What Comes After

By AbbeyAugust 5, 2019

I would like to say that I don’t still have the fear. The fear of return, of the cycle that has the power to take me back to 17-years old, sitting on the kitchen floor and wishing the world away. The cycle that steals time, steals the sun and the moon, steals me from my own life. The sway between brokenness and healing. These wounds can always be reopened, the cold and dark are always begging for visitors. I am afraid to go back there, afraid that I will go back there, to those times when it was so hard to stay.

What if it is too much next time?

There is a weight to this new world, so much I didn’t know about the “after.” Those memories still bring a heaviness to my step, a hesitation to my movements. There are words that I cannot use, tools that I cannot touch, and places that I cannot go. These things tell stories of the past, they are reminders of days when the sun didn’t come up and each moment was a choice to stay, because it had to be. It is heavy to remember. Even a quick thought can send shivers, even the shortest flash can clench fists. They call these things triggers, but they feel more like the bullet.

But somehow, somehow, this is okay.

This is okay because this is the after. When I wake up, this heavy holds me steady as I stand to face the day, tightening the laces of my ribs. I am not toppled by the weight but held firmly in place. These fears are reminders of what I have already survived. I have seen it before. And if the cycle comes for me again, it will not be new.

I know that my heart is deep with wounds, but this too, is okay. The depth that lives in this heart of mine is proof that there is room, and it can be full. I have so much love to give, so much love to find. I have lost it and found it over and over again. And so, when I don’t feel this love for myself, I must be reminded that it is not because it ceases to exist, but merely because it has been misplaced.

This knowledge, it is no curse. To know that it did not kill me the first time is the gift of tasting the water at the bottom of the well so that I am no longer afraid of it being poisoned.

I would love to believe that it only goes up from here, but things are rarely so perfect. So rather, I believe myself to be preparing for the next battle, whenever it shall come. For now, I will take care. I will find solace in those who are always ready to catch me. I will allow the world to be wild around me, knowing that I am capable of steadiness.

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Comments (3)

  1. Sarah

    This perfectly described how I feel and reading it was so powerful to me. I’ve read it 5 times over now and every word makes me feel so much better. Thank you for writing this.

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  2. Sandra

    As I drove around my hometown a week ago thinking perhaps I wanted to move back, I realized a sadness overcame me unlike I have felt in a very long time. I thought it was about missing all the places I would walk my perfect pup knowing his time is near and wishing we could walk those streets and parks again. Boarding my plane later that afternoon I realized it was the painful memories of those cycles of depression I lived over and over again that brought on my sadness not the missed opportunities to come of walking my pup. This shook me to my core and once again brought my awareness to the fear of not knowing when or if that cycle of depression would return to weigh me down once again, if so, for how long. Thank you for reminding me that I have survived, and if needed, will survive again because I am capable of steadiness.

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  3. Sabrina

    Reading this was SO powerful to me. I can so closely relate to this and the feelings that you write about. It nearly brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing your writing.

    Reply  |  
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