I believe in ghosts. They walk among us. These shadowed specters who follow us through life haunt our present and threaten our peace of mind. Everyone has them. Some are more easily banished while others linger, their presence a stubborn stain on the fabric of our lives.
Mine has dogged my steps for fourteen years, and every year, this particular ghost gains possession of my mind and pulls me into the past, making me see and relive the horrors that occurred all those years ago.
Anxiety and depression descend a week or so preceding tomorrow’s holiday. I am usually miserable and strive to work myself to near exhaustion to numb myself to this day. By all accounts, this year would be no different. I was crabby and on edge all day. Anger and fear are powerful catalysts fueling anxiety ridden anticipation, and they have fed off of my mood all day.
Yet, something did change this year. My husband and I went to Thanksgiving Eve services, something we never do. The service allowed me time to slow down and reflect on my inner turmoil. I meditated and allowed myself to recognize what was happening. Then something amazing happened. As I visualized the event that has kept my locked in the past, I acknowledged my anger and my fear. I told myself it was okay to have those feelings, but that it was time to take control.
It’s still there. I can feel it lurking at the edges, but the bitter edge of anger and fear has ebbed. The sting is not as painful as it usually is. Am I brimming with eager anticipation for tomorrow? No, but I’m also not walking in shadows, either. Baby steps, but all headed in the right direction–away from darkness toward the light.