When You Can’t Breathe – Hold On

One by one I peeled away the sheets and the duvet from my skin, only to walk into the main room of our home and see the curtain pulled back a few feet and a new blanket of soft grey clouds coming toward me, wrapping me up, deceptively sad and cold – they look so soft and peaceful from afar.

Around my mind and heart they reached with arms damp with regret and fear and worry and yes, even that slightest bit of pain. Like a needle, so small but I’m so aware of its presence, slowly pushing through the layers of tissue around this cross-stitched heart.

At least I can feel, I think to myself, my mouth twisted and eyes slightly closed, chest expanding with air as I promise myself if I only breathe deep it won’t feel like I’m suffocating. It’s funny what property owners say about open spaces; sure, there may be no walls in between my kitchen, my dining area and my living room, but they don’t tell you that an open floor plan is only as open as the heart of the person moving in.

So many choices flash through my mind as I ask myself what’s the next right step and try to slough away the clouds from my insides and outsides. Today is a long shower that’s running out of hot water, teasing me with streams of liquid growing colder, subtly, until the chill hits and goose pimples break out and cover me too. I race to find warmth.

So many things covering me, so many layers that are not my own skin. I want to strip down to dry bones and walk away from the pieces of me that are still warm because sometimes its the living that is so hard. Bones don’t have eyes to see and judge or mouths to speak words that harm or flesh to wound or hearts to feel regret.

But bones cannot feel joy either. Bones shatter and turn to dust much faster than this body will. Aches and bruises, confusion and chaos, damp clouds that darken a morning. I must keep in mind those mental photographs of the sunsets that take my breath away with colors that have no name. I must remember the early morning light that paints my windows with silver and gold. I cannot forget the sun and its warmth as it soaks into my skin warming away the coldness of moments like these.

Hold on. Hold on.

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8 thoughts on “When You Can’t Breathe – Hold On

  1. Sometimes those memories of warmer days are so distant. If only I could hear the sounds of the jet engines coming from afar, even if I don’t see the ‘object’ of their noise. I can barely remember the hope I once had for the natural, nay, Biblical things I desire, yet they remain so allusive. Thankfully I’ve walked with Christ long enough to know just how deceptive many of my feeling are; the enemy uses them to wear me down. I know the sun will yet rise again…tomorrow, next week, maybe a month from now, and in the mean time, I will thank God for your willingness to share your own hurts and pain (so eloquently) as a reminder that we are definitely not alone; Our Lord is close to those who hurt, and as the Body, we have each other. Praying for you today Anne…Michael

  2. This reminds me of something Brene Brown says. We can’t numb away the pain, insecurity, vulnerability without numbing joy and light. We have to learn to feel with resilience. I love that word, resilience. It reminds me of your word picture here. Rays of dawn shining boldly, determined to slice the clouds of darkness.

  3. Our family cares and is still praying for you daily – and will keep on. This blog reminded me a lot of the first five years after my divorce. I was so much like this! But God (and Yvonne) did steadily heal me. I pray for love, joy, peace, warmth, and God’s presence for you too. Hang in there!