I’ve talked before about how I have a few issues, like a kind of emotional paranoia. A lot of that developed during my marriage to C, though I don’t blame her for it. She had her issues as well, and neither of us then had healthy habits for dealing with them. Mine fed into some dark places.

One of the holdovers from that is struggling when I wake up in the morning, terrified that I might not be liked or loved anymore. It’s a frustrating thing, as by lunch I’m back to normal. But I can wake up—on a morning like this—and suddenly be terrified that J doesn’t feel the same way about me anymore or that K is seething at me from a distance while she’s working overseas. It’s maddening.

The problem for me, one I’ve been trying to get away from, is that I then try to overcompensate for those feelings digitally. I’ll text or message. A lot. Like I’m seeking proof of a different mindset than that.

And the thing is, I don’t want to do that to either K or J, or anyone else in my life, for that matter. I want them to be able to depend on me, to not have to cater to pre-noon paranoia or have me become some kind of emotional burden on them.

It’s frustrating. It really is.

What I remind myself in times like this is that I have wonderful people in my life, that C’s bipolar shouldn’t have the power to do that to me anymore, and that these are people who get it. And, who knows, maybe there are things about me that are actually likable. Things that are hard to see first thing in the morning.