At what point can I say I’m on the mend? I know when I have a cold that I’m headed towards healed when I can breathe again and I don’t need the tissue box next to me at all times. I know when a cut is almost healed when the scab starts shrinking. There are tests for cancer and cures for infections. All sorts of ailments have boxes that get checked and progress milestones that someone can look forward to reaching.

So how can I tell?

I feel like I’m on a deadline to get all fixed up before I become more of a nuisance and less of a patient. I intentionally schedule something each day just so I have to drag myself out of the pillow fort I’ve created and pretend to be a functioning adult. I dread not getting enough done during my day/week/month. I worry my support system will get fed up and say they don’t want to deal with me anymore because I’m taking too long to be “normal”. I’m terrified of the prospects of ending up completely alone because I didn’t hit the marks soon enough.

What do I need to do to show that I’m almost there? When will that be?

I follow the doctors’ orders. I take all the drugs. I do the therapy homework. Yet I slog through the day doing my best to put one foot in front of the other. I make up easy tasks to complete so I can feign productivity. I’m still a far cry from what I know I can do and that frustrates me. I’m still hiding from the world and myself. I still have internal arguments over the benefits of existing verses the cost of weighing down those that I love. My internal mediating voice is getting fed up and my pro-survival voice is getting hoarse.

Why is this taking so. damned. long?

I want a specific road map. I want to know that if I check these boxes and do these tasks that I WILL improve. I want to be able to put a mark on my progress and see exactly how far I have to go. All I really need to know is…

Where do I go from here?

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