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When you’re hurt, the doctors will ask you to rate the pain on a scale from 1 to 10.

I thought I was at an 11. I thought there was no way to come back from it; the internal damage was done. Then some time passed and those cuts I thought would never close found their way shut. I was worried what would happen if I lost it. What if I lost what I so badly had hoped for? What if I shut down? What if I lost myself in the process?

As the saying goes, time heals all wounds. Only I was bound in this grey area of wanting to turn it back and speed it up. I was afraid if time did its job, I would forget. Time is miraculous, however.

I was so certain about how my life would play out. I read into all the signs and I knew this was it. This had to be it. It hurt; on a scale from 1 to 10…I was at a 10. The conflict with expectations, though, is there is always room for disappointment. The certainty wasn’t so certain and all those signs I thought made perfect sense were sent scattering. I couldn’t make sense of them anymore. It hurt, and this time it felt like an 11.

I took some time. Time to think, time to heal, time to dial it back. It was a whirlwind, and when the dust finally settled, I was thankful I broke the scale. I had a choice of letting that pain shatter me and, instead, I let it shape me. That was the difficult part.

I had to give up control. I had to give up the road map I thought I was following. I was lost—and that was what had exacerbated everything. You see, as a writer, I understood the need for conflict, but I always had an end resolution in sight. I knew how the story would play out. I had become so accustomed to saying the perfect thing and, suddenly, I had no words. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know where my story was going.

The thing with time is you feel everything you need to feel. There is no rewind, no fast forward. You have to fight through it. You have to learn to survive the moments that seem endless because, eventually, the sun will rise, the clouds will part, and the shadows will start to retreat.

It was a learning process. Do I wish it would’ve worked out? Of course, but who would I be if it had? My worry of losing myself among the wreckage was only that: a worry. It was a fleeting ship and, despite losing my course, I was still very much present. I needed to be lost on my own and I needed to know I could make it back.

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