Something stirs in the dead zones; cool water on the hot coals of confusion. The steam sears, but it feels good to know emotional complexities again. The spots and crackled skin on my hands comes from over exposure to the sun, but the warmth that is brings is something good. For the first time in a vey long time, I am comfortable in my own middle aged skin.
The stirrings were fleeting at first and are still vulnerable to the snapping jaws of panic, but I can still recall when fear was the only reliable emotion I could access for weeks or months at a time – I had two modes: panic and exhaustion from being panicked all the time. I was able to identify the places where joy and peace would fit, but there was no feeling to put there, and so I filled them with tears that may have looked like happiness but were actually despair at the joy I was incapable of feeling. The numbness is not entirely gone, and sometimes I still fill the slots with the wrong emotions, but in the past year I have felt a broadening, an expansion, like blood flowing into long empty veins. It can be painful, but those pipes that flowed primarily with fear and confusion, now course with hope.
Where all energy went into the suppression of fear, there are stories, words descriptions, curiosities that no longer torment but intrigue. I read and write and the atrophied muscles ache and respond. Slowly.
Recovery has required withdrawal from things and people I know are important. I will have to find a way to keep those connections without allowing such pursuits to short circuit this delicate thread of creative electricity. I worry that it will snap but I know that I will only happen if I allow it.