“It’s going to fucking suck”.
Those words reverberate in her mind, on loop, loud as if the person who first spoke them, so long ago on that dark night is standing right in front of her again.
Her mind simply wants Ashlee to remember that healing takes time, that it will require the sacrifice of tears, and it will feel as if her entire body is being ripped apart from the inside, only to be reshaped, stronger, better into a familiar yet wholly new image, should she survive the onslaught.
It’s Sunday, a quiet day as Ashlee lies in her rumpled, utterly disheveled bed, laptop open to a blinking, taunting cursor, the only alive thing in an expanse of thirsty white.
She wants to fill that white, pristine page, with dark symbols, with words that will alleviate the pain in her chest, the heaviness that is lodged there and stoutly refuses to roll away like the boulder, Ashlee imagines it is.
Yet, while her mind tells her she can fill that page, her body lacks the energy and her mind’s background mutterings are filling her with a sense of melancholy, robbing her of her ability to focus on the here and now, with their loudness.
Huffing, she flops back against the two pillows adorning her bed, legs bracketing the laptop and her artistic mouse and stares as she seems to be doing way too much lately at the white painted wood of the ceiling.
Everything is quiet for a moment.
She can tell the wind is flirting with the green leaves of the mango tree as they flutter and preen in the golden sunshine, can hear the breeze as it shoots through the leaves, giving them a somehow soothing, rattling sound.
She can hear her parents, chatting about God knows what just down the hall, as they bake. She can hear her breathing, low and steady and she knows that if she looks outside, she will be treated to a beautiful, sea of blue sky.
She will be able to take in the natural beauty of the world around her, blooming green in good health and it all bugs the fuck out of her.
Everything looks…happy. It looks cheerful and full of hope and laughter, and it is not at all palatable to her right now.
Not when she feels the exact opposite. Not when she knows, a pounding headache is working itself up to the front of her brain; not when she feels so displaced.
Ashlee is frustrated, overwhelmed and terrified.
She has never in her life cried as much as she has over these last two years, she has never felt as worthless as she does either.
Never felt so keenly the absence of hope, of faith and the belief that she will inevitably prevail.
“ Well, this sucks…,” She mutters, turning her attention to her mobile. She picks up the rectangular piece of technology and clicks to the YouTube app.
She wants to rage out, to give this bubbling, roiling tsunami of emotion that has been making it’s uncomfortable home within her for too long an exit strategy.
She wants to let it all bleed out of her, from her pores, through her mouth, from her ears, she just wants the stress of it all to leave her alone.
She listens to old rock music. Pulling up random sounds that will allow her to scream right along to them in her head, songs from Linkin Park that will evoke the purging, though scalding tears and as they play…
…her body and mind react in sync.
She closes her eyes, lets the music rage, swell and dance with her emotions.
In those moments, she is once again teleported to that darkened beach, thin sand crunching under their feet, leaning against her car, with her long time friend infront of her. They had just finished eating their chicken sandwiches and they were talking about how everything was going to change for Ashlee.
They were talking about how she was leaving her ex, going back home and her hope that soon her business would be booming.
She’d had so many ideas then, she had way more hope then. Sad that two years of hoping and trying had almost drained it all away.
Ashlee takes another deep breath, murmuring the words of the songs, even as her inner voice becomes a raging, performing rock star.
“ Inner work sucks! This really does hurt!” she grumbles. “ I cannot believe that I’m choosing to feel like this! This cannot be a choice, this cannot be how it is!”
The tears prick at her sensitive eyes yet again, demanding their freedom. Ashlee ignores them, she is sure she is about to reach an epiphany and the loud music is blasting away all the background noise for her.
She is so close to clarity, she can feel it.
When it finally comes, it’s after an hour of a what feels like the equivalent of an inner typhoon hitting a nervous system.
It’s after the tears become criminals and escape their bonds to slide freely down her face, it’s after her chest raggedly rises and falls, needing to release the wails, but unable to because her mouth is the only thing taking orders from her and remains tight lipped.
And all the while, her heart is pumping out inner, dull painful sensations as well as blood around her body.
Clarity, comes after the headache takes her prisoner.
It comes after her heartfelt chants of, “I just need a win, please just one win!”
And the answer for all the raging storm and devastation it wrought is simple, “None of this matters. Your health and happiness does. Take better care of yourself”.
You made it to the end! Wooot!