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I've learned to live with a chemical dependance. It's doctor-sanctioned and better than any of the alternatives, but it's a dependance. I'm vigilant against accepting it, though. It will end. As soon as I can handle it.
The only physical contact I get is from my son, who does help. But he's not an adult, barely a child. His small arms are the only comforting ones that hug me, and not often enough, because he has things to do. He wants something even though I'm tired, because the concept of tired and sleep being separate is unknown to him. And I smile, and it's a real smile, but children know things and I fear the day he senses the sickness in my heart, the numerous voids. I know that all lurks behind my smile.
He's the only person on the planet who has broken my motto, "No loneliness, no misery is worth you." I do what I have to, and I don't expect anything for it. Things are not awarded in this life. Things are earned. Or stumbled across. I will earn, for him, the best I can give him. I'm not talking about money, either. I will do what I can to equip him for this world. And I'll continue stumbling forward, hoping I run into someone else worth getting up and dusting myself off for.
I have stripped standards. I used to have a large list, but it was always shredded in my haste to fasten onto love. Now, I have much fewer standards, but an actual will to stick with them. I won't give in just to experience the things I miss.