- Joshua Sherman Productions
- Benjamin Lerner
I restlessly shifted my legs beneath a thick comforter as I scrolled through a series of inane social media posts on my smartphone. I watched in fearful silence as the battery slowly drained down to single-digit percentages, dreading the darkness, boredom and silence that would follow its inevitable shutoff. Although I hadn’t ingested any chemical stimulants for several years, a mixture of anxiety and neurotic overthinking had rocketed me into a frenzied state of overwrought hypnosis. I sat up in my bed and began to rock back and forth in a fetal position as I savored my last moments of mindless procrastinatory indulgence. At the humorous climax of one of my favorite online comedy videos, my phone’s screen went black.
As I sat in complete darkness, it felt like I was locked in a sensory deprivation chamber. The silence was deafening, and it seemed as if the pitch-black room I found myself in was slowly closing in on me. I curled my legs underneath the folds of my baggy fleece sweater, rubbing my toes with my hands to keep them warm. I began to wallow in a rising sea of self-pity as I lamented my predicament. Pessimistic thoughts of future worst-case scenarios echoed through my mind in the form of nagging and incessant questions: “What if the power doesn’t come back on in the morning? What if I can’t finish my article and I get fired from my job?”
Suddenly, a distinctly different question overpowered all of the others: “What if the only thing that’s truly holding you back is your own hesitancy and fear?”
It had never occurred to me that the temporarily inconvenient situation I found myself in could actually serve as an opportunity for positive growth — if I used it in the right way. Instead of cursing the limitations of my circumstance, I began to clear my mind and focus my thoughts towards future constructive actions. In my lucid and calm state, I was able to mentally prepare myself for the article that I had to finish and properly organize the outline of its conclusion in my head. After reviewing the obstacles that lay before me in a rational and com- posed manner for several minutes, I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing and made a conscious effort to remain in harmonious balance with the world around me. Several minutes later, the lights flickered back on, and the gears inside my heater began to churn.
I got out of bed and plugged in my computer, then retrieved my quilts and pillows from my bed and brought them to the chair at my work desk. As I prepared to brew a refreshing cup of hot chocolate and finish my article, I reflected on the power of patience and self-awareness. Recovery had given me the power to resist the darkness and walk towards the light, and it allowed me to tap in to a state of calm and energized clarity that was stronger than any electrical current.
Keep moving forward.
Run towards the truth.
Don’t quit before the miracle happens.