Morning breaks and I’m already up, letting dogs out. The sun peeks over the horizon with fingertips of color streaking through the clouds. Breathing deeply I fill my lungs with the crisp morning air and stretch my arms towards the sky. For these moments I am calm inside myself. I watch the dogs wandering around doing their business. I whistle and they turn, then run to me to come inside where it’s warm.
I workout, live streaming it while pushing my body to it’s limits. Treadmill, weights until I get to the point of passing out, then boxing. Boxing always being my reward for the other two. It is my outlet and a reward for all the tightly held anger I still struggle with each week. The days I get to box are the best days as I get out all my irritability and stress.
Emotions still escape me, yet anger can flare like a match brought to life but also just as easily blow out. Crying, it still escapes me which is funny as it seems like all I used to do was cry. Perhaps it’s my hormones finally settling down to normal levels. Crying, of course did happen and quite publicly when I broadcasted a poem I read for a friend’s birthday gift. She knows how much I’ve struggled with what comes so easily to her. I’d practiced it, the tears started coming and I took a deep breathe, pushed the red button.
One look at myself, with tears standing in my eyes and I was almost undone. I read the poem, got through it and nearly sobbed out loud. I hadn’t know until that singular moment how much her friendship meant to me. When I hit the “end broadcast” button I began sobbing and was a bit horrified at this deep emotion I had somehow managed to touch inside myself.
As the day went on, texts, voice messages from people who’d watched the broadcast, crying during their own messages I finally understood. It was o.k. to have finally allowed myself to be vulnerable. Somehow the poetry I had written touched this place where I was able to cry, to finally cry without reservation.
I cried for all that I had been. I cried for what I had done to survive. I cried for the person who had believed herself broken beyond repair. I cried for the person I had become who could no longer cry. I sobbed until I thought I might throw up. Then I was done. The flow suddenly ended and I felt free in a part of me which had been closed up.
Will I cry again? Perhaps I will, time will tell if I am able to reconnect with this place. Perhaps my art, my poetry is the key.
(Also published on USFRA.org)