Climbing Out into Darkness

Be aware the following post may hurt your heart, mind, or self. I leave nothing unsaid and everything on the table. This is truly in the moment and unprocessed. I questioned posting it vs. selecting all and sending these words into nullity.  Please do not continue if you wish to paint me in the stereotypical Africa with zebras and golden sunshine. I am OK with you painting that canvas, but the following is raw and lacking grit.

What happens when you have a full few weeks of terrible stomach pain, doubts, tears, a night in the hospital, more tears, secret breakdowns in the middle of the day, and at home, and, well, I’m surprised I still have a bottom lip from biting back so many random and super inconvenient emotional bursts? A freaking stressed out, worn out, flipped out, pooped out, stomped out, punched out, mind, body, and soul. I’ve lost interest in a lot of the things I love. Meditation, yoga, dancing around, cooking, baking… I can’t seem to bring myself to do them. Deep breathing in bed is about as far as I’ve gotten lately. I know these things should be my saviours right now; I understand that right now is the most crucial time to follow them through. I tell myself every day I need to do them – no matter what. And then I find myself in bed, staring through my mosquito net trying to breathe evenly and choking on phlegm and snot and tears and having the odd crazy laughing fit about how ridiculous this all is. How ridiculous I am being when I am on this “amazing journey and rare opportunity in Africa”, how ridiculous my luck has been, how ridiculous the idea of coming here was, how ridiculous my mind is being with so many toxic thoughts and teasing ideas…

I finally did a little yoga last night. It was a pathetic attempt, I’ll admit that. It also tapped into some heavy emotional wells I’ve been suppressing. So really, the attempt to feel better resulted in feeling.. well, way too many feels. I am going to continue this because I know I need to let it all go before I can slug forward. It would be much easier if I could cry without being in physical pain from my sore side muscles (stomach cramps really take a toll on your midsection), but there’s not much I can do about that. I had some deep thoughts last night, comparing my mosquito net to my life, that I wanted to share with you, but I have lost the memory. Probably in your favour since it was created by a foggy and emotionally disturbed mind, and I can’t guarantee it made much sense. But really, what does make sense these days?

Things are happening at home with friends and family. So many things. Things I wish I could be apart of. But home for me is every city those friends reside in. I could wish to be in Edmonton one day, Victoria the next, Calgary tonight, Saskatoon this weekend, and the list goes on. But it doesn’t matter because I can’t be in all those places at once. Yes, it would be nice to be in Canada overall. I dream of that often as I try to forget the nightmares from my pillow the night before. Bottom point: my mind is ef’ed up. It is not in a healthy space. I see coworkers moving out and beyond the difficult life changes and it hurts. It hurts because I am not even close to that. My mind is toxic. It’s not willing to move. It’s not climbing out. It’s sitting crossed legged, crossed armed, looking up and out of the well, and feeling hopeless. The top of the well is just blackness. There’s nothing there.

I kept telling myself to write a letter to me from me while I was sick the second time. I was afraid I would forget the feelings once I felt healthy again. The feelings I don’t want to go through a third time. Now that I am feeling better physically each day, my mind is gaining more territory and moving into spaces I forgot existed. Old graves are rolling over in my skull. It scares me to think it’s solely me – wherever I may be, the darkness will follow. Go home, stay here, move somewhere new… always a shadow. I know now I should not have been afraid of forgetting the mind space of being sick, but rather to be afraid of what was to take over post-illness.

Thus, the battle continues. I see patches of light, until I am left to myself and my mind for the slightest second and the light vanishes. I try to grasp it – hold onto it – but it disappears so fast. I can’t even tell you where the darkness creeps from. But it seeps in and dwells deeper each time.

I hope to have softer words for you next time,



4 thoughts on “Climbing Out into Darkness

    1. Molly says:

      *hug emoji* You’ve got an army of people who love you and we’d all like to help/listen/distract so please give us a message anytime you need. Keep being brave, talented you in the meantime!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Alisha says:

    Hang in there Chlo. The toughest times teach you the most, and you my dear are so strong for sticking with it this long. Remember that even though you are struggling now you will come out better and stronger because of it. Sending you lots of love, happy thoughts, and good vibes

    Liked by 1 person

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