Bulletproof

lake outside window in woodsI have a brown hoodie that I wear when I need help.  When I feel like I can’t make it through the day, like I don’t have the strength to face the outside, drivers, faces, conversations.

I got this hoodie from my stint in the psychiatric hospital.  It somehow just showed up in my room, hanging by its hood at the top corner of the door of my closet.  I put it on immediately – it was warm and it was heavy.  I faced the rest of my time wearing that protective cloak, and I wear it now like a piece of armor, like a bulletproof vest.

I haven’t looked at the sky in a long time.  I got sick of looking around and finding, in every direction, man-made creations – ugly buildings, overwhelming signs ordering me this way or that, advertisements posted on every inch of space available.  I looked up at the sky today, but it didn’t make much of a difference.

My therapist rambled on about a concept called “mindfulness.”  Something about soaking in your surroundings, being in the present, etc., etc.  I wasn’t really listening – was more interested in staring at the colors of the tree outside the window and wishing I were somewhere else.  Perhaps cuddled up in a private room in a private cabin on a private lake where no one, not a soul, could get to me.  Maybe reading a book, laying down in the bottom cot of a bunk bed made for “roughing it.”  And after I felt like I’d gotten my fill of falling into a good book, I would take a walk on the wooded path that leads down to the lake and I’d sit down in the small strip of sand in front of the water and I’d sit there.  And my thoughts would be nothing.

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