I'm trying to remember the title/author of a short story I read about 5-10 years ago; I think it was new at the time.

It's about a teenage girl who lost her personality because of overdosing on some drug, written from the perspective of her new personality after the event. She can access her old memories but feels like they belong to someone else. Her parents want to restore her old personality and send her to a doctor/psychologist who turns out to be a quack (perhaps there were a series of other doctors before that but her parents keep switching until they find one who says s/he can help?).

There's a metaphor about a messenger not being able to find the queen so he gives the message to a servant instead (referring to how the new personality took over from the old one). I remember reading it twice, so it was probably reprinted in a 'best of [year]' anthology or perhaps nominated for some award and posted online.


Got it.

It was Daryl Gregory's "Second Person, Present Tense". Originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction in September 2005. Republished in "The Year's Best SF" volume 11 (also on isfdb) as well as in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection.

Absolutely brilliant, haunting story. It has stuck with me for years.

It appears there may be an expanded version from 2007 which I have not read and can not vouch for.

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