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!
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.