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.