Friday, September 25, 2020

Only I Will Remain


The Third Eye by Rutuja Padwal

I’ve been dreaming quite often about being hospitalized due to mental illness. It could be because I’m struggling with my mental health, but I feel like many of us are struggling due to the pandemic. I’m not a stranger to needing inpatient treatment, but I’m not even close to that point at all. When I woke up from that dream this morning, I was acutely aware of how healthy I am compared to years ago. I’m not only healthier, but happier. I remember back to when I was working for the local school district, and barely being able to get out of bed. I was burnt out working with aggressive students, and deeply depressed. Now I am passionate about my work, and thankful that I survived that period of my life. I think that my schedule is in flux, and that throws me off. I also know that eventually it will be more consistent again, and so I work on being patient and compassionate with myself. I still see my therapist virtually, which is better than not seeing her at all, but of course it’s not the same. We all want things to go back to normal, and the fact is that it may be awhile, or perhaps never, and that is difficult to come to terms with at times. Because of my sexual assault, and being gagged during it, wearing a mask is extremely challenging. I have worked hard to increase the amount of time I can tolerate it, but it always causes anxiety. I would rather go nowhere than to wear one, but that’s not always an option. It’s funny how that trauma, which I had really worked through, can still side swipe me, and that makes me angry. This political climate wears on me; the hate, the anger, the inequality, the racism, and on and on...aren’t we all afraid? I know I am...

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” 

~Frank Herbert