Rules of engagement are a military construction. Maybe I’m at war. I don’t know the rules of engagement, which lead me to believe there are none. The war is in my head. Might I suggest some rules of engagement:
Drink water. I am always surprised at how refreshing a glass of water is. I am always shocked at how parched I am. My throat is on fire. My chest feels crowded. I want to barricade my lungs with my arms. That’s a natural reflex. Water is an acceptable barricade when your hands are full.
Hold my heart in your hands. I will hold yours.
Show signs of life. Stevie Smith says it best: she was drowning not waving.
Use words. They can be oblique, but use them anyway.
Take time. This is a rule I need to abide by more than anyone else. I’m really just talking to myself.
Talk to me.