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It was a work thing. (It’s usually a work thing where I’m concerned. Frankly, I’m getting tired of how many work things have put us in these positions.)

Sometimes there’s somebody you confide in, thinking they’d “get it” and leave it at that. Sometimes you don’t want anybody asking how you feel — not even to remind you that it’s valid. Sometimes you want to talk about your sadness like it’s the weather. It’s a damn shame but it is what it is. We don’t have to dwell.

These days, though, people are nice. They’re polite, and they’re concerned. They feel the need to ask questions because they think they’d be assholes if they didn’t. Gosh, they’d say, what triggered it? Can I help in any way? How are you now?

See? Terribly nice people. And they care but they didn’t sign up to hear The world triggered this. Yes, you can burn the world for me. I haven’t been okay in nine years.

Sometimes, you don’t want the bother of being seen and you don’t want to take on the burden of somebody else’s helplessness. You don’t want to listen to anybody explaining that your weather is meaningful, or fleeting, or natural. It’s raining and you just want to let somebody know.

So you save everyone the trouble and tell them the less layered truth. It’s fine. Kind of.


“The Isolation Journals” is a 30-day quarantine creativity project. It was created by the brilliant Suleika Jaouad for the challenging occasion that is COVID-19. A different journaling prompt lands in my inbox every day for the month of April, each one from a different writer, artist, musician or thinker.

In Jaouad’s own words, “The goal of this is not to write the next King Lear or to churn out publishable masterpieces. It’s an opportunity to pause, take a few moments to exhale and reflect, and to expand our creativity as a community during this extremely challenging time.”

Entries are written first in my offline journal and then backposted to the blog as the date it was composed. Read all series posts from the beginning.

Apple Nocom

Apple is a witch, a writer, and a mental health advocate from the Philippines. She keeps a blog as a creative outlet and a self-care diary, so she writes about depression, self-improvement, art projects, spiritual practices and other things that help her cope.

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