How do you learn to breathe again?
I cried while I typed a response. I cried because I was sad for her and because I know exactly where she is in the process and how she probably feels like she will never be happy again and can't imagine living with the pox of such a deep, dark, pervasive brand of pain and because there are no easy solutions and there is no fast forward button that lets you speed through the gut-wrenching parts. I remember screaming in the darkness and punching my pillow so hard that the stuffing came out and then doubling over in so much pain that I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to get up and face the world again. I remember what those first few months are like, after the shock wears off and reality becomes stark and cold and unforgiving and far too real.
And I also cried because I wish I didn't have sage words to share with her. I wish that I didn't understand and couldn't relate and could sit with my fingers hovering over the keyboard, unable to formulate sentences that might bring an ounce of comfort or hope.
But I do understand and I do know the pain. And though I don't want to be in this position, I'm blessed if I can use this experience --this knowledge I so desperately wish I didn't have-- to bring even a moment of peace or a sense of hope for the future to someone who's suffering. Because though my life is far from perfect, I'm still here. And I'm still trying. And anyone can do what I'm doing because I, like everyone else on the planet, am merely mortal.
So my friend --you know who you are and I'm giving you every bit of the privacy you deserve-- know that I'm praying for you and willing you as much strength and fortitude as I can. And as for breathing? Inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale. I know you can do it.