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Dear Caroline,

It’s 3 am. I’ve barely spoken to you today. Minimal texts, a five-minute phone call.

I can’t sleep.

I lay here in the dark, rolling from side to side, trying to find a position comfortable enough to fall asleep in. It won’t come. I adjust some pillows, try my other side, take a sip of my drink, get up to pee, smoke a cigarette, repeat. I’m working on my fifth hour now. I have to open another pack.

I could drink myself to sleep. God knows I’ve done that more than a few times in my life. But I don’t keep it in the house anymore. It never really kept the bad dreams away or kept me safe anyway.

It’s nights like these that I crave a hot bath. You know the ones I mean.

So I stay in bed. I click “next episode” and stare blankly at the screen. I whisper back to the voices of doubt in my head, in my fiercest little girl voice, that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I tell them that I am enough, you tell me so all the time.

That I am beautiful and thin enough.

That I’m smart enough.

That I’m not that broken.

I tell them that this isn’t the beginning of the end.

That it won’t always be this way, you promised.

That we’re putting all of our stuff together and it’s because we want to share everything.

That I just miss you and that’s why I’m sad and you miss me too because you said so.

I remind them that we’re working hard and putting measurements in place to take care of each other for the long haul.

That there’s no one else for you just like there’s no one else for me.

That you’re tired.

That we’re a team.

I tell them that one day we really are going to be married and live happily ever after.

But it’s 3 am. The doubting voice will only get louder. It will remind me that every experience in my life proves otherwise. That none of those things are true.

Mostly tonight it tells me that we can’t do this much longer. That you’re getting tired and I’m not enough to bring you home and never will be.

I know it will look better in the sunshine, in the morning, it always does. But tonight I wish I could sleep.

Love,

Stacy

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