Last night, after hours and hours on the road, I crawled into the hotel bed, exhausted but mind still churning. I lay there naked under the covers next to my boyfriend and felt the familiar echoes of paranoia gradually growing louder and louder. The paintings on the walls seemed profoundly ominous, the air hard to breathe, the soothing words out of my lover’s mouth a full script of double entendre which ultimately lead my mind into a confusion of morbid thoughts. The soft lighting in the room was suddenly menacing and our road trip turned into an elaborate ruse. I felt 100% certain for about an hour that the world had turned into a death trap for me and I’d wash up on the beach, cold dead in the morning.
At one point, my lover turned to me and said, “Why can’t you believe in love?” I was too terrified to even open my mouth. I blinked back at him, dumbly, shivering under the blankets and wishing more than anything that I could feel something other than this profound darkness, this paralysis of heart and mind and limb. I felt like a rabbit in a wolf’s den–powerless, cold, no way out, no light, no love, no direction…it was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced.
I don’t know where these moods come from. Dread seems to seep out of the walls and float through the air like deadly spores. It spreads its contagion of fear and makes a zombie out of me. It turns me small and helpless.
There is something deep inside of me I am waiting to face. It feels like my Balrog in the heart of Moria–the thing which will either drag me to hell or encourage me to reimagine life and love. To level up and become the white wizard I’ve always wanted to be. To experience real, visceral aliveness. To know love in all its power. To carry light because I’ve met the dark.
I am now lying in my bed at home awaiting the fear. Calmly, essential oils diffusing next to me, my boyfriend an arm’s length away. I don’t know when it will come again, or how exactly I’ll react–I do know that next time, I’ll work a little harder to hold space for love. I’ll work a little harder to show myself the way. I’ll work a little harder to reach for connection in the vulnerability. I’ll work to be a student of love.