It's August second. Unless one was born on the second, probably it's just another summer day. For me, however, this date has become an anniversary I will quietly observe for the rest of my life. It marks the first day after my last flashback. I have now been flashback free for two years.
Two years is not a long time. However, if one has been reliving through flashbacks the horrors of rape and abuse for many years, two years feels like an incredible gift.
So to celebrate, I walked on the ridge near my home. I noticed a family of hawks circling. I watched one of those birds harvest a tiny rabbit from the prairie grass. I listened as the cry of the rabbit was drowned out by the scream of the hawk. Wildflowers have sprung up as they normally do in the spring. Our seasons have been confused by the smoke and forest fires of June and early July. Rain has come in abundance and although it is late summer now, everything is green. The flowers that in past years go to seed by August, are just budding out and spreading across the grassy ridge. Even my favorite blue flax, gone always by mid-July, blooms in intermittent patches.
I noticed the white clouds weaving lacy patterns over our vividly blue sky and felt the soft breeze on my skin and I breathed a tiny prayer of thanks to whatever deity cared to listen.
My life has been incredibly difficult in the past couple of years. I'm facing terrifying decisions I do not wish to make. I live in stress and panic daily. There are days when I believe I am losing my mind.
But today is August second and I have had no flashbacks for two years. Today I took a break from everything that causes me stress for just an hour. Today I remembered how hard I worked to get to the point where I was no longer bothered by flashbacks. Today I believed in myself for just a moment.
So I wish everyone who stumbles across this post a very happy second day of August. I hope, you, too, will take a moment to remember some small triumph. I hope you'll look around and notice the things about your life that bring you joy. I hope you'll hug someone, and dance just a little bit, and hum a few bars of your favorite song.
And if you have my number and a minute of time, please feel free to call me and wish me a happy anniversary. After all, this is a very important day.