Undetected. Uninvited. Unwelcome. Violent and dark storm clouds cover the mind and the subsequent pain courses through. So real and tangible, danger close to manifesting in the physical.

Surprise motherfucker.

Sadness. Grief. Hopelessness. Shame. Blow upon blow. And then the anger. Always conjuring anger. Oh, how you wish you could find someone worthy of releasing this pain on. Some random asshole who starts yelling at his wife in the parking lot of the grocery store perhaps? So tempting. Those closest to you, such easy and convenient targets.

Why is it always the ones I love that seem to be the easiest targets?

Proximity, perhaps. Familiarity does breed contempt, after all, or so the saying goes. And familiarity affords you the knowledge of the precise angle at which to cut them the deepest. But you refuse to take it out on those you love, to push the very ones away that would love you the most if you but let them.

Resist. Retreat. Retract.

Holding on white knuckle tight to the reins but desperate to release this energy. What was it that character said in that book? He would tell Atlas to shrug…

How did I end up here upon the rocks?

Just moments ago you were on the sand, the brilliance of the sun shining down on you. Now, desperately holding on to the rocks as the waves relentlessly crash into you, the flow pressing you hard against the rock; the ebb threatening to drag you down into the deep. Over and over again.

How much more can I take?

Batten down the hatches, wall everyone off until this passes, put on the smiling mask. Keep on with your day, keep moving, keep breathing. Walking through your house, struggling to focus and just keep busy, busy enough to let it pass. You find yourself in the kitchen. Yes, that’s it. You begin to pull ingredients out of the pantry and fridge; seasonings out of the cupboard, a plan coming together in your head. The waves still crash violently upon you as you turn the energy outward; a pastime that has become a passion and a way of catharsis as you serve those you love.

Would they understand if I just came out with it?

A couple hours later, deep into a crucial step of the creation and you feel it… the weight of the waves is gone. Your slumped shoulders and chest straighten, you can breathe easier. You feel the warmth of the sun again as the clouds recede once more. A small smile cracks the corners of your mouth for just a moment or two. You know it’s not over yet.

The path of healing
more painful than the wounding
To endure is life