It is a swirling storm that reigns my thoughts.
The wind buffets me, pushing me where I do not want to go, rendering my umbrella and it’s meagre protection useless.
The rain soaks me, the deluge weighing me down as I trudge through the muddy soil.
Boots and shoes covered in sludge, the squish suctions me, holding me back from moving forward, or anywhere.
Lightning flashes, creating shadows of twisted memories.
Thunder booms, a terrifying reminder that echoes of past failures.
The turmoil forces me to find shelter, looking for something more substantial than tender trees, bending and snapping in the storm’s will.
When I can finally rest out of the torrents, when I can breathe without the wind sucking me dry, I take stock of where I am.
I remind myself it is okay to remain here, for the time.
As I look around, I can see others have gathered too, the storm echoing the sonder of their own histories and traumas.
Here it is safe to rein in my thoughts, create the walls at the centre of the storm, checking in on the others to lesson the impact on my own life, refreshing its meaning.
We linger here until the sun’s rays shine again, perforating the dark clouds, warming our souls.
Only then do I feel ready to move again, some of us more ready than others, moving forward at our own pace and in our own time.
It is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Sometimes I have anxiety. But, in writing this I want you to know that you’re alone. I see you too.