On the second day of Swaptober my troubled mind gave to me… another bout of melancholy.
I spent much of my day feeling as if I had been transplanted into a battle of biblical proportions. It began with my subconscious electing to dispatch a squadron of nightmares to invade my sleep – including a heart-stopping vision in which my mother succumbed to Cancer. My body, refusing to be overshadowed by a mental opponent, retaliated in bloody fashion: I was hemorrhaging non-stop all day, with an uncontrollable flow of blood seeping steadily into my clothes.
My subconscious hit back with a vicious anxiety attack, sent forth to strike me down on public transport. A counter strike from my body included renewed ankle pain and plantar fasciitis, restricting my movements and weakening my defences. Suddenly, a lethargy exploded across my being like a toxic nerve gas and I was quickly lulled into the belief that I was drifting across the River Styx to be carried into the Underworld.
As mind and body competed to dominate my being, my soul – fed up of being crushed, bloodied and battered – decided to wade into the fray, sword swinging, to decapitate both serpents. Through the clash of steel came a shrill and fearsome roar – a battle cry which shook me to my core, “You cannot stop me; I am too strong”. With this reinforcement, my day panned out as follows:
I forced myself out of bed this morning; checked my mother was still alive; explained my odd behaviour and weakened state to my baffled father; gulped down painkillers; applied more make-up than Maybelline can produce in a year; donned dark clothes; headed off to a job interview and… arrived as planned (early and looking suitably presentable). I answered all questions without crying and talked with evangelical fervour about my skills and career.
I finished my interview with blood raking my thighs, severe fatigue and nausea, along with pain and tightness across my chest following an earlier panic attack on the train.
My ankle swelled as I completed my shopping before journeying home, and my broken tooth throbbed throughout in protest. A blister, the size of an egg, formed upon the surface of my heel and my skin burned with every step forward. Yet, through it all my soul screamed, “You won’t hold me back; I am too strong!”
Yes, I came home and burst into tears (who wouldn’t?), finding myself caught briefly within the grip of conflicting emotions towards The Forgiven One and his upcoming birthday. It was a cowardly attempt by my subconscious to take me down, going straight for the jugular with an unexpected strike to my weak spot: lost love, guilt and worthlessness. I felt bereft and ready to surrender. Suddenly, I heard my soul yelling out with terrifying purpose: “Enough!”. I quickly pulled myself together and got on with the rest of my day. Still bleeding. Still in pain. Still feeling drugged and weepy.
I AM strong. I know I am. I have lived through days such as this far too many times to count and I’m still here, still breathing, still standing, still persevering, and still winning. There are infinite positives to celebrate about my day, beginning with the fact that I survived it, which is the best of them all.