It’s amazing how quickly time flies by when you are engaged in day to day battles that are ever consuming of your life. Nothing astronomical has happened in my life, just one thing after another, mixed in with some debilitating anxiety and crippling depression.
I liken the last few weeks to being on a ship out at sea during a storm. There is that calm before the storm. The time where everything is quiet and dark, with bleak eeriness lingering in the air. The eeriness that lets you know that something is off, and it’s just “too” quiet and still. Then then the rain starts. One drop and two, then three, four and five. The light sprinkle turns into a steady rain and in no time, it is a deluge. With your head down you work away, making sure that the boat is still all in good standing order with the ultimate goal of you and the boat not sinking.
Before you know it, a large tidal wave comes and crashes into you. Hanging onto the mast praying that your wet fingers will not give way and you will be swept out to sea, you are brought up off your feet and you almost feel like you are flying. The wave comes and goes, and you regain your footing. The ship is fine, wet, water logged, but structurally sound. And then another wave surprises you and sweeps you off your feet. You slide down to the edge of the boat and hold onto the cold, wet, railing praying that you will be fine, that you wont fall into the dark and rough sea that is just inches below your drenched boots. You look down and see that your shoe l aces are being pulled into the water like a sea Siren is calling them to her dark and ominous deep-sea lair.
Through all the trauma, all you can focus on is making it through this hell. Nothing more complicated than to just survive. Your whole goal at this point is just making it through the storm, and if you do that all will be fine, and you will be ok.
It takes what seems like hours, but the storm finally moves on. You are wet, shaking, missing home, but you know that you need to get back to it, get the boat back together, and power through. Now is not the time to lay down and cry, there will be time for that later. Now is the time to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and “weather the storm”. You have no idea where you muster the strength, but it comes up from your toes and the fact that you were nearly sent out to sea twice is now a distant memory. You survey the boat and find that it is still structurally fine. There’s some standing water, but not enough to sink the ship. You find a bucket, but you start bailing the water out of the boat. In a short amount of time you develop a routine and it feels somewhat therapeutic. The bending, the stretching, the scooping and tossing.
In a short amount of time, the sun starts to peak through the dark grey clouds. Although it’s hard to encompass, you swear you can feel a little bit of warmth and this brings a renewed drive to your spirit. Now the waters are calm, the boat is no longer taking on water and you are starting to dry, all thanks to the sun. You lay down on the deck of the ship and look up at the blue patch of the sky that is starting to emerge. You want to cry. You want to release all the feelings that have overcome your body, but nothing comes out, nothing more than a sense of accomplishment and gratefulness.
You think to yourself, I did it. I made it through the storm. It was hell, but it did not kill me and in a weird way, you realize that you feel stronger than you had before you left the shore this morning. You tell yourself, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and you made it through everyone of your worst, horrible rotten, no good very bad days.
In reality, there was no ship and no storm. It was just life pulling the carpet out from under me, but I survived, and I continue to fight every day against what is thrown my way. As weak as I feel, I know that I am strong and capable of handling what is put in my path. I will press on, no matter what happens.