The long shadows of the past stretch over me and envelop me in the cavernous darkness.
I am exhausted in a way that feels unexplainable.
Leveled from the inside out.
There is a desperate ache reverberating through my bones. An indescribable pain coursing through my blood. A jagged sadness embedded in my cells.
I find myself craving sleep to escape from the demons, while simultaneously begging for light to find a way out of the obscurity.
Hollowed out and filled with concrete at the same time.
I am desperate for something, anything, to finally have some semblance of sense. And yet I know that even if that were to come, it may not be enough to assuage the suffering that has been my constant companion for decades.
There is smoldering just below the surface.
Remnants of all that has kept me feeling like a prisoner in my own body and in my mind.
What has been left behind are the ashes. The parts that stubbornly refuse to disintegrate and dissipate into the air. This is the debris that remains behind no matter how high the flames have burned.
From the smoky wreckage, a Phoenix is believed to rise. This is the space where the changes are supposed to create something powerful and beautiful and new.
But right now there is no Phoenix appearing. No life altering epiphany. No magic emerging from the fiery embers.
Beyond the rising smoke, however, there may be a fledgling. A small and unsteady creature with wet wings perched on the brink. Newly emerged and desperately trying not to fall out of the nest before she finds her way to fly.
There are flickers of light.
Hazy images that emerge above the flames begging for attention. Needing to be seen and acknowledged. Pleading for recognition and acceptance.
Within this life set ablaze, there is a jumble of memories and experiences and nightmares and tidbits of life crackling and melding together. All of it is coursing through my body as my brain tries to make sense of it.
My synapses ache to fire in a way that will allow the pathways to be reconnected and reengaged.
The warped and missing puzzle pieces are coming into focus in the hopes of being arranged in a way that creates a more complete picture.
There may be a glimmer of hope. A spark of potential buried beneath the layers of debris.
I squint my eyes and tilt my head in an effort to summon all of the goodness entombed within me into existence.
This is the opening of doors, the unblocking of shuttered windows. A concerted effort of allowing the silenced screams to finally have a voice. Offering the trapped emotions a release valve and a safe space to emerge.
The minutes are confused and convoluted. There is no pattern that makes sense. No constellation that can be recognized in the flashes of light.
I am bowled over by a gasping devastating sadness one moment, only to be elated and laughing the next.
This is where I need to surrender. Where I aim to release what no longer serves me and let it float away—dandelion seeds dancing in the wind.
This is how it all comes together. This is how it all falls apart.
This is embracing the path and accepting that right now, this is where I need to be.
Photo: Lauren Treece/Flickr
Jill P. Dabrowski is an empathetic introvert who feels too much and sleeps too little, but is rather accustomed to the imbalance. She lives for the pause between the inhale and the exhale and has a tendency to become enamored with people who make her heart come alive. She is rather accustomed to chaos but still constantly craves calm. Jill spends much of her time trying to keep up with her progeny—twin ninja monkeys and a mini Dalai Lama—as they come into themselves. Her greatest hope is that she can offer them the love and support they deserve as they carve their own space in the world. She runs and writes and meditates, yet still tries to find time to wish on dandelions and falling stars as she strikes random yoga poses. She is actively working to become more comfortable in her skin, scars and all. Jill has written for Rebelle Society, Some Talk of You & Me, and The Tattooed Buddha. You can follow her musings and mutterings on Facebook and on Instagram.