Walking down the shore at dusk, the air is soft and warm, the smell of the ocean is inviting. My mind begins to wander, thoughts of what is yet to come fill my mind and I sigh happily content with what the future may bring. And then it happens, I hear a little voice in my head and that voice isn’t talking to me. It is a distant memory that I have buried in the back of my mind and it is getting louder. One glance out to the ocean and I can tell it is uneasy. As the waves begin to bubble up my body tries to turn so that my steps take me further from the waters edge but I am frozen. I am frozen as the sudden wave comes crashing over me, threatening to pull me into the depths of the water. As the waves crest to crash again I hear that voice louder this time. The water stings my eyes and as I try to blink I see memories of the days in the past. The water is tugging at me and it knocks me to the ground. The swell happens again and the voices and the pictures and the memories flood over me as I cling to the sand holding on for dear life. Tears fill my eyes over and over again and the waves crash and I sob, nails digging into the shore unwilling to let myself be pulled into the chaotic whirlpool that is the angry water. The waves last an indeterminant amount of time, and the salt water mixes with my tears and I am no longer able to tell the difference. My body is sandy and soaking as I press myself to the sand begging the water to cease. Finally, battered and worn, I feel the warm air on my back again and I realize the water is further away than it was to start. The waves have calmed and my body is tired. I pull myself into a sitting position, knees to chest, arms wrapped around to warm myself and I watch as the sun finally sinks into the water. My eyes swollen from the memories they saw, my body tired from the fearsome fight and my mind full of what ifs. But I made it, and it did not pull me down this time. I am allowed to cry, I am allowed to feel sorrow and pain, I am allowed to fight through the pain all of it caused but I am NOT allowed to give up. I deserve the solace and peace of mind that comes with moving forward. I deserve the happiness that lays in front of me. I know the ocean has not finished its fight with me and I never know when it is going to try to pull me under again but I know that I will be ok. I’ve come so far and I am ok.