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Intrusive Thoughts for Companions in Misfortunes 

By Faith Holland


When I was 13, I had my first intrusive thoughts. They were, inexplicably, all about glass. Sitting in an office, the image of collapsing into the glass table, its dissolution into thousands of tiny pieces around me, would surface over and over in my mind. Whenever I carried a glass downstairs, I thought of tripping, the glass shattering, and a large piece of it becoming lodged in my throat.


I grew out of it–mostly. But today, these thoughts seem almost quaint. They have been replaced, instead, by push notifications, tweets, and status updates about the horror of our everyday existence. My finger moves repeatedly from the bottom to the top of my screen, refreshing new tidbits of tragedy. Faces of people violently, unjustly killed: Ukrainians fleeing, elderly Black people grocery shopping, children–babies–going to school. My mind no longer needs to work so hard to produce horror. It feels constant, unrelenting; grief amassing atop grief with every scroll and push. 

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