I sit and listen to people tell me their troubles, in ones, in twos, in groups. I air my own grievances and feel the pushback — wait, be still, does this pressure come from inside?
The bruised rib — no, I don’t think it’s broken but I have not had time to call the doctor. The pains in my left arm — is that a myth? or my heart? But then the messages come about other people’s disasters and I shake my head, wrap my arms a little tighter and remind myself: You’re not supposed to be complaining, remember?
I feel myself sliding, losing my balance, skittering close to the edge. I grasp, flailing behind me for a handhold. Once I utter the first complaint, it’s a slippery slope to the ruination of nineteen months of progress. I’m holding on; I’m holding on.