A writer knows things are bad when words fail you. When they foster doubt rather than assurance, when they create unrest instead of peace. Words had always been a refuge, my true home, where I could lay down the shame and indignations of the world and feel something true, something raw, or just feel…something. They served as my protection, my salvation, my ultimate confidant in my darkest times and best teacher when no others could be found.

But then something changed. Our connection dimmed. It became rare that we interacted beyond the perfunctory. Brief interludes of mind-numbing monotony. Gone were the days I could spend hours at their feet, absorbing each and every moment like sunbeams on a summer day.

Despite the slow disintegration of our once fulfilling relationship, I would lie and say we were fine. I would discuss words with the same enthusiasm and certainty that I did almost a decade ago, even though the spark behind my eyes had faded.

Sometimes I wondered if our connection was ever real at all, or if they were just a passing phase, a distraction for a girl with far few friends and too much self-doubt. Perhaps they were the security blanket, worn too long, now ratty and unseemly, unraveling at both ends.

Our relationship stagnated and I just didn’t have that loving feeling.

So I took a break from them. From us. It’s not you; it’s me, I said. I just haven’t been myself lately. I just need some time. Some space. Room to grow and breathe without you. Perhaps beyond you.

I told myself it would not be forever, though part of me felt that it would be. I kept busy, distracted honestly. Completing essential tasks like rearranging my room for the fifth time, or catching up on the newest Netflix original. Polishing off an entire bottle of wine in one sitting. Important work.

I went out sometimes, too. Socialized. I explored words in their oratory form, hoping I would fare better, that my voice, unencumbered by failed attempts at nuance with pedestrian sentence structure, would somehow be clearer. If anything, it was worst. Words when spoken were even more muddled- my truth was lost once infused with sound.

I still maintained my perfunctory check-ins: emails, work-related posts, the occasional text message. But nothing as intimate as before. Weeks, months went by. Before I knew it, almost a year had passed since my last written confession. I relegated my sins to the recesses of my mind, only apparent in the shadowy haze pre-slumber.

I was white-knuckling it. It felt like my insides were boiling, pressure building. A capped bottle ready to pop. I was on the verge of a complete collapse, an inward implosion of epic proportions. I needed relief,  a way to live in a world that makes less sense the longer I am in it. I needed words, with their odd spellings and tricky meanings. Written, without the auditory pitfalls of speech. The way I first fell in love with them.

So here I am, heart in hand, with head bowed and knees bent. Here I am, back where it all began, admitting that my life is empty without you. This is me, coming home. I do not claim to know if we are meant to be or if this is the beginning of some  beautiful journey that ends in cosmic bliss. I am still uncertain if this even serves as a worthy plea.

But what I do know is I am a writer. And writers must write, even when it’s hard. Even if it hurts.  Beyond that, I don’t know much else. Which for now, will have to be enough.

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