It's like a loss.
A loss that creeps up on you then takes hold, nice and tight. And you gasp for breath and wonder how you've got through the last few years, and how you'll get through the next few years, and how you'll get through the next day.
Bigger picture: things are better than they were.
Bigger picture: you've got through it before, you will again. But that's the point. I've got back up on my feet so many times. How do you keep going when you're tired of keeping going?
It's the deja vu of the "sorry I won't be in today" and the deja vu of the sympathetic smiles and genuine concern that is meant well but is a reminder of it all - of how I'm the odd one out. The one that falls to the floor. We make jokes but we all know it's sad, and there's an embarrassment to that.
And I need to know that explaining is not the same as complaining, and I need to know that complaining is fine too.
And I need to know that things will get better and that this might end, but I can't know that because this will most likely keep going. This might even get worse. So I need to let go. A day at a time and all that. Forget the big picture.
And I need to know that strength might be keeping going and keeping smiling and cracking on but that strength is also being honest and that includes being angry and sad.
And I do know how lucky I am, but I just need some time. Because there are stages to this, but sometimes you go back a stage. You think you've accepted the situation, but then the sum of years of experiences suddenly hits you, and all you want to do (and all you can do) is hide, and that's okay too.
So I'm taking some time, but I'll be back. Because I have got through it before, and that's amazing, and I will again.