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Keep Moving Forward

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Camyrn Neufeld

So, here’s a little backstory before I begin. Most nights, just before I fall asleep, I think. I think about anything and I think about everything. Some nights I think about what I did that day, while other nights I think about what I’ll do the next. On some rare nights, I’ll think of things like what you’re about to read.

This is a scenario/analogy/metaphor for mental health and mental illness that I came up with to give my mom a better understanding of what I was going through a while back. So I hope you can take something from this and that it helps.

Keep Moving Forward

It’s like walking down a hallway, and each time you discover something about yourself, you open a new door and walk down a different hallway. Now, some of the doors you’ll walk through will leave you in a different lighting. Regardless of what the hallways you walk down make you feel, you know you can’t turn back.

Now I have a question for you. If you walked past a door and saw that it was open a crack, not enough to peek in, but enough to peak your curiosity, would you walk in? For the sake of this analogy, let’s say you do.

So you walk through that door, and the hallway isn’t lit up with the normal, yellowish white light that every other hallway you’d walked down had. The lights are constantly flickering, drawing anxiety that, at any moment, the flickering lights could plunge you into never-ending darkness.

It’s terrifying for you, because you have no choice but to keep moving forward in hopes of finding that comforting yellow white light again.

Then, as expected, the dreaded moment when those flickering lights finally burn out happens, and you’re left in complete blackness, where you can’t even see my hand when it’s an inch in front of your face.

You’re don’t know whether you’ve taken five steps forward or twelve steps back, and you can feel the creatures lurking in the dark breathing down your neck and clawing their way up your spine. They whisper things in your ears, things that make you want to stop and curl up into a ball and stay like that until they go away, but you know that you must keep moving forward, because they’ll never stop saying those words.

You don’t know where you’re going, or when it’s going to end, but all you can do is keep moving forward, because you can’t fight back.

Then, the lights slowly come back on. The only difference is that they’re not the soft yellow white from before. The lights are a deep red, making it hard to see, regardless of the fact that the light is back.

Now, you can see every single one of those creatures’ faces, and you wonder if it would’ve been better to stay in the uncertainty of the dark instead. You don’t dare to look directly at them, out of fear for your sanity and for fear of what you might see. They grin at you, chase you, claw at your legs and arms as you run from them, because you know you’ll never win if you try to fight them. All you can do is keep moving forward because, if you stop, they’ll drag you back into the never ending dark.

Sometimes you wonder if you’re running in place when they’re running next to you, claws slashing at your throat while still maintaining a razor sharp grin.

Suddenly, the lights turn on so fast that you have to stop, for the light is blindingly bright. Once your eyes are able to adjust, you find the creatures are gone and, once again, you are alone. You start walking, once again in the comfort of that yellow white light.

Whether you’re condemned to repeat the same process, or find a door to lead to into a better hallway, the one thing that will never change is the fact that you must keep moving forward.

 

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