Chuck Palahniuk once said, “Our generation has had no great war, no great depression. Our war is spiritual. Our war is inside ourselves. Our depression is our lives.”
You shut the door and you curl up in the tightest ball your aching muscles will allow. You wrap yourself in a blanket until you look like a burrito and let your body heat build up around you like you a receiving a warm bear hug. What Next? You shut your eyes and all of a sudden you are caught off guard, allowing all the images you have been blocking to suddenly prroject onto the back of your eyelids as if you are watching a movie of your failures and disappointments. Suddenly the sounds begin to flood into your ears, letting the words you could never and should never speak echo into your ears. And you start to cry.
Your pillow is soaked, your eyes are swollen, your nose running faster than a marathon runner, and your lungs are making that terrible sound – like a hungry seal. Your pain is your poison. Is there an antidote? How do you fix it? You just want to heal. Oh darling, extraction is your only antidote. So let it all out. Sob after sob. Sniffle after sniffle. Let it stain like spilled wine. Let it fizz out like a shaken up soda. Let it boil over like a kettle of tea. I promise you this is the hardest part: vulnerability is always the hardest part.
Eventually, however, you stand. But you are doubting me, why don’t believe me? I promise you will stand. But why would you do that? Why would you leave the comfort of your safe haven? You stand because you have no other choice. This is the calm after the storm and there is always calm after a storm. In the days that follow, you do only what you must. Did you read that correctly? I’ll restate for clarity. You. Will. Only. do. What. You. Must. This includes: Eating, going to school or working, sleeping, bathing, drinking water and repeating this cycle until you no longer feel numb. You will do these tasks in a sort of haze, exactly what I said, you will be numb to everything.
But let me be the first to tell you that one day you will wake to find a tiny bit of hope where the pain usually resides. This little flame inside you will burn ever so lightly, just enough to spark. Maybe some days you’ll feed your fire with dancing or writing or going for a run. And maybe some nights you’ll still try to extinguish it because the flame is not worth any more pain. But there will come an moment of realization. A moment when you realize that the good days are beginning to outnumber the bad. Your can’ts turn into cans and your dreams turn into plans. Your should haves and what ifs turn into I wills and I ams. You will do these things until your spark is a burning fire that roars in your soul. And when life throws you another curve ball, don’t get mad. Get stronger and more powerful. Fill yourself with knowledge and empathy because nobody can do that for you. In the end, it is your life, your choice, and your world. Come to the realization that you have been strengthened by the struggle.
Because. You. Have. Healed.