by S. E. Mabson
Janine's journey to success is strenuous. W/ her determination she might just get a taste.
I couldn't form a productive thought even if I wanted to. My mind had been working overtime this week. So, I sat there staring out the window. I was watching the world spin into an abyss like a black hole swallowing up the earth. My eyes closed tightly and I waited for the fall; waited to drift into the dark spaces of my mind. I was no longer searching for the light. It wasn't just the job that never seemed to cover the expenses. It wasn't just the apartment the Landlord never wanted to fix. It wasn't just my distant husband changing more and more with each bottle he gulped down. It wasn't just my 16 years old son, that often sneaks out at night to run the streets with his troublesome friends. It wasn't just my 13 years old daughter who never seemed to wear enough clothes and had adopted a snappy mouthpiece. It wasn't just the never ending cycle of abuse that made its start in my childhood. It wasn't just my near-death mother. It wasn't just the grief of my father's recent passing. It wasn't just my miscarried baby's birthday coming up. It was fear. It was doubt. My brain's central control tower had been usurped. I stood there, looking out the window, remembering all the thoughts fear used to paralyze me. The thoughts that cut like a knife to the spine. Every step I took I asked fear for permission first. I clutched to fear for security from failure. My safety net. Though, in reality, I just had an astigmatic vision of my visions and dreams of my future.
For me, it felt like I was standing in front of a monstrous wall compared to my 5'2 height. There was no dangling rope to aid in my climbing venture. Just an eye level peep hole to create hyper focus on a seemingly impossible endeavor. It allowed me to see the path of impractical hurdles to conquer before being rewarded with my goal achievement. I frantically searched for answers to this puzzle and failed, repeatedly.
This is the video playing in a loop chasing the beautiful dream of me standing in my own corner of happy-land, successful, and contributing to a thriving community. Every single time, happy dreams chased by nightmares. My world was nearly consumed by the swirling black hole when a light-bulb manifested in my swirling wormhole of thoughts.
The wall is a distraction. God always gives an escape.
I closed my eyes and visualized the wall again. To my left, a section of the ground shimmered brightly. I smoothed over the dirt and found an iron handle. The handle opened to an underground passageway. When I came out of the passageway I was on the other side of the wall. In front of me, were all my hearts desires. I closed my eyes tighter and prayed.
"Heavenly father, please, clean out the negative in me and fill me back up with positivity. When the devil whispers in my ear igniting the flame of anxiety and depression please bring a joyous smile to my lips. Please give me reasons to keep chasing my dreams when nightmare wraths run rampant. In Jesus Name. Amen."
Something felt different. My entire body tingled. To-Do Lists were mentally scanning. Fear and Doubt vanished, replaced by motivation and determination. The corners of my lips rose, and I looked around my room. I was actually happy to be there; grateful, I had somewhere to live at all. Getting dressed was easy, fun even; I hadn't worn make-up in months, let alone dressed up. I put on my sunflower yellow pencil skirt, with a white ruffled blouse, black blazer with a zipper, black stilettos, and gold accessories. I curled my dark brown shoulder length hair. When I was done, I stared into the mirror for a moment. All I could do was smile until a laugh manifested and say "I'm back. For good this time." I grabbed my purse and keys and marched out the door.
********** 6 MONTHS LATER **********
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale "You got this." In that moment, as I was turning the door knob of my Economics II class carrying my 18 month old sleeping baby, Fear and Doubt knocked. The loud thumping of my heart in cadence to the visual of little cartoon monsters I had named Fear and Doubt knocking on the central control tower of my brain. No answer. The classroom door creaked and all eyes were on me. There goes that incessant knocking again. Inhale. Exhale. I took a seat near the front by the door, proud I denied Fear and Doubt and sent those two little monsters running with their tails between their legs. I looked down at my sweet baby girl sleeping in her stroller and stretched down to kiss her forehead.
********** 5 YEARS LATER **********
I couldn't form a productive thought even if I wanted to. My mind had been working overtime this week. So, I sat there staring out the window; completely satisfied. The phone rang. Two minutes later I slammed the phone down, shook my drunken husband. He was passed out cold, not even the news of his son landing himself a cozy spot in a cell could shake him loose of the alcohols grip on him. I gave him one more nudge and moved on. I grabbed my keys and purse and rushed out the door.