I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. It’s curious how fear, intense sadness and the feeling of failure can change the way your face looks, that’s what I saw between the tears. It was blurry, but I wasn’t blind. I opened my mouth to scream. I let air coming from my deepest horrors. Silent howling in the middle of the night while everybody slept. Endless soundless salty tears erupted from my insides. My fingers found my hair and curled tight.
I didn’t know if I was scared of my situation as much as I was scared of what I was seeing. I was trying to find me, to find a tiny sign of hope or good.
It was maybe the fourth time I had to start from zero, but this time was especially painful. I had to leave the US because my attorney forgot to take care of my paperwork to start a new job that I gained with years of effort, tears and loneliness. I thought I had made it. I wanted the best for my baby girl. Something different. Good different. I didn’t have anywhere else to go, so I ended up at my parents’ after almost twenty years living by myself in other countries chasing my dream. Escaping the horror. My sister and brother in law offered me to stay at their house for a while because they knew what this situation meant to me.
In that bathroom, my heart was a dried raisin. She didn’t deserve me, “I said over and over,” and that was killing me from the core to the outside. When I emptied the nausea and when I stopped shaking, I went back to our borrowed room. It is hard to be quiet at three in the morning. I knew my way back, so I didn’t bother to open my eyes or turn the lights on. I closed the door as gentle as I could and I heard my daughter’s breath close to the floor. Airbeds are really nice, but after seven months you are just a living sore. I squatted in slow motion, and when I felt the surface of the rubber bed I began to let it go millimeter by millimeter. I didn’t want to wake her up when my weight pushed more air on her side of the “bed.” Once laying in my numbness, I tried to find any ray of light that allowed me to see her silhouette. I caressed her silky hair. How could I stop trying? I didn’t want to, but I was burned out, exhausted, dead alive. I just had enough energy to breath. I could tell that I was going straight to the abyss where it was going to be hard to come back from.
Lying on my back I thought that it couldn’t go worse. My pupils in the direction of the ceiling. I made a decision. I surrendered to life, to the Universe, BUT like a gift, trusting it, trusting in its power. I gave up myself to it. Imagining that life had two huge hands, and that my body and my soul were placed on those hands. No more control. No more fixing. When I surrendered as a gift, after I did everything in my power, with acceptance, I set myself free. A state of gratitude started to grow within me. I began to see and breath the small, but big things I had to be grateful for.
I was grateful for the air that I inhaled and exhaled. I was alive! Every second was a miracle. That gave me my first doses of fresh energy. The next noon I got up and carried myself to the bus stop. One second at a time.
Even though my energy was barely enough to breathe and drag me to work, this became a ritual every night before going to sleep and everyday first thing after I woke up. Gratitude in a dark moment fills you with light. At the beginning it’s just a tiny flame, but that one dot lost inside the blackness is the difference between life and death.
“Gratitude is the hand that takes you out of a place of darkness.” ~Alicia Markowitz
[Please scroll down to add your comments]