Ashes fall all around me.
Has the world died?
I am not sure of anything.
I have grown numb.
I used to feel the cold in my fingertips.
I used to be able to see through these frozen eyes.
Does anyone miss me?
I feel the cold no longer
For I have grown numb.
The ice slithered up my legs and down my arms.
The fire in my heart burned bright.
It was in vain.
All that is left is embers.
I am so numb.
How long have I stood here?
Time has no meaning.
The birds no longer sing.
The sun no longer shines.
God help me.
The light is dying inside.
The pain will almost end.
The darkness is coming.
I will no longer have to be numb.
The Lady of Ice stands as a testament to the sorrows of always being the strong one. It is a terrible burden to place on oneself. It is even made all the more difficult to bare when love drives you to push away your pain, put on a happy face, and thrive so that the one you cherish the most feels the warmth of life. How long could you last? Storms come and go. This is the way of things. Eventually, even the strongest of mountains crumble under the weight of too much rain.
Our lady was once a strong and proud woman. She seized life with the zest of determination and youth. She was the one everyone turned to when their worlds turned dark. She would ride in like a hurricane was chasing her and chase away the blackness. Her head was raised. Her shoulders never slouched. Her appearance was always on point. She walked with confidence and poise. To know her, one would think that nothing bothered her. To know her truly, she was just as troubled as the rest of us.
The Lady Grace, as we shall call her, suffered in silence from depression and anxiety. There was no one for her to turn to in her hour of need. Everyone else’s problems were more severe so she pushed hers down, down deeper into her heart. She did this out of love and the need to help. For many years, it worked like a charm. The only problem is that over enough time, the darkness reaches out for company. It begs to let loose its deadly delights. It plots the destruction of the vessel that contains it. It is cunning and very sneaky. Instead of opening the flood gates, it sends tiny trickles of pain for the rats to feed upon.
The rats love pain. They chew upon the neurons rendering them incapable of firing properly. It is a tasty treat for them so they invite all of their friends. If left unattended for long enough, the entire brain becomes infested. Rats have fleas too. These pesky pests like to jump from synapses to synapses nibbling as they merrily hop along. The scratching and clawing will keep you up at night. Each misfire caused by the fleas taints your thoughts. Even worse, rats are not known for their housekeeping abilities. The more they eat, the more waste they create. Where does it all go? It gets to float around in your cerebral juices. It is no wonder you cannot sleep at night.
Sensing madness was at hand, the darkness within Lady Grace released its ultimate weapon, self-doubt and loathing. The trap was set. Only a small nudge would be needed to send our dear lady over the cliff of which she would never be strong enough to return. She could see the madness within her and tried in vain to fight it alone as she always had. She was strong. She could do this. All she had to do was see the big picture and would instantly know how to proceed. The darkness might have won a few minor battles, but the war was far from over. It would not claim her spirit or her resolve.
Lady Grace tried many avenues of discovering in hopes that one of them would be the tool she desperately needed. It was a tiresome and lonely road that she traveled. The rats continued their monotonous work. The fleas danced their little jigs. Self-doubt and loathing became her constant companions. Spreading joy to others became an exercise of willpower. She stopped bathing regularly. She either refused to eat or ate too much. The mirror was a cruel mistress that laughed at her grotesque body. She smoked too many cigarettes and drank too many bottles of wine. She hated herself.
The madness drew closer with each passing day. It would soon start its assault on what little was left of her better judgment. The rats were no longer content on polluting her cranial spaces. They soon left leaving the soiled remnants of their feast behind. The nearly vacated void was just the home insanity needed to put down roots. Its roots were hearty and strong. Depression and Anxiety thought it was high time to throw their old pal Insanity a house warming party. Being a bachelor, they figured that it was long overdue for Insanity to find a partner so they also invited their longtime friend Schizophrenia to the bash. She was an entertaining gal who only wanted to find a nice nest after a long day of flying high. If the cards fell down just right, the four could go on double dates in the urine soaked channels the rats so nicely provided.
The party was a huge success and before Lady Grace could get a solitary step ahead, Schizophrenia and Insanity were wed. Depression and Anxiety would pop up out of nowhere to surprise the happy couple all while Lady Grace fell apart. Her neurons fired at such unpredictable times that she never knew what would happen inside her head next. The darkness leaped out of its carefully crafted cage that had long been left to rot. It was all over then.
The day came that finally broke Lady Grace’s spirit. Storm after unending storm broke upon her in relentless waves. Hope was dying quickly inside. Paralyzed by the tormenting images of death, ice began to flow through her veins, slowly killing the blood cells within. Excited by this development, the uninvited guests in her brain let themselves run amok. Ice froze her feet to the ground. It slipped up her legs. The steady stream of tears cut groves along her cheeks like a river in winter. Her heart was the last to die. Its light burned despite the freezing all around it. Pure stubborn refusal kept it glowing for so long. As the flames died down leaving only glowing embers of hope, peace and acceptance of her fate finally came with open arms.
It was a relief to know that soon it would be all over. One more little nudge. One more burden to try to carry. One more spirit breaking request. Would anyone come to her rescue? Hope’s embers turned dark, one by one. A final whiff of smoke signaled the end as the ice encased her heart.
The Lady of Ice stands still in the ruined gardens of eternity. Her face is frozen forever in an expression of desperate plead for help that will never come. Can she be released from her prison or will she be forever doomed to the darkness? Only time will tell. Maybe, somewhere out in the cosmos, hope flourishes. Maybe, one day, it will find its way back home.