I drove home the other night in complete silence. I worked a 16 hour shift and left my job at midnight. It had been a difficult week but before I knew it, it was time to leave. Walking to my car I noticed how cold and dark it was outside. We were told to anticipate freezing temperatures and I planned accordingly, wearing my winter coat and gloves. The sky was clear and I couldn’t see the moon. It was very quiet.
I never drive in silence. I’m normally listening to NPR, my favorite Pandora station or the top 25 tunes on my iPod. On this night, however, something within me needed silence.
I don’t like to sit with myself – with my thoughts and my feelings. The silence scares me but on this night I took a chance.
I know my medication is working when I can be aware of my thoughts but not be overrun by my thoughts. I can reflect on my day. I can feel the sadness and loneliness. I can grieve for the people I’ve lost. I can FEEL without spiraling into the depths of despair. My time in silence tonight reminded me that I have nothing to fear.
I think I need these moments of silence more often, not only to be in tune with myself but to listen for the still, small voice within that reminds me not to be afraid. Maybe one day you’ll be able to take some time to just listen.