I am caught in a web, a web of deception and lies, a web of fear. It whispers constantly in my ears; no, can’t, don’t. Danger is everywhere. I lay in it’s web, paralyzed by the anxiety fear has wrought. I know fear lies; yet I still lay motionless as it creeps closer, ready to spin me ever tighter in its never-ending cycle. I am it’s prey, helplessly stuck, just waiting for it to feast upon me.
The grey and yellow little bird lay dead, cradled in the grass. It’s song forever silenced. Tears welled as I removed the delicate creature fallen from flight. I’ve thought about the bird all day with a feeling of heaviness in my heart, as I do for all creatures of the universe. Perhaps finding this lifeless bird signifies an end and a new beginning of something for me.
If it’s death was to portend for me then I am grateful for it’s sacrifice, but tomorrow when I listen to the birdsongs I will know there is one less song being sung.
To heal implies a resolution of a condition or a disappearance of a wound. To heal implies a cure, a complete reversal of illness. It’s my experience and opinion that we never truly heal from a mental illness.
Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD don’t disappear. Symptoms may diminish and sometimes we can learn how to carve out a way to live day by day with them, but we are not healed. We are altered, forever changed by the experiences of pain, trauma, and the uncontrollable emotions these illnesses inflict.
Everyone’s experience is as unique as a cloud in the sky. Our illnesses manifest individualized and fluid. Each of us rides the wave knowing that when the next wave comes we will be changed. Hopefully we can ride the latest wave with more balance and skill.
We may improve and our demons become less visible, but we never heal.
I walk the tight isles haphazardly set up in the oversized garage. So much is packed into the space it’s impossible to focus my eyes on any one thing. My wife was a collector, he says. She passed away recently. We chat as I try not to stumble while navigating the maze of tables and shelves. He lost his wife nearly a year ago. They were married 58 years. She had a lot of collections as well as multiple examples of household items. The years of her life on display. Her life’s work up for sale.
I understand there is pleasure in collecting. Satisfaction from the hunt for a missing piece or special memento. I collected things for a while myself. Until things began to lose their meaning and the act of collecting became a distraction and a way to escape from reality.
When my reality crashed, I let them go, save for a few items that held special meaning in my life or were an item of remembrance from a loved one. After the purge I felt lighter, less tied to things, and more open to the richness of nature and people. Now I collect birds in song, butterflies in flight, and clouds in the sky. I treasure the people in my life, the new ones I meet and the stranger in the street. The Passing glances, smiles, a chance encounter, or a brief interaction.
Everyone should have something special in their lives that remind them of happy times or special loved ones. If you collect something that is meaningful to you, treasure it, revel in the joy it brings you, and perhaps pass it on.
In acknowledging the impermanence of life I strive to travel lightly. I do my best to appreciate what the universe puts in my path to see, feel, and experience. Those things you won’t find at a garage sale, which is fine by me, because I don’t want to end up a garage sale.