I walked through the woods and didn’t see anything. Not a single tree not a leaf, not the brown pine needles and gray leaves under my feet. I didn’t feel the new ferns tickling my bare legs, even the mosquitos couldn’t get my attention for long.
My feet, my legs, my swinging arms, the movement of my body all unraveling the tight spool of thoughts tightly wound in my head. I could only see what was behind my eyes, not what was in front of them.
I was stuck inside myself, growing smaller and smaller.
This is what panic attacks do to me. They makes me forget the larger world. I collapse inside myself like a black hole.
But as oblivious as I am to the reality surrounding me, my walks in the woods do help bring me back to me. Are the woods innately healing?
It took a dead tree to get my attention. And only because it had fallen on the path and I had to step over it. I don’t want to be this way, I thought, walking unseeing through the woods, taking what she has to offer without giving back.
But sometimes it’s all I can do, waiting for the panic to subside. Allowing the memory of fear to slowly loosen from my body and mind. Finding my way back to now.