28: lost and found

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T W E N T Y - E I G H T

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Callan's POV

"How are you doing today?"

It was a simple question.

But sometimes the simplest questions were the hardest ones.

Hence why I sat in front of my therapist, trying to organize the havoc in my brain and give her a coherent answer.

I settled for honesty.

"I don't know," I replied slowly, my finger tracing circles into my leg to keep it from bouncing.

Dr. Esa leaned back in her seat, nodding her head at my answer, not asking me anything further.

I was glad that she let me sit and collect my thoughts for as long as I needed.

I finally opened my mouth, "I feel like life recently has been on two times the speed, you know?"

"And you're struggling with that?" she asked to clarify.

I shook my head, "W-Well no, not exactly. Life feels like it's moving fast, but I don't necessarily think it's in a bad way."

She nodded, "So being back at work is what you imagined it would be like?"

"Yes," my reply was immediate, "I feel like I'm back in my element, doing what I love. I just," I swallowed, "I feel m-more in control of my life, especially after everything that just happened."

Being back at work felt liberating, and the fact that everything was going well worked wonders for my self-esteem.

I was working on new deals, the new shop was coming together nicely, the designs I was working on were turning out to be beautiful, and I felt on top of the world.

Despite all of that though, I wasn't entirely sure if I had healed from everything or if I had just repressed it and busied myself with other things.

There had been multiple nights in the past two weeks that I had woken up from nightmares.

And there were a few times where I would be distracted and jump a foot into the air from fear when someone called my name.

"But..." I shrugged helplessly, not knowing how to word what I was feeling.

Dr. Esa took off her glasses and placed them on the table in front of us, mulling over her thoughts.

"I think it's very important that you take the time to recognize that you have made a lot of progress in your healing," she started, "But it's also okay for you to still have moments of fear. It doesn't undo your success if you feel afraid at some point, or if you struggle here and there."

"Right but," I sighed, "When does it go away?" I asked rather childishly.

She gave me a kind smile, "Trauma, and healing from trauma is a funny thing, Callan. Some days you'll wake up and feel perfectly well, but one day, maybe ten years down the line, you'll remember everything all over again and feel as though you haven't even recovered a bit."

"Well that's not ideal," I mumbled.

She laughed lightly, "It really isn't, I agree, but it is my belief that healing and recovery is more about acceptance and overcoming than forgetting. You cannot erase your memories, but you can learn how to cope with them in a way that will allow you to live your most fulfilling life."

I tilted my head, "S-So do you think I'm making good progress?"

I needed some reinforcement.

Sue me.

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