Mental Health · Relationships


soft landing” © ankakay, 2009. CC BY 2.0.
I packed up my things at the coffee shop, rationing breaths. Used words sparingly. I’d reached the edge.

Kissed Mason and threw an, “I love you,” over my shoulder as I charged down the steps. Picked up momentum as I headed across the street, back toward our apartment. Counted cracks in the sidewalk, steps. Watched my feet dodge in and out of my line of vision. Held my breath. Clamored through the front door, made it to the elevator, lost it.

An hour later he opened the door and found me still laying on the floor. Catatonic. Dropped his bag and draped himself over me. I immediately started sobbing again.

That’s the world we’ve been living in.

As a writer, I felt I should be able to find words for it. The hot anger, the senseless desperation, the hopelessness. The ever-resurfacing frustration with the person I seem to be. Instead, I looked across the bathroom floor at my wonderful husband, eyes big and mascara-stained. I said, “I don’t know if I can do this.”

Each word crashed in the space between us and I collapsed on top of them. Curled into his chest, clawed for air, for stability. He tilted my head up toward his, eyebrows bearing down and voice tight around the edges, “You can. You’re okay. It’s okay. Everything’s okay.”

All folded in on myself and rendered immobile, I clung onto his t-shirt. Slowed my breathing.

I don’t know how to believe him.

But his arms pinned mine to my sides and he rocked me. And I knew he believed himself. And that’s enough for now.

38 thoughts on “Soften

    1. It’s weird, isn’t it? How every moment can feel like a lifetime. Like how you’re feeling right now is how you’ve always felt. How you’ll always feel. Even though you know it’s not true.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I read and react two ways when I read this: One I am so sorry that you suffer and even though I don’t know you personally , I so relate to your blog because of life circumstances with my daughter. Then I think: I am so happy for you that you are obviously so loved and accepted and understood by your husband.


  2. Thank you so much. Even though I’m sorry to hear you can relate, it helps me tremendously to know I’m not alone. I hope it offers that for you, too.

    And yes. We were so fortunate to find each other and I am so grateful we’ve both put in the work to foster the love, acceptance, and understanding our marriage is built on. His ability to soothe me is completely unmatched.


  3. This post is one more example of how powerful I find your blog. I’ve nominated you for a silly blog award, which I’m now nervous about because I don’t want it to trivialize this very important and painful experience you’re going through, but I truly find your words beautiful, and maybe a silly award will help you smile, if only for a moment. There’s no pressure to receive it/complete the challenge in it, but if you want to, here it is. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, Shannon. I’m touched. That award is super cute.

      I don’t participate in stuff like that, but I also don’t want you to think I feel trivialized by it. It totally made me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a writer you found the words for it in this, precisely. Whatever you had to leave out or could not articulate (yet?) is okay. It’s perfect. And even enough. Just like your “for now” in the post.

    Whatever you feel you can’t do, that is “crippling” sure means you can write. Not just to express your circumstances, I mean, but it opens me to my own healing process… and relationship. I found myself angry at times when my husband would wrap around me and tell me it’s okay. I felt less understood when he said it was okay… or promised it would be okay and I couldn’t believe because I couldn’t feel or imagine it at the time. I didn’t want his “enough for now”, but really, it’s what I need(ed) and you’ve reminded me of my gratitude and love in the matter(s).

    Thank you so much for helping with your blog. And I hope you tap into and feel your own radiance and energy and resilience that you’ve shared… And I hope I’m not too talky or forward in my comment… I’m new to your blog and I don’t want to be overwhelming. It’s good you publish without thinking of an audience and write for you.


    1. It can be really hard to accept that kind of comfort. I’m getting better at it, but I definitely still try to squirm away from Mase sometimes. But he’s persistent.

      I’m so glad you found some comfort in my writing. I hope you continue to.


  5. Thank you Ruby for still having the energy to write despite what you are feeling and I hope you are always reminded that you are not alone. You are an inspiration! I may not experience what you are going through but I have my share of anxieties stemming from painful childhood memories and thank God for those who love us especially our husbands we are able to go through life even for just a little while.


  6. It’s always great when love becomes the cure to every bad illness you have in your head. I feel so proud of you to have come this far after every hell you had to go through. Keep writing and inspiring others with your inner strength. Let your inner aura settle peacefully in your words. Don’t stop breathing when you still can!:)


      1. You’re welcome. Well, and it’s reading comments like yours that cheers me up whenever I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. That’s great! Keep on writing! I love your form of art:)



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