocooning myself in its embrace. But it is no use. I am ten years-old again; through closed eyes, I cannot stop crying. I am crying because no matter how much I imagine that someone is holding me, under duvet, under water, under cuddly toy-  I know that the reality is that they are not.  No one has held me whilst I cry. Restrained me, yes – but not held me. At least- not in my living memory.


I remember crying, bent double in physical agony, with the professionals. But they do not touch you. They’re probably not allowed to touch you. I want there to be someone there now, in the early hours of the morning. But there is not. I am alone in my bed, alone in my flat. I don’t blame others; I don’t want to be with me either.

This is the paradox. I know I should not die because it would cause other people to hurt. But, in not dying, I cannot find a way to end my hurt. Four comorbid diagnoses later, the AMHT can’t find a way either. These days, it seems, unless I am distracted with students, with research work, I am hurting, hurting, hurting.

How much more must I hurt? How much longer? Will anyone ever be there physically, to hold me in it?

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