Prompt: "Write One Leaf about something you've lost (and where you think it might be)."
I've lost so many things over the last two years: many of my "best friends", a boyfriend I honestly believed was The One, my mind. . . Most importantly (or devastating), I think, I've lost my joie de vivre, my energy - my spark.
It took a long time after I was hospitalized for me to laugh again. It took a long time to look in the mirror and do something other than contemplate peeling away my skin in search of the girl I used to be. The truth is, I haven't been "that girl" for years.
This self-loss started so gradually, it was almost imperceptible. I started isolating myself, sleeping too much, pushing people away... and here I am. Hiding. She started showing herself more lately, though. I can put on clothes and my makeup in the morning, explore a new town, smile and flirt with the boys at the movie theater and even write again. My confidence has increased and so has my sense of self-worth.
There are people and situations I have to avoid, but... I can deal with that. I'm rediscovering myself in the streets of this old city, in rosebushes and dappled sunlight. I can taste faint traces of my inner flame when I cook or watch movies. When I bike through town with my iPod at full volume or mix drinks with my aunt I catch myself grinning and soaking up life. I'm making a comeback.
I lost myself once when I fell down the rabbit hole and into darkness. Crawling back out again took every ounce of what little energy I had left, but I can see the sky again - and oh, how beautiful it is. I might slip a little on occasion as I scrabble for the last few feet and get out completely, but I am not letting go and I'm never falling through again. I've fought tooth and nail for this life over the last six months and dammit, I'm going to LIVE.