There was a time when I lived in chronic physical pain. This pain caused a battle between my body and mind. My mind rebelled by slowly killing me.

The war inside of me waged, gradual and nearly invisible…until it wasn’t.

I think of that time like a lifetime behind this one.

When I am reminded of the triggers that prodded me in that life, I am still affected, but differently. Like a reverse acupuncture.

Those winters full of pokes and pain, fear and unworthiness, sit like one long winter in my memory. Scars flare under my skin. It’s an odd sensation, a burning scar under your skin.

And my mind has vulnerable days and moments, too. My mind did not scar, it rebounded, but is…fragile in some places, calloused in others, and not immune to flares of its own.

Tori Amos’ has a song called Winter.

The thing is, about the song winter, “When you gonna love you as much as I do?”

In those hard, hard years I believed,

No, bigger than that, somewhere between convinced and dreamed and counted on

that if someone, some one, loved me enough then I would become enough. If I was respected, enough, I would become strong enough. If someone believed in me…enough…I would become all I was supposed to be.

So many dreams on the shelf…

When you gonna make up your mind?

Cuz things are gonna change so fast…

And then, they did. It didn’t feel fast. But “things” did change. Toxic people finally drifted from my life. Sacrifices were made to control, then reduce, then cut out the pain. Without the continued noise of pain crowding my mind, I regained control. I stopped dying.

I crawled out of winter, about 15 years of long, cold, bitter, winter. Today I am fragile; the body forgets nothing.

Yesterday my mind spiraled, triggered by a combination of small things in my world that most days are harmless, monsters in the real world, and who knows?  Some days the arrow hits the soft spots of my mind, I suppose, like the Hobbit’s dragon. Too many metaphors? This is what happens when you only give me 10 minutes.


Time’s up. My Friends at Finish The Sentence Friday challenged a “Free Write” this week. The challenge is Free Write 5 minutes about Winter.  I took five to ramble, twice, then however many to cut out words, fill in correct(ish) punctuation, and add video. I am a mushy mess at the coffee shop this AM. Sometimes that happens in winter. Free-Writes are raw, scary, and dangerous. I’m posting it anyway. You’ve got a day to take the challenge and join in too, check it out here:

*One more thing – After the 5 minutes – I want to note that there were (and are) people who love(d) me. So many wonderful people who loved me when I didn’t or couldn’t love myself…enough. This trick was one of many that my mind used in its war upon me. I’ve often said, “Wouldn’t it be great if our brain was actually on our side?”   OY!