on healing

This is a piece I wrote back in February and posted on my blog at the time. I re-read it today and wanted to share it on this new space as well. This is for me, for you, and for everyone who has ever had good days and bad days.


I call them good days and bad days, but really they’re more like hours, sometimes minutes. A good day for two hours and then a bad day for the next seven. Good for thirty minutes, bad for forty-five.

My good days feel like this: Hope like honey melting on my tongue. I breathe and I feel my lungs fill with air instead of water. Laughing feels easier and so does getting out of bed. I don’t feel like myself exactly, but I feel more familiar, like I’m recognizing myself again. The present feels tender, but when I hold it in my hands like this, I can feel its heartbeat flutter in my palms and I understand that this is what it is to be alive.

The bad days are like this: My world starts shrinking and it doesn’t stop until every star has been squeezed out of the sky and all that’s left is me and my broken mind. I’m trapped on a train that only goes in circles and every mirror I look into shows me someone I don’t know. The past is the sun and today is its shadow. I know I can fight this sinking feeling, flip it on its head and turn it all around, but I am too tired to try again.

Isn’t that one of the worst parts? When you become so exhausted you stop caring. You stop saying I love you to the people you love, not because you don’t anymore, but because your heart is so fractured it’s hard to connect even the truest of words. You want to be someone better, but you can only be who you are right now and that makes you hate yourself. But maybe that is the secret to healing. You can only be who you are right now so instead of beating yourself up for it, be kind to your bruises. Let yourself be.

I was under the impression that healing meant every day would be better than the last until one day, I would emerge good as new, but it turns out healing is not so linear. Healing is good days and bad days, falling into the same pits over and over again, and somehow finding enough thread of compassion to climb your way out one more time. The more you keep catching these threads, the more the good days begin to outnumber the bad instead of the other way around.

This is who I want to be: When it feels like a fist is closing around the sky and crushing every star, I want to be someone who closes her eyes and sees the sunrise in her mind. Even if it feels like a lie to remember something so far from reach, I want to remember that the real lie is that the light is gone for good, and the truth is that yesterday is the shadow and today is the rising sun.