Dark Parts

Footfalls crashing unchecked, unmeasured
As stones slide downhill to that place “I would never”
Revisit, for darkness was long gone away
To a past I swore no longer had sway

Distracted by doubt, I let Fear take the wheel
She said she would save me from having to feel
The pain of believing I wasn’t enough
By casting off all of the unsteady stuff

“A thing can’t hurt you that’s fully known,
So if it’s not certain, don’t build with that stone.”
Out went the friendships, the hopes, and the dreams
Since no one can prove a thing that just “seems.”

“You’ll thank me later for keeping you small
So little to see, there’s no target at all
Safe here in static, a vacuum, a shroud
Hidden from judgment cast by the crowd.”

No stones can now reach me if I take for my creed
The thought that Fear says will make pain recede:
“People like me don’t get to have friends
I’m flighty and nutty; why start what might end?”

But the pain won’t die down; it only gets bigger
I fear the rockslide that Fear now might trigger,
So I call out, “God help me! I’m sorry, just take me.
I’ve failed, it’s over, lead me to safety.”

A calm rests a moment between quaking sobs
On shoulders hunched ’round where my bursting heart throbs
A rustle of memory draws my mind’s eye
Through darkness till I offer Fear my reply:

“I love how it feels to let others know me.
Even knowing that some days my mind just goes stormy
You can keep me alone in this, Hell’s abyss,
But through twisted lies lies the memory of bliss.”

The pinpoint of light behind my own voice
Pierces the darkness and shows me a choice:
“Keep living the lie that friendship can hurt me, or
Take courage–He’s got me–embrace the unsteady.”

Standing with My Other Self at the Falls, March 2021. I’d fallen earlier that day into an emotional abyss after the tiniest of self-doubts cascaded into a waterfall of tears and despair. My husband and sister would periodically check on me while I found my footing again. It’s easy to think I will never revisit that odious place.
And I didn’t for nearly ten months.
A couple weeks ago, I plummeted. The aftershocks lasted into the next day. I worked through it only to have a smaller episode hit this past Monday. I use these experiences sometimes to justify not trusting myself enough to pursue my dreams. But who has ever given up on life because weather can’t be trusted? The weather of my mind doesn’t need me to to trust it. It just needs a place to land. I thank God for showing me that weather harnessed grows dreams from mere seeds. I also thank Them for friends and family who let me reach out as I steady myself over and over again.

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