Ghost days

By Mir
August 6, 2005

Some days unfold seamlessly–the hours slipping by, flowing from one moment into another and requiring no effort or vigilance. They just are, and in them, so are you.

Some days feel impossible and endless–the minutes dragging, the effort just to keep putting one foot in front of another feeling herculean. They feel like slow strangulation, every instant a choice between fighting for breath or succumbing.

Somewhere inbetween are the ghost days.

Ghost days are crowded. Ghost days are complicated by memories made sentient. Ghost days are colored with regret, laden with doubt.

Ghost days can’t be seen from the outside. You do whatever needs to be done. You are polite, you smile when appropriate, you are pleasant and forgettable. Chores get done, errands get run.

Ghost days trespass on the inside. It’s like being trapped in a subway car with every mistake you ever made. The noise is constant and unnerving. Movement is impossible, so you just stand still. Of course, the train is speeding along, regardless.

Ghost days settle grief around your shoulders in an invisible cloak. It’s not restrictive enough to stop you, just enough to make itself omnipresent. Just enough to leave you wondering when you’ll feel normal again.

Ghost days are lonelier than just plain being alone. Because you’re not alone. But you may as well be.


  1. buffi

    Oh, my. How articulate and accurate. I can identify with every word. I hope tomorrow is better. Or at least different.

  2. Shari

    Lovely. Your descriptions are so spot on sometimes that I feel like you’ve spent a couple of days in my own very scary mind. ^_^ I love coming here and finding that you’ve given voice to something I always thought I alone (and lonely) experiences.

    I hope this coming week is better for you, Mir. Really do.

  3. Robin

    Oh my…..this touched me so deeply this morning. The past two weeks have been full of ghost days and emotional roller coasters. I hope you find some peace for yourself.

  4. Colleen

    Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Take care of yourself, take one minute at a time, and know that this too, shall pass.

  5. Karry

    So that’s what those days are called?? Beautiful writing, Mir, I certainly hope that you have fewer ghost days in the coming weeks.

  6. shannon

    I had many a ghost day in my life, but never the words to describe it as you have so well. A person who was ever present in those days called me this week to tell me he’d be in town for the weekend and could we get together. I said yes, and I’ve not had any feelings of the ghost to return…perhaps the writing I had done about him for my eyes only had helped, but I just didn’t (and don’t) feel any of the “what ifs” I once did. This makes my husband happy.

    Feel better Mir and take from these days what you need, leaving the other stuff behind.

  7. Kestralyn

    So that’s what they are. I never had a name for them, and now I do. Thinking of you, Mir. Hope your week gets better.

  8. wendy

    Thank you.

  9. Betsy

    Thank you for articulating what I could not myself (my last few days have been ghost days as well.)

    I might have known you’d be the one to put those feelings to words that tingle and resonate…

  10. Crazy MomCat

    Wow. I’ve lurked on your site for some time but I had to “delurk” to thank you for this beautiful entry. I cannot thing of something that better articulates some of the days I’ve been through lately. So nice to know someone else knows what that is like!

  11. La Pix

    I hear you. And some of those Ghost Days you spend on a train occasionally passing another train with someone on it you care about who’s riding out their Ghost Days too.

    I’m not even sure if that made sense. Just think of this as a “Hello there” on the window glass. :)

  12. Zuska

    Been there…often. Here’s hoping you have fewer and fewer ghost days.

  13. Fraulein N

    I hope you’re feeling better soon, Mir.

  14. Brenda

    You have a gift.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  15. alice, uptown

    “Ghost days” is a perfect description of how I live: oh, sure, day-to-day I get the job done, all the life-maintenance and work-mandated stuff. But how I feel, sometimes, going through the motions and remembering what could have been.

    You are quite right: you can be completely lonely in a room full of friends, or alone and fine while you ride that train.

  16. Snow

    I’ve had a bunch of those lately, and I see more coming.

    Be good to yourself.

  17. ben

    This is such a fantastic post. I read it earlier and couldn’t find the words to comment. I’ve reread it a couple of times now.

    I keep thinking of the subway car. Since we don’t have a subway, I imagine it as a bus.

    But my bus not only is headed the wrong way down the highway, and some maniac has said if it slows down it will blow up, but I’m also in charge of refreshments and entertaiment for everyone on board; meanwhile they are convening a Tribal Council to see which part of me they will eat first for dinner. And you know at least one of them will say “I don’t WANT that, I want Pop Tarts!”

  18. joaaanna

    How did you get in my head like that?

    Seriously though – better days are down the road. Really. They are. Hang in there.

  19. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    “Ghost days” – what a beautiful description for those sad moods. I love it.

  20. Bob

    Wow, I skip a weekend and I come back to this post. How can you have any doubt about your ability to write after this? I’ve never before found anything that conveyed in such a concise and accurate way what it’s like to be depressed. I’ve never been able to articulate this experience to anyone and you’ve gone and done it for me. I’ve ridden that subway for many, many miles.

    I hope you get to your stop soon.

  21. UziQ

    I just wanted to say that I came across your site on someone else’s blogroll. I love your writing style and I also love the title. It’s something I say to myself way too much.

  22. Erica

    Wow. How wonderfully-written. The trappe din a subway car description sis so uttelry perfect. I really hope things are looking up for you, thought.

  23. Debra Young

    Thank you! I now know what to call those days. Just discovered your blog via Carter Nipper. Will return! d:)

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