It rained last night, for the first time in far too long, and with it came a new sense of clarity. Both literally and figuratively. New York City requires a good washing from nature on a regular basis otherwise things start to look bleak; more dirty and depressing than usual.
This morning I was driving home from the gym when the grey clouds parted revealing streaks of periwinkle blue skies. The sun illuminated those grey clouds and suddenly they glowed golden, the leaves on the trees showed extra green, fresh from their washing. The roads looked cleaner and car windows glimmered – an S.O.S. of hope over the Henry Hudson Parkway.
It was an incredible few moments to witness and I soaked in every last bit. If I were not driving I would have laid down and allowed it wash over me, like a baptism by nature. Instead I slowed the car and let the rest of the world speed by so I could receive this message.
Everything is ok. Everything is renewed.
I’ve not been in a good place for a very long time. Anxiety has crept back into my life, but unlike times past, it has taken ahold and shook me to the core. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I am doing good to just get out of the bed, let alone leave the house. I’m plagued by intrusive thoughts about my own mortality, the death of my family, horrific acts of terrorism, and more. I have been too scared to speak up for fear of losing those I hold closest.
Two weeks ago, in moment of desperation, I walked into a family medicine clinic and asked to see the doctor on-call. She asked a few general questions, wrote a prescription for Prozac and instructed me to find a therapist. I started the meds and then began the hunt for someone to help – a task that ended up far more challenging than one would expect. Someone on the brink should not have to call 20 or more therapists before one will answer the phone or call them back. Nothing about that is acceptable when your job is to care for the mental health of others.
Gradually the medication is building up in my body and I see it bringing temporary relief. Breathing deeply no longer yields that horrifying sucking feeling in my chest. I can sleep a bit better. I can get myself out of bed and to the gym. Yesterday I even met up with a girlfriend and then ran errands with Sabine. We had such a wonderful day together chatting and letting our kids play and Sabine was such a delight to shop with later. While Sabine ate her black beans at our Mother/Daughter lunch I thought how for the first time in a long, long while I felt open and receptive, not closed and alone.
And then my phone chirped saying I had an email saying that I received two tickets to see Pope Francis as he makes his way through Central Park later this month. My heart swelled as the significance of this timing sank in.
And then it rained that sweet, sweet cleansing rain. And then the golden light this morning. And just now a therapist finally answered her phone and is going to help. And during all of this, I have been able to be present and open to the signs. I am again able to feel emotion and cry real tears. I am able to see hope, and maybe a tiny glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel.