I Have A Secret

I have a secret

From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center – Link Party

Short Stort Prompt Link Party 2 – I Have A Secret

I Have A Secret

This little story was written as part of a blogger link up. The concept is that we were each given the same prompt from which to develop a story. Below you will find my contribution.

The Prompt: As I stood in the shower with the warm water running down my face

As I stood in the shower with the warm water running down my face all sorts of thoughts were running through my mind. How ironic that the shower I thought would help to relax me was instead, dredging up memories, to do lists, and the weight of the day gone by and the apprehension of the day to come.

I stomped my foot as if that would shatter the thoughts running through my head. Instead, I only splashed the water on the floor of the shower. I closed my eyes in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the thoughts and to quiet the internal noise, but my internal voice was stubborn and continued the dialog.

There are thoughts of work and other responsibilities, but alas, somehow pleasant thoughts of my latest workout at the gym were clamoring for attention.

I Have A Secret

The gym? Yes, you read that right…the gym! There was a time when the thought of the gym did not give way to pleasant thoughts. However, that is no longer the case. No longer the case at all. Now when I think of the gym and my latest workout, I feel happy.

I catch myself smiling and it isn’t just any old smile. Oh no, it is a full-blown, all teeth showing smile of elation. That’s it…I am elated. I am experiencing the type of grin a 16-year old high school girl might have when the captain of the football team asks her to be his date for the prom. Yes, it is that type of silly, and giddy grin.

My girlfriends have noticed the difference in my attitude. Girlfriends always do – right? My girlfriends have asked what has changed in my life. But I’m not telling. Not just yet. I am actually enjoying the secret and for now, it is mine alone.

No one is wise to the coffee dates and afternoon check-in texts from my new friend. No one is the wiser and I like it that way. Since the divorce, I have felt hollow, alone and empty. Since the ugly parting of my ex-husband and myself, I have felt like a total failure. And because I am a woman, I have accepted much of the responsibility for the failure of our union. Isn’t that what we do? And then there was the fear. I lived with the fear that I would be alone for the rest of my life. Alone because I kept hearing my ex-husband’s voice saying no one else would ever want me because I was unworthy, ugly and stupid. Who was I to expect happiness? I will tell you who, I am the woman who found the happiness he predicted I would never have.

I Have A Secret

I am not a loser. I am a vital woman with interesting conversation. I am a middle-aged woman with a lot of living to do. I am an intelligent woman, with a lot to contribute. I am a woman who deserves this giddy grin while in the shower with water running down my face. I am worthy!

It has taken quite some time for me to get to this place in my life. It has taken a lot of work, and internal soul searching. It has taken reprogramming my self-talk and shaking off guilt. It has taken help from someone special. It has taken those secret coffee dates and daily check-in texts. It has taken someone holding me accountable to get off my couch and into the gym to afford myself a little self-care.

My new friend is a life-saver. Everyone should have a friend like mine and at some point, I will share with my friends. But not just yet. For now, my friend and I are still finding our way as a team.

I remember the first time we met. When I walked into her office I was apprehensive and afraid to share. But she walked me through the process and has been supportive in every way. She is my first experience with a therapist and I would recommend her to anyone needing help with self-love, self-care, and self-esteem.

I have a secret

Therapy is no longer taboo and could save your life. I believe it saved mine. It is especially important for anyone who is living with abuse of any kind. If you need help…please get it! Take off the mask and be you again. Let someone help you so that you can take control of your life. If you are feeling sad for long periods of time, get therapy and get it without shame. There is no shame in seeking the help you need. If you were diagnosed with cancer you would take the treatments to prolong your life…right? Do know that being emotionally sick is no different.

If you are emotionally broken, please take the treatments to prolong your emotional life. I figured it out and you can too. Remember mental health is just as important as physical health. So get yourself a secret and share it when you’re ready.

Read my contribution to the first writing prompt link up here. The title is If Only...

Copyright © January 25, 2019

This is a work of fiction


19 thoughts on “I Have A Secret

  1. Dee | Grammy's Grid says:

    WOW! You do have a way with words! Great story and you’re so right – mental health is just as important as physical health! Thanks Clearissa for joining in on the #ShortStoryPromptLinkParty 2! Shared ♥

  2. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Dee. Thank you. I enjoy this party a lot. And you’re right, folks should really take their mental health seriously and others should not stigmatize them for doing so. So glad you enjoyed the short story. 🙂

  3. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Anne, I’m sure you can do something with the space you have. I will soon start a FB private group that I hope you will join. That group will be a safe place to share before and after pictures and we will come together to find solutions for each other. I hope you will keep this in mind.

  4. Leslie Susan Clingan says:

    After my divorce, I found the most perfect counselor to help me through the loneliness and adjustments to single motherhood. I have lost touch with her now but think of her often. Probably could have survived without her help but so thankful for the support she gave me.

    So your story resonated with me. Glad your character was able to smile even after her heart-wrenching divorce.

  5. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Leslie, So glad my story connected with someone. I am divorced as well and although my story is fictional, the loneliness and isolation is real for everyone at first. At least I think so. Especially if the marriage was a long one. I am happy you enjoyed my story and I hope it helps someone who is currently going through it.

  6. Dee | Grammy's Grid says:

    EARLY NOTICE: The next Short Story Prompt Link Party at Grammy’s Grid will start on Mar-15-2019 at 9:00 PM CST, so get your story ready! Hope you’re able to participate and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Just start typing and see what happens without a lot of editing. The prompt is: One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but then she saw three flashes that night from beyond the swamp. They had never talked about what three flashes meant and now she…

  7. Pamela says:

    Awesome story informing and real! We all need to take that mask off and be who we are intended to be! Strong confident women!

  8. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Pamela,

    I couldn’t agree more. My hope and prayer is that women will stop apologizing for being smart and strong and allow themselves to be heard and take charge of their own lives. Thank you for stopping by.

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