From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center – Link Party
Short Stort Prompt Link Party 2 – 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.
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 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.
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.
Copyright © January 25, 2019
This is a work of fiction