Anxiety took over. It held the reins and thrashed through the forest, through the city, through my mind and through my heart. It beat me down and held me by the throat.

As I lay there choking, desperate for breath, for life, for my voice to return, I could feel myself pulling away. And what came forth was literally a shell of my Self. A version of me that I recognize and loathe. I hate her and need her. I use and am used by her.

She fills the void left when my mind races quickly, the neurons fire intensely, when the pain from the crashing of dendrites on axons radiates all through my body. When the force is too great I can barely see and she steps up willing to justify it all.

She looks outwards and finds the fault; finds a reason to hurt. A reason to validate my experience. The act is effect before the cause and is those moments when I can’t bear the weight of the foot on my throat, I allow it.

I invite it. I rage against it and feel comfort in it. I allow anger and resentment to drive what is left of my Self through each moment filled with head-ache and heart-ache. I invite validation of my suffering and sit nicely in the warmth of its arms riddled with thorns.

I welcome it all.

Balance is achieved, pain followed by reason, followed by guilt, wrapped in shame. Greater justification of my (un)worthiness.

This moment on this day was especially terrifying. Self-sabotage at its finest. The glory of (too) many joy-filled days came crashing around me and I sought out purpose for my dis-ease with my greatness.

And for all that occurred I did not succumb fully. I did not writhe on the floor, did not follow my pain down the black hole. I watched as it terrorized me like a tornado and I remained grounded. Tethered to something deeper, something literally attached to my core. I watched from the inside as it faded away.

The debris is scattered throughout my memory and there were victims who suffered from its wrath.

And I survived.

I stood up, dusted myself off and put what was left of my being to work. I worked on re-fueling, resting, re-building. I re-calibrated and re-hydrated. I reflected and found myself. Cracked and bruised, bleeding on the page…my imperfections allowed the faintest light to seep through and in the dark I found my way.

I shall doubt again. I will feel fear again. The pain will return. And where I have been broken and mended is where I am now the strongest.

I am grateful for the valleys as they highlight the value of each peak. I climb these mountains not simply to arrive but for the power I feel in each step that I take.

All good things are rooted in love, laughter and learning!