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Mental Health

In my skin: On choosing joy by communing with the sadness

The moments come often now. When the wind stops by to dance on my forearms and the soil creeps up to tickle my toes. They come often and they settle deeply.

I know that now because I am able to hear their footsteps on my doorway. For a while, I was not. I’m still learning to be okay with that; with all the time that feels stolen, with all those that feel missing.

A few days ago my chest was aching with sadness. I was terrified that I was slipping into another depressive episode. I said this to a friend and she simply loved on me; pulled words from her medicine bag that I had once shared with her while she was fighting sadness. I witnessed then the medicine I had so easily stored and pulled from my own medicine bag for another. Only, I did not always take the first dose. Not for myself. But a few nights ago I remembered to look back into that bag.

I clutched at my chest as I spoke to the sadness, all to say; “Thank you for the visit. I know you need to be here right now. We can sit together, have some healing tea, and talk all we need to tonight. And then I need you to make space for joy. She will want to visit with me too. Maybe not tonight, but when she is ready. I will not leave her locked outside the door when she comes.”

And so we communed together sadness and I. I felt her crawl all over my skin. I felt it too when she wrapped her familiar blanket around my shoulders. She talked. I mostly cried. She decided to spend the night; kept me warm through the dreams and sudden jolts awake. And even though I was scared, I allowed her to hold me.

We walked together the next morning as I welcomed the day. She walked with me as I raised my face to the sun and went to harvest my herbal tea for the day. It was just as I began snipping the herbs that she whispered her gratitude. For my not resisting her visit and allowing her to say all that she needed to. Now that she was seeing me continue to nourish myself even in her presence, she was ready to go. I heard her pack her things to leave while I brewed the tea. I felt her warm blanket fall from my body as the sunlight now kissed my back and enveloped my being.

As she turned to close the door behind her, she said softly: “I know I can trust you a little more now. To take your own medicine, and to sit in communion with the messages I bring for you. You should trust you too.”

If you like this article, check out: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/youre-how-old/

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by brwnflwr

I'm a 20-something-year-old lover of rain, herbal tea and lying on the floor in the dark. While my background is primarily in Clinical Psychology, writing is my home. It is how I cement my radical softness and chronicle my journey towards a more intentional life.


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