A (sometimes reluctant) Journey to Hope

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WHEN-IN-THE-DARK

Recently I was asked to describe how my anxiety and/or depression felt in my body.  Are you kidding me? “BAD!!!” I wanted to pipe. What kind of a question is that?!

But I was encouraged to reach inward. To stop, connect and reflect on what was going on inside of my body.   I am sharing it here because I know the statistics – there are MANY of us out there who struggle with depression and anxiety.  I am not alone in this.  Perhaps you can find yourself in my journey or at least look from afar and think “I am SO glad that isn’t me!”.  Regardless of where you are on the continuum, we are all on a journey and the following describes my journey today.

I began to describe the state that I found myself in.

Restricted. Tight chested.

Strangely, as I began to describe how I felt, the sensations changed.
The chain to my inner motor was suddenly yanked and I began to zip – my thoughts raced and my stomach was flooded with a zillion butterflies.

Something came creeping up the back of my throat that made it difficult to swallow. Why was my mouth so dry all of a sudden? I wanted to retreat. I wanted to cocoon myself… wrap myself up and stow myself away until a stronger more capable creature could emerge.

I was struck with the reality that I am no longer a child who can disappear into corners or make believe a different self. I am me. And to wish ‘me’ away would…we’ll, it isn’t possible.  As I reflected, I was confronted by the oddity of my situation. I saw a child in my mind, or a young girl at least, but I am neither.

The butterflies stopped their dancing within me and heaviness set in.  Defeat imminent.

Forget the butterflies.  Forget the cocoon.  Forget the young girl that never grew up.  It is NOW. What am I doing NOW?

I know that I am not where I would like to be and I am not doing what I would like to do though the ‘what’ remains elusive.  All I really have NOW is today.  All I really know is the flawed broken version of myself.  Perhaps I’ve been running away too long, hunting for the finish line never having found the place to start.  Me.

I walked.  Deep in my thoughts.  I looked up, and around.  The captivating sunset briefly stole my attention and interrupted my woe.

‘Why can’t it always be this beautiful?’ I asked myself.  The sun must set. Yes, the sun always sets for the night.  It is then that I sit clothed in darkness and feel alone; abandoned by the light.

But the sun, though out of sight, does not stop or delay. On the other side of time it rages fierce and fired as ever.  Then when the sun rises again it pierces my present darkness and I am engulfed by its light.

What light. What peace. What love.  A light so bright contrasted to the dark that was, but is no longer. It pours itself unabashedly into hidden corners of pain and loneliness and warms my shadowed weary heart again.

When in the dark, I believe… I hope… I resolve… that the sun is coming. It will rise again. Washing, cleansing the darkness. Leaving it bright and glorious.

Becoming Ordinary: Year 1 Day 154

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