,

“Little breaths!”

“It feels like I went for a deep dive into the unknown. Desperately hopeful that I was doing the right thing, but then I never came back above the waves. It felt like I was holding onto that one breath and kept swimming. It was a survival instinct. Moreover, I don’t think I knew any better than to survive. And so, I did.”  

“Am I making any sense? Please tell me right now. I don’t wish to waste a $40 copay if you and I have no connection.”

The therapist looks up from her notebook to say, “I know what you mean.”

Mira sits back on the chair, gently sighing her anxiety away. Then, dragging her stare from the therapist to the window, she smiles. She can see trees. It is fall, so they all stand tall, naked, and stunning. They are beautiful. “It’s like you have been swimming up against the currents waiting for that fresh breath of air, but it only keeps getting farther and farther away.” The therapist gives her a nudge.

“Yeah, exactly,” Mira replies, admiring the trees against grey clouds.  

“I think I get bits of air in between the long laps, like little breaths. I have had those moments. The ones that make the tired limbs, aching back, and broken self-esteem all worth it. But they last for only a moment. So I take a deep breath and then go back for yet another deep dive.”

Mira stops staring at the trees and tries to look at the therapist to ensure she is being taken seriously. But the therapist is too busy making notes and staring at Mira with a poker face. ‘She is good.’ Mira wonders how such a young girl could be so good at her job. She looked right out of college, no more than 21. But obviously, she wasn’t 21.

Mira’s wandering mind lands on the trees yet again.

“I think there is more somewhere out there. These little breaths of fresh air are simply motivations to keep going. I think I have a bigger purpose. An ultimate goal that I have not achieved yet. And I cannot stop either. So, I get these moments to remind me to keep swimming. Because there will be a moment when the sun will be calm and cozy, and the air will be minty fresh. And a gentle breeze will soothe my burnt skin.”

“So, do you know what the ultimate goal is?” The therapist questions.

“Yes.” The therapist finally sees the confidence she had been looking for in this patient.

“Freedom.”

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