Friday, February 8, 2013

Sink or Swim

I believe that life is like sailing a ship on the open sea. Each of our journeys are different. It makes no difference how we get to our destinations as long as we eventually reach it. Some of our ships have been bashed upon the rocks and repaired but  if we keep sailing then we are doing just what we need to survive. Mental illness can make the waters even more unpredictable. Good days are full of the gentle lapping of waves on your boat. The smell of fresh air and the soul filling warmth of the sun. There are days of gentle breezes in your face and calming winds in your hair. These days are the best.These days you sail farther and faster. Emotions are like storms that blow in on the sea. They can tear your sails, drench your body, make it impossible to see through their waves of destruction. Emotions can be so strong that you can feel, smell, and taste them. They taste like blood, saltwater and tears. They batter your ship and toss it from side to side. It can be hard to know what you are supposed to hang on to to keep from falling overboard and drowning in them. Theses storms are anger, despair, fear, and pain. This too shall pass.. When the rage of the sea has left you are left cold and shivering in the aftermath. The saltwater waves have drenched your soul and found every cut and wound you have. The salt stings the cuts and bruises. It burns the open wounds. We are forced to look at the damage and make a choice. Keep sailing or stop for repairs. These bruises and cuts are the judgments and pain that others have inflected on you. The wounds are the pain you have inflicted on yourself. These wounds and cuts will eventually scar. Your knees burn from the scrapes that you have gotten from falling to your knees and begging for mercy. Sometimes it just seems like you can not take one more moment of pain.This too shall pass... Again you sail to your next port. Maybe you will find like-wise battered and bruised people. People you can unload your stories, secrets, and fears too. People just like you. You can stay there for a little while but eventually it is your turn to sail out again. Sail out to the unknown. Sometimes you are surrounded by other ships and you can communicate with them. There is safety in numbers. Storms seem less scary with people on both sides of you holding you up. People that can help block the angry waves.
Eventually, when you wake you find yourself alone once more. There is more determination to get to your next port. Sailing towards the sun. We want to be warm. We long to be whole. We need to be healed. Here comes the waves again. They slap and rage at you. They are angry words and thoughts. You are not good enough! You are worthless! You are never going to be anything to anyone! These waves are particularly painful. These waves have lies in them. You are so familiar with these lies that they seem like old family friends. This too shall pass...
These waves are the devastators of ships. These waves are the killers of men. You have to take stock of your ship. Jump or stay, sink or swim, sail or repair....these are our choices. I have been battered against the rocks. I have been scarred and repaired. I am ready for the next storm. I don't mind my wounds burning from the salt, it cleanses me. It lets me know that I am alive. I will weather this storm. I will not sit idle in the middle of the open sea. I am going to let the wind fill my tattered and broken sails and head toward the sun. . Faced with sink or swim I am always going to choose to swim. Faced with jump or stay I will always choose stay.I never give up. This ship isn't pretty but she is strong and she can take it. If I should meet your ship on the way there I will gladly help protect you from your storms. I will sail beside you and offer you words of encouragement and hope. Just keep sailing.
                                                                         Neurotic Nelly


  1. Beautiful. I feel exactly the same way.

  2. Thank very much Dave! I think we all feel that way sometimes.