No Words

Sometimes there are no words to describe when the pit of your stomach falls out and your breath catches in your throat.

There are no words to describe when you mask all the time except that one time when you couldn’t breathe. The time when in the doctor’s office the mask had to come off because the doctor had words you didn’t want to hear. And these words had the power to take your breath away.

Sometimes there are no words for that moment when you begin to spiral into the lowest place that keeps getting deeper with each breath.

Sometimes there are no words until later. Later when telling a sisterfriend what happened and laughing so hard at yourself because your anxiety sucked all the air from the room and yet you still couldn’t breath.

Laughter because that orange flavored sucker on the receptionist’s desk was the one thing you knew to grab leaving the office before nearly passing out in the medical center lobby and collapsing on the couch.

Anxiety, I have words for you. Posttraumatic stress disorder, I have words for you. Disassociation, I have words for you.

You are not the boss of me.

It turns out even if we don’t have words for the spinning, the sinking, and the disappearing, all we need to have at first is heart. A heart that connects us to at least one other heart. A heart that beats alongside our heart. A heart that reminds us we are not alone. Our hearts were never meant to beat alone.

More than words, we need hearts.

In that moment in the doctor’s office when I had no words and I had no breath (they both betrayed me), my heart came to me and held my hand. My heart said to me, “Mom, I know you are worried. Don’t worry.” Squeezing my hand, my heart calmed me.

Maybe we don’t need all the words. I don’t think words would have helped without the heart that knew how to love my heart and bring my mind back into my body.

There’s a heart language that needs no words. Our hearts are made to connect us so that we are not alone. We carry our mother’s heartbeat within us. We carry our grandmother’s heartbeat within us.

We carry within us the heartbeat of our ancestors. We are not alone. We are loved. There are no words for this love. Just heartbeats.

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

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