It happens in the freezer aisle: an ambush.
Like a wave, it begins in her throat, or perhaps a tightness in her chest, a constriction of the lungs, rippling outward. A clawing at her heart. What is it? she wonders. Looks around. But there is no one, nothing else but her and the frozen broccoli, neatly stacked boxes of pancakes.
Then she understands. Her old nemesis. Maybe the freezer aisle isn't so surprising, after all.
She beats back the darkness, denies it. This will not happen here, now. Breathes deeply. Recalls coping mechanisms. Tries to remember if she has let the voices belittle her too much these recent weeks. Tries to visualize the things that she allowed to rot away at her. Enumerates the things she's been chewing on.
Realizes that perhaps it wasn't so sudden, either.
Now that she considers it: the shadows have been nipping at her ankles with the onset of the colder weather and the darkening skies. It's not exactly seasonal. But it's harder to be mindful with less sunlight.
She feels angry, annoyed that her therapist had been right, that this is who she is, that she isn't cured, that she owns this demon. Wonders if she should go back. Doesn't want to go back. She knows how to do this, difficult though it may be some days.
Sometimes bravery isn't written in all caps.
Do you struggle with things you thought you put behind you?