But yet here we are.

Nowadays I find myself writing for my future self. Like the woman who won’t be in the place I’m in right now. Or these days. Who’ll have made it.

And when I think of her, I assume that the ailments that ail me now, won’t be her concern. I know life always has gracious and ungracious moments. I just hope her ungracious moments will be better. Or of a higher level.

That fear won’t cripple her. That anxiety won’t make her weak in the knees. That people in her life will break her stereotypes of people. That she won’t worry till she wakes up in the middle of the night, chased by her worried nightmares.

I write so that she’ll remember that there were days she had it really bad. When her heart woke up frightened and slept fitfully.

But sometimes I’m conflicted with that. Writing for her that is. Because I’m not too sure I won’t that woman with these memories of today. I want her to run without the burden of memories of when she was once crippled. I want her to enjoy Gambia with the stillness life will have afforded her then. I want her to scuba dive with her carefreeness of then.

But mostly I write to the future me, to survive the present now. If there was a way out of life, without death, I would have taken it. Gladly. Like if we could just say time out and disappear. I don’t think my soul was made for this.

But yet here we are. Here I am. Now. With a past. And hopefully a future.

Sometimes I get people who stand up for me in the little ways they know how. And that kinda assures me that there is a future with hope. Because I’m not used to humans disturbing my little corner of solitude without my permission.

But yet here we are.

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They are us.

Senzenina is playing. In repeat. I have no particular attachment to the song. I just love the beats, the atmosphere it creates. In another time, in another mind set, I would have regarded it as a sad song. I would have related to it from a loss and heart ache point of view.

Now, its the equivalent of birds chirping to my world. A sound that accompanies peace. The background to a sunny village setting. The calm in an already calm environment.

My great grandma died this week. At 108 years of age. Or thereabouts. And I was shook. Not because I was close to her. But because I felt as if we lost a baobab tree in our family. And I couldn’t see a young baobab tree that would replace her.

And that worries me. A lot. The fact that since I was born, I’ve never seen a small baobab tree. Neither has my 60year old neighbour at home. They just don’t exist. The Chinese people keep cutting the ones they find on the way. Not knowing that in our culture, we don’t cut those ancestors of ours, we make corners for them, we include them in our compound landscaping. They are a part of us. But they don’t know that. So they cut them to make roads and railways.

I saw somewhere that small baobab trees aren’t there because they don’t look like the older trees. They come to later look like their older selves much later in life. That intrigued me. It gave me hope.

That maybe my great grandma isn’t finished. Just because there is none like her right now, doesn’t mean that one of us won’t rise to fill up her position. We just don’t look like her as of now.

And that gives me hope. Because I want to be like her. A baobab tree. A symbol of life. A root of life. The one from whom life stems from. The one who just is. The shelter. The strong yet soft one. The huge one that can live without water, yet is the water of life to the others around.

And as my year starts its last half, i’m floored. By life. And how much I’ve grown. But that statement feels like the understatement of the century. Not because of how common it is. But because it doesn’t capture the essence of what has happened.

Today is saba saba day. Will my fellow youth celebrate the day? Probably they don’t even know what saba saba day means. I’ve unfollowed someone who shared a sexist remark on Facebook.

Following and unfollowing. I wouldn’t know what saba saba day means if I hadn’t followed the right people. And following and unfollowing,both in social media and in my life has allowed me to have one of the most fulfilling years of my life.

I wanted to dream today. To plan on how to achieve my dreams. To imagine myself getting paid to write about baobabs. And how i’ll have reached if that happens. When that happens, i’ll be the most excited human being to ever write about acacias. I’ll make beatles the sexiest small animals you’ve ever heard about. You’ll never have imagined a more grand thing than river Congo. Or more interesting stories than of a river on fire.

But I decided not to. Because i’m living my dream. My outmost dream. To be myself. To just be. I am. I just am. And that shit is the most peaceful of feelings on earth. To be I am who I am. Whoever that is. Whatever that is. Is it a baobab tree that isn’t yet a baobab tree? Is it a baobab tree in its full glory? I don’t know. And I don’t care to know who or what I am. I just am.

Yesterday I was asked to name 5 most beautiful things. I forgot to mention my soul. Never encountered a more beautiful thing. When its not tortured that is. A tortured soul is hell. A soul that is free to express itself is heaven.

I love how 80% of my sentences begin with And. I love the feeling inside my heart right now. A feeling of love, contentment, rest, happiness, joy, excitement, relaxation, and of being, all at once. Its so tangible if you were around me I would place your hand on my chest, sure that you would feel it too. And its soo full.

I miss her. My Sunday muse. Not in a way of ‘ I am lacking something’ in life. But like a male ostrich dancing its dance. Talking of ostriches, I love my flaws. They make me laugh. Those genuine laughs that emanate from the heart and stay inside, lest I have to explain to anyone why i’m laughing so purely.

There is a cake a love. In a java we love. But I’ve never taken myself there. Because I don’t know where it is. Its the restaurant I’ve frequented most in the city. Yet I still don’t know where it is. I sat there the last time I was there. And laughed at myself. Those genuine laughters that require no outward expression. Because even with my sense of direction, I wouldn’t trade that part of me for a compass.

Anyway, back to ostriches, its an inside joke. Between myself and I. I made a remark yesterday, but I thought it misunderstood by the recipient. I came correcting it in my head. But its a little too late. Words are like birds. Once they fly away, you’ll never get that back. At least not in that instance.

If I continue writing, i’ll write forever. Because as much as I want, I can’t accurately express what i’m feeling right now. I hate attention. Or I thought I did. Until I found myself wearing a yellow neckpiece yesterday. And I loved how it expressed my soul’s position in that instance. Warmth. The kind of sun that doesn’t burn, but instead comforts.

I wanted to say something i’ll do. But I decided to be doing first, then say later. So i shut my mouth. And go research a bit more about baobabs. Who knows , there could be an image of a small one out there. And even if there isn’t, I know that just like my great grandma, we may not see them, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, among us, with us, they are us.

Digging up the soul.

Functional. Functionality.

Its hard to remember when I wasn’t being functional. Everything about me has always been about getting by that moment in life with the least baggage as I can. And I’ve lived like that for so long. Written about pain for too long. Been sad for as long as I can remember.

I’ve always dressed for functional purposes. Never for beauty. Always enough money as I would need, never more or less. Eaten what I can afford. Dreamt of things I can have. Even my goals have always been realistic. Or do I say basic?

I’ve always prepared for the worst. And the worst has been my visitor a bit too regularly. Always prevented my heart from getting hurt. Which didn’t work most of the times. I’ve always been on stand by for life’s tantrums. Even my clothes. Most stay packed. And life has handed me its tantrums quite generously.

Till now. I’m restructuring. My playlist is no longer functional. I’m bringing back that little girl who loved all Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s songs. Who sang along to Sean Paul’s new hits. Who enjoyed just taking a ride on her bike for the sake of it. Who joined all trips to Tsavo regardless of the strangers in the bus. Who dressed as she wished to the protests of her mother. Who wanted and dreamt beyond her means.

And its hard. Bringing her back that is. Its a lonely process. Digging, dusting off a soul has got to be one of the most vulnerable things to do. It hurts in a sweet way. Its like a sour fruit that one can’t just say no to.

Fear. I’ve always been afraid of the wind. It has no grounding. No sense of direction. And this process feels much like the wind. I have no idea what will become of me. Being functional, as I’ve always been, requires me to check all my parts and ensure they are at least working. Now, i’m required to worry about nothing. And enjoy Ali Kiba’s song if that’s the one playing. Look up Jaymo’s silliness and allow my mind to go wild as I go through Joy Isi Bewaji’s page.

And as I listen to an old classic whose title I assume is Listen To Your Heart, i’m filled with tears in my heart. Tears that won’t spill. It has nothing to do with the song. More with my heart. And how for years I’ve listened to everyone but my heart. And I didn’t even know it.

I found myself missing a friend I’ve had for the longest time today. I guess I needed permission to be who i’m becoming. From someone who knew me when I was still wide eyed. Man, moving on afraid is easier said than done. Coz its a cycle. I get into this point where I feel extra vulnerable and need assurance that its going to be okay. I rarely reach out and if I do, I won’t come straight with what I wanted. Years of putting other people’s need before mine taught me that. While at times I just want to be the center of attention. Anyway, being as resilient as I am, I usually trudge on, while still afraid and scared. And the results are usually breathtaking to say the least.

I’m afraid of sleeping nowadays. I want to savour these happy moments a bit longer. I guess I always assume closing my eyes will make them disappear. At some point, i’ll have to get used to this. To life. To its changing nature. And to my awesome nature.

For now, I drink coffee in the wee hours of the morning and enjoy good music. Alone. And this feels like heaven.

Something new, something beautiful.

kyondo_world

There are days that I want to forget with every cell in me. Then there are others that I want to put on billboards. Not for anyone’s sake. For mine. For my remembrance. That once in my life, a day like this existed.

Today is one of those days. Maybe I should christen them as remembrance days? Sounds Rwandaish( hehe).

Anyway, when I made the decision to reboot my spirituality, I was scared. I was afraid. Because being Christian is all I’ve ever been since I was 8yrs old. Going to church and being in families that go to church was all I’ve ever known about Sundays.

Then here I am. Saying and thinking of leaving all that for unchartered waters. Who would I become? What would I be? Who would I associate with in my new planet?

But I also knew that the previous mode of working, wasn’t working ( pun intended). I couldn’t deny that. I couldn’t unchange that. I couldn’t ignore that.

So I decided to take the first steps. To do it afraid. To trudge on. I believe that I owe it to myself, to give myself the best life I can. With the least stress. Like I wouldn’t dive into polluted deep waters if there is a better route somewhere else. Because I wasn’t given many lives, its only this one.

And this has been the weirdest decision I’ve ever made.

I’ve never felt so much joy in my entire life. I’ve woken up with my heart leaping and beating with excitement. Like I’m so excited that even my physical body can feel the joy in my soul. I’ve never ever experienced such joy! Not even once.

I feel so happy, excited, exhilarated and joyous at the same time. Its like my spirit, soul and mind are dancing musicals inside there. My heart isn’t still. I don’t know how to capture this.

But I want to remember this day. Freedom day. If I may call it so.

Freedom from what? I also don’t know. All I know is that I’ve been born again for a long time. We were told to always put God first. So I put God first. Then other authorities followed. People I held in high esteem .

What I didn’t know, what I had never realised, is that I came bottom in that hierarchy. I was the last one. A friend was telling me how I hold them in high regard till it exasperates them. It could be because of many reasons that I do that, but she hammered in what I have been realising for the last few days. That as much as I had my likes, dislikes, passions etc, I gave priority to other’s. Not in the way I do things. In the way I think of them. Like I will hold what you tell me, if I hold you in high regard, to be better than mine.

Till when I decided to choose myself. I didn’t decide to. Like I didn’t even know I had never chosen myself. I simply unchose God and everyone on that list. Till there was just me.

I wish I could explain how freeing that is. I’m feeling so on top of the moon hadi nikaanza kujishuku. Like how is joy this full possible? Kwani what kind of a cage was I in, if this is how I feel by simply remaining alone?

I’m trying to figure out if this is how sin feels like. Because that’s what other quarters will call it. But on the other hand, when I look for a word to describe what I’m feeling, this feels like salvation. Salvation from bondage. But most importantly, salvation from Fear.

I’ve been afraid. I got born again as a small kid because I was told about hell. I didn’t know about heaven, but the little I knew about hell was enough to make it a no go zone. I grew up being the obedient kid at home. Never disobeying what I was told. I believed my parents knew more. They had been around for longer. They had my best interest at heart. They knew where the potholes are. So I obeyed them.

Till now when I realise that obedient wasn’t what I was. Afraid was more like it. Afraid of hell. Afraid of consequences that follow if you don’t take the path chosen for you by someone else. Afraid of not fitting in. Afraid of life itself.

Till now when I take off Fear , only, I remain in that equation. No one else. Nothing else. Previously being alone was a disaster. Not as in alone in a room. I love being alone. But being alone in life generally. In the decisions I make. Without instructions or rules from certain quarters.

Till i’ve been alone for a day and the opposite is true. Its soo funny, I usually wake up a bit sluggy. No hurry in the morning. I don’t like people talking to me in the morning. Till today. I woke up feeling like going to a field and jumping a hundred times. My soul wanted to high five the universe. While my heart wanted to break out of the ribcage that was restricting its pumps of excitement. Like which one is this Mercy? Because i’ve never encountered her before.

Before. I’ve been a lot of things before. Aki I was always so afraid, thinking about it. Afraid of my future. Afraid of my tomorrow. Scared that things will go wrong.

Now, after choosing myself in life, I feel as if this is the defining moment in my life. You know the way people have that experience or trauma or moment of their lives that divides their lives into a before and after. Mine is now.

I feel this newness. Its like being born anew. Its a new kind of newness. I think it has been happening for the whole of 2018 its just that its climaxing right now. I’m even looking at things in my room anew. We met up with my friends yesterday and I could sense a shift in the way I perceive things now. Like I’m in a daze. Who’s this awesome person who’s inhabited my body and where was she before?

Its like i’ll never see the world the same way again. And I can’t unsee what i’ve just experienced. The rate at which I’m making up new words or slaughtering English in here is simply commendable ;).

Anyway, my temples are hurting from grinning like a fool while writing this.

I don’t even know what or where this is headed. But I would love to remember this day. And I sincerely hope that they’ll be many more to come like it. Or that this is the beginning of something new. Something beautiful.

I call it the universe.

I realise that you might have lots of questions from my last post. Its okay. You can ask them if you are courageous enough to. Let me answer the few I’ve gotten so far.

Are you now an atheist?

No. I believe in God. I believe God exists. I’m a scientist by profession. A traveller by choice. A reader by birth. And all those things have showed me that there is a higher power than me and you. Kwanza when you realise how grand our universe is. And the fact that our universe isn’t the only one around. Surely, all this must have come from somewhere. I came from somewhere. My soul that is.

So no, I’m not an atheist. I’m just not sure whether I’m a Christian either. Like I’m at a point where I want to consciously find God for myself. Is He or she found in the bible? The Koran? Philosophical works? I don’t know. I’ll find out for myself. I’m at that point where I want to hold the things I believed to be true accountable, are they really true after all? I want to learn new things about myself and my spirituality. I won’t limit myself to one specific way of finding God. Not when God is bigger than all our universes combined.

What is the universe? Or what do I mean when I say, “the universe”.

I first encountered this when I watched The secret some years ago, and read The Alchemist last year. Those two proved that what I thought existed wasn’t only in my mind. They gave a name to a phenomenon I had experienced over and over again.

When I was going to buy this phone, I wanted a tecno camon 9 or 10. I didn’t even know whether they existed . But my roommate had a tecno canon 7 or something like that and I loved it. So I got my money and went to Safaricom shop, straight to the tecno desk. I asked for the latest version of the tecno camon series. Whatever I wanted wasn’t there. But they had this one. I wanted a phone that would take good pictures of nature. I didn’t know much about phone cameras. But I knew what I wanted from the bottom part of my soul. I bought the phone I got. A step sister of the tecno camon 10(or x, that how they refer to 10 in the technical world ). And over and over again my choice has been validated. I’ve seen 4 photographers with my kind of phone. They didn’t buy it because they didn’t have money to buy iphones or the latest Samsung’s. This phone does truly do justice to nature pics. Selfies nazo hapana. Its too detailed for face photography. Did I get what I wanted? Yes. Did I know it at the time I was buying, no? Do you sincerely think its a coincidence that I got what my heart really wanted?

There is this person whom though we are not so close, we’ve been friends for years. And every single time I miss them, they call the next day. Like I can stay for weeks without thinking about them, but on the day I do, be rest assured they’ll call the next day. Like it has happened that way for years now.

But the most common occurrence is with my thoughts. There are times I could be thinking about making a certain decision. And maybe dilly dallying about it. Then I open social media and find over 5 different people talking about that thing I was refusing to think about. Do you sincerely believe that its a coincidence, that on the day i’m hesitant about a certain thing, is when the strangers I’ve never met talk about that thing?

I could go on and on.

But I can only witness what I’ve gone through. Not what you swear by as the truth.

Over a hundred times I’ve gotten signs and signals from the most unexpected quarters pertaining something I was thinking about or a decision I was to make. And that’s what I refer to when I say the universe.

Its not a religion. At least the last time I checked it wasn’t.

Its that thing that when I miss a certain song, I get into a matatu that is playing the exact song. Or when i need to hear some words, some stranger says them to me, or when I desire eggs in the morning and then forget about it, in the evening I get to eat eggs, or when want to go to a specific place, an opportunity that I had never noticed before comes up to go to that exact place.

I don’t know what you call it. Or if you’ve even experienced it. But for me, I call it the universe.

God and me.

I would love to write about my relationship with God. Or its inexistence. Or how it came to be. Just to be undone in an year.

I’m trying to think of that moment when I stopped believing. My break was actually not with the church initially. My issues with the church have always been there for as long as I can remember. What we had, me and the church that is, was a failing but active relationship.

It sounds cheesy, but I broke up with God when my last boyfriend broke up with me.

My friend was joking that she can’t believe in the universe or God after me telling her how much they had given me the go ahead signs for that relationship, just for it to crumble. Meaning they were wrong. Or what were those signs I saw and believed in, she wondered?

You see, this is isn’t about that relationship. Though I hope to talk about it someday. Its about God and that relationship.

I had been told over a hundred times before that if I put my heart into God, my trust in Him, my hope in his everlasting love, then God would take care of me. Then I would be like a planted tree besides a river. Then I wouldn’t lack, and if I did God would give me peace that surpassed all understanding.

I was told to not trust my heart, because the heart of a man according to the Bible, lies or deceives. I was told to bring all my decisions to God. To consult Him. But above that, to wait for instructions and guidance from Him.

I tried. I really did. Trusting anyone is really hard for me. But I cultivated it in me to trust God. It took a while. But I can confidently say that 2017 was the year I trusted God most. I trusted Him to have my back. To lead me to greener pastures. To make me lie beside still waters. To be my fortress and shield. And actively while at it.

And it really felt good to trust God. There is this peace that flows from the heart when you know He got you. Its like a child with her parents around. She is carefree. She knows that whatever happens, her parents are there to watch over her. I believe this is the reason religious people seem so oblivious. When you think someone has your back, whether its true or not doesn’t really matter, what matters is that your mind thinks its true, keeping you at rest compared to someone else who they know they are all they’ve got. Themselves.

So I liked this guy in church. But for a while I ignored it, from what I had observed, men in church have this unique characteristics in them that make them almost boring to date.

So I forgot all about this man till later when circumstances brought us in the same vicinity for a while, so we got talking. And he was pretty interesting. We started talking. And talking. And spending a lot of time together. It was obvious to us that something was brewing between us.

So what did Mercy do? She prayed about it. Honestly. I believed that God would give me the right direction to go. To step back a bit and just be friends, or plunge ahead and see where this goes. God had spoken to me before. In various ways. So I wasn’t doubting whether or not He would answer me. He would. And with every cell in me I knew I would go ahead with whatever decision He chose. Like I had never trusted God before as much. Or depended on Him to make any life altering decision for me.

So me and God were good. We were talking. We were growing closer. I was reading His word more. I was entirely at His mercies. If He said jump, the next second he would have to look for me up in the skies. I was committed to him. Like a soldier to a country. And like a son to a father.

I dated the handsome guy. Me and God were still really doing well. Excessively well if I may add. At some point I started even getting scared. God would reveal stuff to me in the most unexpected manner. It sounds weird, but sometimes in my sleep, God would visit. Just to hang out. Or I would be looking at something and I start getting lessons from it.

My relationship went through ups and downs. Quite normal. Not to be unexpected. I knew God had approved it. Our channels of communication were clear, which never happened if we weren’t good. Plus I had trusted Him from the beginning. With all my heart. Willing to drop everything in case God said so.

Until we broke up. A few weeks later.

I was heartbroken yes. But what hurt beyond explanation wasn’t being let down by a man, that happens. Its pretty normal.

For three days straight I was in a daze. What just happened there? Si we had talked about this with God? Si He was supposed to warn me of potholes ahead? Si I was told to not trust my heart and instead trust Him? And hadn’t I just done exactly that? I had done everything I was told to do. But still.

God had broken my heart.

That was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. Yaani it was pain so intense, that it took me days to feel it. Have you ever observed small kids when they are hit or fall? If the pain is slight, they’ll start crying immediately. Like you’ll hear the sound out of their mouths immediately. But if the fall was exceedingly painful, they open their mouths but no sound comes for some seconds. The more the silence before the noise, the more it hurts.

I did everything right. Like I can swear on God himself.

Then people started telling me that God knows best. Maybe it wasn’t in God’s plan. God has better plans for my future. God knows best. God . God. God.

What I knew for sure, was that if that’s how God loves me, then I would be better off without that love.

Because as cruel as I can be when stretched beyond every limit possible, I knew that I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain upon a living soul. Even if I hate you with a fury. I just can’t. Yet I’m only human. So these people were telling me that this God who loved me so much to give his son for me, was okay with me going through all that pain when he could have stopped it? Does that sound like love to you? And if it does, what kind of love was that?

All I knew, is that whatever kind of love that was, that watches as the person you supposedly love gets raped, ripped apart, broken, crushed beyond repair, while they still call you a fortress, I didn’t want it. If anything, I would run away from it. Inhumane doesn’t even begin to describe that kind of love.

You see, had I broken up with God due to some theological teachings I heard , then maybe there would be a chance of us getting back together.

But I tested God. I did what I was supposed to do. He failed miserably on His end of the bargain. He didn’t provide the fortress, green pastures or still waters.

All I know, is that my heart, is clearly safer with me.

Will I and God get back together?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

But if we do, I know it won’t be on the same terms as before. Not based on the ” I’m evil, He’s holy ” model. Because I come from somewhere. And if whoever created me, saw it fit for me to be this way, then who is another deity to call me a sinner from birth?

But I wouldn’t discourage a believer from their faith. Hold on there brethren. If claiming and owning it in Jesus name, makes you sleep better at night, then by all means sister. Claim it and own it. If knowing His grace is sufficient for you removes all guilt from your soul, my brother stand strong. If knowing you are so loved till the son of God died for you, assures you of your ticket to heaven, then hold it a little more tightly.

I’m not wise. I don’t know much about heaven or hell. Or sins and holiness. Or souls and spirits. Or virgin Marys and miracles. Or even earth and its creator. Or the universe and its sustainer.

But what I do know for sure, is that I only have me to live for. And that on my last moments, I won’t be thinking about that pastor or my mother and if I lived right by them, i’ll have myself to answer to. Did I give myself the best that I could at any given moment in my life?

I so want that answer to be yes. And if leaving an abusive relationship with God is what it takes at this point in life, then that’s exactly what i’ll do.

I’m giving myself the permission to grieve. About my relationship with God for the last 15yrs. The good times we had. The ups and down. The lessons learnt. And the scars gotten. The baggage from that relationship that I carry to date.

One of my issues with God was his luck kind of working. Where He would bless you today then allow you to lack tomorrow. Maybe it wasn’t God. Maybe it was life that’s just like that. But at that point, I thought it was God.

I want a love that chooses me all the time. Not some of the time. I want sure ground, not a hit and miss.

I want to be wanted as I am. Not to bend, crawl, give you my mind, and still tell me that I am not enough. I am tired of that love.

And I allow my heart to cry. For all those times it sought love from a supposed God, and instead got rules to follow. For all those times I needed words of comfort, and I got told instead how its because I doubted or sijui what I did wrong.

My beginnings usually start from a negative point. Where I get over the baggage I carry, then now start from zero. Its not easy.

But as I love saying, the universe has aligned itself. I’m getting signs from left right and center, that I’m on the right path.

I hope one day i’ll tell you about the Universe, and what I mean by it.

But for now, let me enjoy this peace that has come over my spirit, as I let myself be.

Issues.

I feel like I’m recuperating. Like my soul has been so sick for so long. It hit its deathbed but it didn’t die. And now we are going through the whole ICU phase after a coma. That actually pretty sums it up. My soul is in the ICU. Recovering.

I just wish healing didn’t have to be this hard. Like I have scars I need to open for me to start the whole process. A friend told me yesterday that sometimes close friends or best friends talk about ‘anything’ and ‘everything’ except some topics, like maybe sex or whatever it is that is a major part of your life but you just don’t talk about it.

I feel as if I’ve done the same with my life. I’ve walked back to situations in my life that left scars and dealt with them..but there are two specific topics I’ve shied away from ever dealing with them or talking about them yet they are major parts of my life. They left extremely big wounds that have never healed yet i’ve never revisited them.

And I feel energy less when it comes to them. I just want to move ahead with life. To go after my dreams. To be happy. To live. Yet, I won’t get out of the ICU unless I at least open those cans of worms. And I can’t imagine making myself go through that immense pain. I’ve been through too much pain involuntary to voluntarily take myself back to moments that almost killed me with their pain.

Yet if my life history is anything to go by, I won’t get out of here unless I deal with those issues.