I am addicted. I am addicted to my own pain. I don’t know who I am without it. Without the bitter familiar flavor that colors my days and the fitful sleep that fills my nights. I do not know how to exist in any other form. This one is familiar. I don’t know what my face would look like properly animated what my limbs would feel like not loaded with lead. Exhaustion has become more familiar than the bruises beneath my heavy eyes. I’ve no idea how to rise in the morning without my bedmate of dread. She creeps into my veins and tells my heart to race my eyelids to remain closed because to be awake is to have to deal with grief and fear and all the myriad inconsequential but terrifying hazards of a daily life. I don’t even fight it anymore, I fall asleep with pain beside me and turn when she whispers in the morning to embrace her. My old enemy. My dearest friend. I don’t know myself without you. It has been so long since I have existed without a trigger at my temple, without your hands weighty upon my shoulders, I am afraid that if you were ever to leave me- though I have given up hope of such a miracle- that there wouldn’t be enough of what I once was left to make a living, breathing person, to fill the shell of my being with human will.