It was a year ago.

I remember this path I walked.

I walked it often.

I read my book, watched the deer play, and circled the park at dusk.

Alone with my thoughts.

I was finishing his lease after he moved away.

It was the first place I'd ever lived alone.

Just a bare room, with an air mattress and his smell.

After my heart was completely crushed.

I was someone he invited over at night, and she was someone he wanted to take out during the day.

Is that supposed to still happen at 29? To be dumped for a friend? To have your friend go out with someone you'd been with?

My first real heartbreak after being divorced.

I cried for days.

I lost a friendship over it. A few friendships.

I was going through so much.

The man who raped me emailed me soon after. After two years, he sent me two emails from two different addresses.

I panicked. I called 911. I texted my therapist. I didn't know what to do.

It was scary. I felt alone. I was in a dense fog.

So why does it feel harder now?

I'm in love. I have my dream apartment. Hang out with friends. Paint. Write. Do trauma therapy. Go on adventures. I got a raise.

Why does it seem harder now?

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How do I know

That I'm me? I feel creative I want to write Or cook Or make jokes Or learn I'm not exhausted, obsessive, or anxious That's how I know.