Crumbs of Courage

It has taken me 33 years to confront two significant personal truths; I want to be a writer and I suffer from depression (insert artist jokes here). I am not naive enough to believe that these realizations are unrelated. They are the result of one simple shift in consciousness; self-awareness. Note that I did not say self-acceptance, but I’m working on it. One step at a time here. Did I mention I have two toddlers?

The experience of newfound self-awareness can be less enjoyable than it might seem. Before one can accept themselves, they must first come to know their true selves. There is a moment somewhere in the middle, between self-awareness and self-acceptance that feels quite uncomfortable and a little awkward to be honest. I find myself in a place where I have both found and lost myself at once.

I want to write; it replenishes me. But some days my own mind will not allow me the release. I am left in an emotional state of paralysis, and I can’t seem to find my way out of the rabbit hole. But I am beginning to discover an elite group of therapists who specialize in my particular affliction; my fellow mom writers.

They are the women who write the words that I have yet to find, and who share the courage that I have misplaced. I swear, it was just here. Maybe it is hidden in the dirty laundry, or perhaps, underneath the couch cushions, amongst the crumbs. It’s here… somewhere.

I frantically search, overturning toy bins and laundry baskets, yet the mess only multiplies. Left utterly defeated, I stop searching. I stop writing. I give up. I sit on the sofa and stare. Like the “Princess and the Pea,” each tiny crumb beneath the cushions gnaws at my tired, irritated soul.

On emotional autopilot, I blankly scroll my news feed. Grazing, scoffing, and hastily moving on from each click, until I don’t. Until I find one sentence that refuels me just enough to move onto the next. The gnawing dissipates as my attention shifts toward a new series of crumbs. They are scattered within the spaces that lie between the words of my kindred.

I follow the trail of words, gathering each tiny crumb of courage left for me along the way. And when no more lie ahead, I raise my gaze to look around. The sofa is far behind me, and while the path ahead is unclear, I realize that my pockets are full with the sustenance I’ll need for another day’s travel. I will keep going. And with the crumbs of courage that I can spare, I will mark this new and unchartered journey, for I know that someone else cannot be too far behind.