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Bright Red Door

Sometimes the first step is the hardest.

In darkness, there is comfort.

Sitting alone I wonder what waits for me beyond that door. That door that I’ve kept closed all these years. It’s a bright red. So bright it’s screaming. There’s always been this fear deep down that seems to echo to the very depths of my soul. The darkness surrounds me now. A small light shines dimly under the door.

The noise coming from the other side is deafening. It’s always been safe on this side. There have been no expectations here. Nothing and no one but myself to let me down. I reach my hand out, but the doorknob is glowing like the dying embers of a long forgotten fire.

It’s familiar, the glowing of the doorknob. Somehow it seems not all that long ago that fire burned in me too. It was full of hope and desire. That fire made the days seem brighter and the nights seem shorter. There was never a feeling of hopelessness or utter despair.

Now nothing is left of that fire. It is all but a memory now. The sound of laughter a haunting echo of the nightmares that plague my dreams. It’s not the good memories that bring the pain. It’s the loss of those times that grips the heart suffocating it until there is nothing left but dust.

I hear faintly the call of my name. It whistles through the air as if riding the wind: a melody that has long since been forgotten. It’s coming from the other side of the door. Reaching up to the still glowing knob I expect it to sear the skin of my palm, but find it cool to the touch. My heart begins to race as if trying to burst forth from my chest.

A blinding light shines in my eyes as the door swings wide. The world greets me with the full force of a speeding train. I stand frozen in the doorway, unable to move. That first step is the hardest. The first step into something new. Just one step in the wrong direction and it can all come crashing down. Crashing down like the waves of the ocean in a typhoon.

Inching forward I slowly take my first step as if dipping my toe in a pond to see if it’s cold. The door slams shut behind me. There’s no turning back now: no more blanketing comfort of the darkness. My heart begins to settle as I open my eyes to take in all that is around me. No demons lurk here because there are no shadows in which to hide.

A strange sensation begins to creep up the back of my neck. It is a warmth that settles over me like the comfort of hot tea on a cold winter’s day. Seemingly a foreign concept to a body that has long traveled a hard road. A road of twists and turns, a rollercoaster ride for the record books. The little knots of anxiety begin to loosen their grip on my stomach. There is hope after all.

There is hope after the biggest falls and terrible times. Dark days may come and there is nothing that we can do to change that. The ups and downs will never come with a warning. It is okay to take ten steps back in those moments. What really matters is that we keep going. Keep moving through the roadblocks that are hurled at us. Sometimes you have to be your own warrior, your own savior. If we can pick ourselves back up off the ground and keep going, is that not a testament to our strength?

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