Friday, February 17, 2012

a step back…then forward


Sometimes you begin the climb without realising. 
Suddenly you look up and all around
and see what you have begun.
It's startling. It's scary. 
Do you turn back? 

You want to, badly.
Go to the comfort of all you know, the easy paths, 
the ones without overhangs or slippy bits, 
or those cliff edges where you look down and see the drop below.

You don't want to look up, and see the rise and rise…
the endless, impossible rise…
of where you need to go.

Sometimes it's a conscious choice.
You begin to climb because if you don't, you're already falling. 
You climb because staying here, in this place, doesn't work. 

The climb begins 

and it's extraordinary how quickly you feel terrified.
The incredible heights! The drop below! 
Unreachable! Impossible!
Fear fills your chest and hurts it. 

You weep at night with your husband. 
You say, I don't know what's ahead. 
What if I don't make it? What if I fall? 
When will it be better?

He says, There's no rush. 
He says, There's no time limit on "better." 

He tells you a good, simple story, and it speaks of small steps. 
Steps taken with faith, with openness, with hope. 

His words slow you, stop the fall.

He sits with you. He scoots his chair forward so your knees can touch,
so his hands can touch, 
so you can see his face and his eyes connecting with yours. 
His eyes and hands and heart hold you. 

You begin to breathe.
You look up again. And around.
at the path in front of you.
Not at the height above or the drop below 
but at the path, here
where you are walking,

All you have to do 

is take a single step.



Yesterday was my first session with a new therapist. 
Later, at night, when the dark loomed and monsters began to shift and creak under the beds,
the past opened like jaws and wellness seemed suddenly out of reach.

But there was a man, and he listened and told a story,
and sometimes that's all it takes for you to lift your head again. 


  1. You can do it. You are courageous and strong. You can do it.

    1. Thanks so much, Deb. Your words make doing it easier :)

  2. Oh how brave. To write this and share it and do it.

    1. Don't know about brave, Ingi, but determined beyond belief! Thanks so much for your support, my friend.

  3. You are so brave and beautiful! Thinking of you and sending STRONG vibes your way. (((((((EXTRA HUGE SQUISHY HUGS)))))))

  4. Karisma, I LOVE your hugs. Just love them :) Thank you.

  5. How comforting that you don't have to walk through this alone. Your post script gave me chills. Yes, my friend, you ARE brave. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    1. Thank you, Jess, for being here (and it feels like you are much closer than you are. Which is just as it should be, don't you think?) Thank you for your loving energy.

  6. Yes you can do it! And remember, any time something tells you that wellness is out of reach, know that is a lie! A big fat stinking lie from the past and you do NOT have to listen to it. Know that wellness is truly within your reach. That's the truth. I feel for you - to face the hard stuff to get to the well stuff is the bravest thing of all. Prayers for peace. You are doing it. :)

    1. Thank you so much, HK. You're right and thank you. I know it's good to face the hard stuff, but sometimes I wish I had one of those snow clearer bulldozer thingies (oh, what are they called? The ones that clear the streets of snow after a storm) and I could sit back and watch all the hard bits get taken away and the path left clear for me to simply walk down. But that's just sometimes. Most times I'm ready to face it, especially with friends like you by my side. Thank you :)

  7. So glad for you that he is there and listening! And, remember, he can't listen, and it would be harder to help, if you didn't let him know when you're struggling.

    You are brave, and you are strong. Strong doesn't have to work alone.

    Sending you love, and lightness!

    1. Thanks so much, Jackie. I am so grateful for your loving words, your energy and all that light! :)

  8. And breathe. One little step at a time, and breathe. Let your belly fill with whatever air is available, just in the moment, relax the shoulders down, and breathe. It is not a race to see who does it better. It just is, and maybe being right where we are is enough.

    peaceful and life affirming positive energy headed your way. Breathe it in, it is just for you.

    1. I am so glad to know you, Andrea. I am so grateful for every bit of peace and energy you send. I AM breathing it in.

      And I wonder if our messages of goodness bump into each other on their way across the ocean? Like maybe they stop for a second and smile, one saying, I'm off to see Andrea, the other saying, Well I'm going to Helena, and for a moment the sky there, at that point is clearer, calmer, an extra depth of blue. I'd like to think that :) Thank you.

    2. Oh, now there's a beautiful thought! I'm going to imagine messages of goodness bumping into each other, like little whisps of cloud at sunset- orange and lilac and pearly grey. Any time I wonder if it really matters; me sitting here at my computer with a heart brimful of emotion for someone I've never even met. Knowing that I don't really understand what they're going through and hoping I don't say anything that comes across as insensitive, trite or just plain stupid.
      BTW, that's a pretty special man you have there and I know that you know that already. :)

    3. Joanne, it does matter—you there with your heart so full, sending love and support through the ether, to people like me. You never sound anything but kind and I am so grateful for your words!

      And yes, that man is special—thank you for saying that! I always love to share stories about him, because he is so wonderful and because he gets such a kick out of it when I do :)

  9. But each step forward is a little more 'forward'. You are so blessed to have an amazing husband who understands and listens. Honestly, you are in my thoughts and prayers every single day. Sending you hugs and love from Bama sweet friend.

    1. Thanks so much, Karen. I feel those thoughts and prayers, and hugs and love—I really do! And am grateful for every single one you send :)

  10. Stopping in to be one more soul offering love and mucho wishes for you--for whatever you like!
    You are strong, and you are brave, and I'm so glad you have such a wonderful, loving helpmeet.
    Sending all the good stuff,


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.