“So basically...I kept living the same day over and over and over again...” Sunset said, laying on the couch. She was a pony again, because of course she had to come back to Equestria to get anything resembling effective therapy for the 'time loop induced trauma.' If she'd tried to get therapy for that back on Earth, then she'd probably end up receiving treatment for completely different things. Or reveal the existence of magic to everyone, which Twilight was still trying to figure out the proper way to do so. First Contact was going to be a crazy time if it ever happened at all.
“We all have days that feel like that, but this is more literal than most would expect,” was the calm, even response.
“Tell me about it...” Sunset muttered, thinking back to the ungodly boring Grand Galloping Galas with Celestia. At one point she'd let Philomena out of her cage just to make it somewhat tolerable. “But...it wasn't like a few days...it was longer...way longer...” she said, shuddering as she thought about it. “I...think it was a year...but I just lost complete track of time...it could've been a year...or a hundred...maybe more...one felt like eternity...maybe it was...In one loop I broke the Twirler and it felt like it trapped me for eternity...or maybe that was a nightmare...or a loop within a nightmare? I don't know anymore...”
“That sounds terrible Sunset...”
“It was...” the mare replied, beginning to tremble. “I...I keep thinking in my head that what if it's not over? What if this loop is just longer? What if it starts up again?...I had a nightmare where I woke up that morning and the loop started again! I...I...”
Large white wings closed around her as she was pulled into a hug. She didn't fight.
Celestia sat for a few moments, hugging her 'Little Sun' until she finally calmed down.
“T-Thanks...” Sunset replied, looking up with a smile.
“You're welcome,” Celestia replied, sitting back down. Sunset might have reformed, but she was still incredibly proud. Admitting all this to any normal therapist was simply not something she'd be the most comfortable doing. Plus, Celestia was a uniquely qualified sort in this regard, what with being one of the few who could truly comprehend what 'eternity' was and felt like. “Sunset...This is all resolved, the Twirler won't restart the timeloop. You're extremely intelligent, you know that.”
“I know...but I just feel like I'm TRAPPED...like I'm so used to the timeloop my mind doesn't want to admit it's over...”
Celestia gave a sympathetic nod. “This might sound odd...But I can understand how you feel.”
“You can?” asked Sunset.
“I'm over a millennia old, don't forget,” the Alicorn replied. “...And normally, it's not that bad, to be honest. So many friends, so many loved ones...but then Nightmare Moon happened...” she explained, a hint of sorrow in her tone. “...Starswirl vanished and my sister was imprisoned in the moon...a thousand years without the people I loved most...Everything kind of started blending together. I admit, part of it was me beating myself up...but this job is repetitive at the best of times, at the worst when I was depressed and immortal?...It was indeed like living the same day over and over...without anyone or anything. Like you I lost track of time...not that being immortal it always had a lot of meaning to me to begin with... I know sometimes these comparisons don't feel right...but that's genuinely what it felt like...And even when modern things started coming up to provide difference, I was so stuck in that repetitive world that my mind didn't want to notice the changes...”
The pony who now lived on Earth listened...and nodded. “...Yeah...That is kind of how it feels...everything becomes so samey that you wonder how you're still sane at all...Maybe you start to stop being sane and lose your grip on reality...”
“It's not a good feeling at all, and believe me, we'll probably need to have a lot of these talks to get completely through this...But if it helps, what I finally did to break out of that feeling and move forwards?”
Sunset looked up. “What?”
“Something entirely new. In my case, it brought new life into my world...in your case, it might help your brain move forwards and escape the feeling of the loops.”
“Well...I did try doing some crazy stuff during the loop to do that...” muttered Sunset, remembering trying Yoga for an admittedly insane amount of time...She blinked, then got a smile. “...I might know something.”
Celestia smiled. “Glad to hear it...oh, and in regards to losing track of your sense of time, I suggest getting into a proper rhythm and schedule again...trust me, speaking from experience after a thousand years of not properly have a sleep schedule...or much sleep...For the record, I appreciate the problems such things can cause your sanity, I realized I needed more sleep when I started talking to the statues in the Royal Canterlot Garden like they were people.”
“Yikes...Yeah, I tried to stay awake for the entire loop during one of them, can't imagine a thousand years...”
“I wouldn't recommend it when you inevitably ascend...” Celestia replied, keeping it her secret that she knew about a certain development from the Friendship Games. “Also, it convinced some people the statues are people sealed in the garden...the tabloids ran with that after Discord...For the record, no, none of them are.”
The two hugged.
“I love you, my Little Sun. Don't wait until another crisis to come see me again, okay?” Celestia asked.
“I love you to...and I'll try to visit more often,” Sunset said, separating the hug and starting to go...then stopping at the door. “...Celestia...what was the new thing you tried?”
Celestia gave a smile. “...Being a mother to a little orphan unicorn.”
Sunset's eyes widened...then gave a small smile.
An humanoid goddess with a clockwork wing gave a sigh of relief, finishing up tying up the last of the 'bad ends' that timeline had spawned. “That little trinket is going to keep causing me headaches, isn't it?...Still...At least that's another crisis that little pony saved reality from.”
Wallflower worked in her garden at the school. She was grateful that there were more members than just her and they tended to notice her. Sometimes she still felt ignored...but not nearly as bad, and she had friends to reminder her she wasn't.
The human turned to see Sunset decked out in gardening clothes. “Mind if I try gardening with you? I want to try something new.”
Wallflower gave a smile. “I don't mind at all.”