Words are lost inside me, when he stands inches away and wants to know why I'm sad, and I don't know if I can explain it again. In this moment, with this man I married, we might as well be strangers. In this moment, I'm stranger to myself. I know this depression is not who I am, but here it is, eating my words from the inside out.
My legs carry me out of the apartment, into the hallway, through the dark corridor leading outside, before the tears give me away completely. The walls seem thin as two sheets of paper, flapping in the wind that's kicking up outside. I lean against one of these plywood walls and stand there in the shreds of daylight that remain, staring straight ahead at the black metal door.
The door I entered in, it opens with a creak, and my heart rate speeds up, but no one is there. At the end of the corridor, the metal door swings open, and the wind passes through, closing it with a thud. The whole corridor, on both sides, is lined with doors. Blank white doors with shiny brass handles. And I feel the walls themselves closing in, the way my life closed in this past year, with all it's doors flapping open in the wind, slammed and sealed. These doors, they taunt me in the quiet, and I whisper out a name.
It's as if hope rises with the wind and falls with the door closing, wishing the wind would carry him in and down this corridor, to wrap me in his arms. And I know he's here, somewhere, but tonight he slips through my fingers.
I think back to my visit at the doctor today, how I recoiled inside at the number on the scale. Why I bit back tears, later at home, knowing it's only a number. But it didn't feel that way. It felt like another door no longer open, as it was in the days when my body was healed and I ran and played without restraint, lined up in that darkening hallway, the life I wanted back concealed on the other side.
And now, I stand in this corridor, this bridge between the place I've called home this past year and the windy outdoors, and I can't move, only stare at that metal door. One year ago, I moved into this place with joy and anticipation and dreams wide open, awaiting a wedding and a marriage one month later. And then, just days before the wedding, I tore my achilles and we tumbled into marriage and my heart has been tearing in pieces ever since, until I don't know how many more ways I can tear.
One year later, I stand what seems a skeleton of me.
I don't say the words in this dark corridor, but they hang in the air, and so I confess them here so they come to the light: Friends, in my darkest moments, I doubt I'll ever recover from all the tearing this year. In my darkest moments, I want to seal my mouth shut and sit in silence, let my words collect dust behind these doors. And then, the dark gives way to cracks of light and hope trickles in, slow and gentle. And I can't see or feel him, but I know he's like the wind.
The tears dry and I step out of the corridor, back into the lit hallway, back into our apartment. I step into the kitchen and pull spinach and romaine, carrots and celery and onion from the fridge. And I feed myself a salad. I mourn this frail body, and still I love it with a tenderness I did not possess in my younger years, when in fear I starved it of food and vulnerability and grace.
I'm aware, sitting here as I hungrily consume, that this heart beating behind the skeleton ribs of me, these lungs breathing, this body with its extra pounds and limitations, house the essence of me - and still can't contain it all. One day, I hope, I will be a door bursting open at the seams. Until then, I stand in the corridor and whisper the name and wait for him to come and heal and show me how to run again.
Maybe then, I'll look in the mirror and see more than severed pieces.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
My little disclaimer: Friends, this writing reflects my process, and it is up and down movement. I am trying to be brave and not edit my words - the things we don't wish to say - down to something tamer and safer to express. I am not always here, in this space I was in when I wrote this. My hope is, if you ever find yourself in this place as I am, you can know you're not alone. We may feel alone, but it is simply not true. Let these frail words of mine testify of that. This I do know: Doors may appear sealed shut, but they were designed to be opened. Every broken door can be mended; new doors may be discovered; old doors can be painted. And my soul says in the darkened place, "Glory to God." He is here.
Linking up with Emily.