You’re not alone if you fell asleep with hope in your mind and woke up with bags under your eyes, if you thought today would somehow be easier and now feel oppressed by 24 hours as imposing as the ones before them.

You’re not alone if you take a moment in the mirror to frown at the asymmetry of your features, the differences between dimples or how one eye droops more than the other. If you hate yourself for being tortured by details unnoticeable to anyone else.

You’re not alone if consumption gives you something to look forward to, if your coffee keeps you moving or your lunch wills you through the morning. If you tell yourself these things will make you feel good and they do for a moment until you feel exactly how you felt before.

You’re not alone if you just can’t get into it, if your focus escapes you and you end up checking Instagram 50 times because you don’t know what else to do. If you feel like a drone while you do it and wonder why you can’t transfix yourself on anything else.

You’re not alone if five o’clock hits and your night plans crumble under the weight of your lethargy, if your resolve turns to resignation and your evening becomes a slow march to bed where you hope again that sleep will bring you the energy to make tomorrow different.

You’re not alone if you wake up and it happens again.

You’re not alone if you need another drink to make you funny, another outfit to make you attractive, another anything to make you anything because it all looks good and when you want it you want it.

You’re not alone if you know money and recognition don’t guarantee happiness but you crave them anyway because the challenges you face in their absence are infuriating.

You’re not alone if you really do care what others think of you and you’re sick of people saying the secret is not to because as far as you can tell that’s literally impossible.

You’re not alone if you feel envious of people and you want to be just like them because they are everything you value and you don’t understand why you aren’t that way too.

You’re not alone if you get aggravated and you want to be chill but it’s hard to ignore things when they happen right in front of you and why does he keep doing that it is SO DAMN ANNOYING.

You’re not alone if you feel scared, really scared, scared of death, scared of pain and injustice and other things that really are scary.

You’re not alone if you read this and think, “But I am alone. That’s the point. I’m the only one manning this station and sometimes that’s not where I want to be.”

What can I say? The good news is these are only the bad things. Life may be suffering but it’s joy, too. That’s why we dance in defiance of the dark (Stephen King, 11/22/63).