I tell my therapist that my soul is locked behind a door made of ancient wood and that the mahogany guards a snarl that is better off in darkness. That snarl wraps around shame and judgment and loneliness and inadequacy and terror and emptiness and exhaustion and meaningless, and if the door opens, I know I will enter. Because the door is also an invitation. That locked away place is dark and warm, and I fit, snuggled in the comfort of pain. Maybe the Cure plays, or maybe Patti Griffin, and maybe there is the densest down duvet I’ve ever wanted thrown over my old porch rocker offering warmth and heaviness and silence. And if I sit and tuck myself away here, I know I will not emerge. That snarl of feeling will gather around me, and it will squeeze, and I will struggle to breathe and beat on.
While living in Mexico, I joked that speaking Spanish forced me to be far more Zen about life: Since I could only speak in the present tense, I was forced to just live in that present tense.
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