Today is Cycle Day 1. I got the first signs last night, which means I've known for more than twelve hours and yet I haven't cried once, not one single tear. Last month I only made it back from the edge because of the words of Sirach (sent to me at exactly the perfect time by a friend - no coincidence, that). Last month I actually allowed myself to lie on the floor and cry, and I'd long since given that up.
But this month: nothing.
I know how to make it when I'm depressed. I get up, get dressed, make plans for the day, get out of the house. It works. But this feels different. I don't know what will work on this, this numbness that pushes itself into the corners of me until I'm afraid to move them for fear that they'll snap.
Or, ha. Maybe I do know how to get myself out of this, because the tears are here now. Two paragraphs, that's all it takes. Writing always works.
Someday I want to be able to give the world words that aren't salt-encrusted. I store my contact lenses in a case with sterile saline and if I don't rinse the case, the saline dries into little white crystals all over it. That's how I think my words would look if you could see them - frosted with the remains of the tears I cried while writing them.
In Harry Potter, Professor Dumbledore pulls his memories out of his temple with a wand. Would that I could get my words that way, but no, they must come stubbornly through my eyes, chapping my face in the process. Sometimes they come so quickly that I can't capture them until they've stopped, and somehow that capturing is never as apt as it should be.
I've cried so much over the past months that I should have gone through thousands of tissues... when I cry with other people they always hand me tissues, but I've abandoned their use when I'm alone. Tears dry as well as anything. I barely notice them anymore.
Except, of course, when they don't come around. Then I'm looking for them, wondering why they're not here. It seems neurotic to miss the tears, but ever since I can remember they have been my way of dealing with heartache and stress. Writing is secondary; I learned to do it to deal with the tears. I guess it's fitting that now I can do it to get the tears to come.
The numbness stymies me, but I know how to deal with the tears. I'll go to a bookstore and treat myself to a big hot chocolate and a novel. I'll make the menu plan and the grocery list and go buy some food to fill our cupboards. I'll play loud, happy music and dance while I cook dinner. And tomorrow, if I find myself staring out the window again, I'll come back to my keyboard (or my prayer journal if that's what I need) and find my tears again. Salt-encrusted words must surely be better than no words at all.