Words can offer some solace from the world in the form of a story, a poem, an interesting article tucked in the middle of your newspaper. I find comfort in these words, put together like my favorite soft faux fur blanket.
But words can also cut you open and make you bleed. These words come in the form of a pointed statement, a heated argument, emotional abuse, sharp at the ends like the tip of an arrow. I feel grief when I make contact with these words.
Yet another way that words affect us is when they cause discomfort. Words sometimes make me want to throw up.
I swallow the words of my chemistry textbook all too quickly. They should be slowly fed and chewed over the course of a semester, but I am gulping them down as fast as I can until it feels like I need to throw it all up.
But I can’t because that means I’ll have to swallow everything up again. But I can’t because I’ll have to clean up the mess I made of myself afterwards. But I can’t because that means I’ll have given up. But I can’t because my stomach should be able to handle this. But I can’t because I should be able to handle this.
I have God by my side. I have an immense network of support. I am supposed to be getting better.
I think to myself… Why isn’t it getting better?
In that moment, I realize I forgot to breathe.