not drowning…

Did you ever almost drown ? When it happened to me, the cold water rushing into my throat and lungs did not hurt, which surprised me. I felt myself slowly sinking, and eventually stopped struggling. Seemingly out of nowhere, strong arms grabbed me roughly under the arms and hauled me up, up.. I felt so heavy and just wanted to sleep. When my head broke the surface and I gasped, THAT is when the pain started. A fiery burn deep into my core that caused me to wretch and sob, when I could finally draw an unadulterated breath. Lying on the cold sand, being wrapped in sun-warmed towels, I was dazed and did not know if it was all real, or if I was still in the water, falling.

In living these past few months with The Professor and all his confessions, I am reminded of that day, so long ago. For the past 14 years, we both have been slowly drowning, the pull toward the deep almost lulling us into complacency. For him, the urge to break thru the water came sooner than I, and as he struggled toward the shore, he realized the end of our life together was imminent.

I did not realize it until I was slapped with the truth across the face; painful and oh-so-obvious, in retrospect. I have been dreaming lately, off and on, of the day I almost drowned. Now, I can feel myself rising to the surface, struggling to break my head free of the weight of the water, and take a screaming breath. In my dreams, I can see the light above me, getting brighter the harder I push upwards, always upwards.

There is no giving up the fight now; I want desperately to LIVE, to make up for all that time I lost sinking into oblivion. Coughing and spitting up the disappointment, purging the anger, and breathing in the sweet air of possibility, I lay here in victory. Hurt, a little broken; wet and cold. But filling my lungs and life with the knowledge that I will waste not another day of my own precious life.

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