It rained a few weeks ago. Torrential rain. Monsoon rain. It was a prodigious rain.
I'd been having a massive anxiety attack that day, and anxiety attacks make me feel very raw. In a way, they sort of reduce me to my bare bones self and all of the niceties with which civilization covers me are ripped away and I am left exposed.
There are a few...not remedies...but aids to getting through an anxiety attack for me, but they are not always convenient nor available. One of them is to crawl in bed, bury myself in blankets and pillows and calming music and wait it out. Another is running, partly because it takes a lot of energy and partly because it makes me feel like perhaps I can outpace it. A third is to be wrapped up in the tight embrace of one I trust. None of these were available to me, as I was at work, so I did what I normally do in that situation and shoved it down to be dealt with later.
Later came, and my intention was to go home, crawl in bed, bury myself and hopefully go to sleep. Anxiety is exhausting and pushing it down and trying to function properly at work is even more so. I stopped by my dear friend's house to drop some things off, planning to leave shortly thereafter. He convinced me to stay and have dinner and I knew I did need food, as I hadn't eaten properly that day. He wrapped me tightly in his arms afterwards, knowing I wasn't ok and as we talked about this and that, it slowly entered my consciousness that there was a raging storm going on outside. Finally, I got up to look.
There it was, the rain. I love rainstorms, especially thunderstorms. Especially torrential thunderstorms. They are raw and magnificent and beautiful and untamed. (I don't like tornadoes, even though they are also raw and untamed, they are massively destructive)
I stood in the doorway watching the rain come down in sheets. And the rawness I felt in me connected to the rawness I felt out there. So, I stepped out into it. It was, literally, breathtaking. The cold sting of the drops of rain, the quick, hard gusts of wind and the constantly rolling thunder stole the breath from me. I was soaked to the skin within seconds, but I did not return to the house, I stepped out further into the tumult, daring it to take me, knowing it couldn't. I wanted to join it, I wanted to be part of it, part of the chaos, part of the power. I ran out into the road, which had become a river, the water swirling above my ankles. The lightning flashed across the sky, not in bright branching slashes, but in sheets above the clouds, followed by low, chest rumbling growls of thunder.
The rain pounded me, the wind bit at me and I turned my face to the sky and laughed with sheer exhilaration. It was glorious, being out in that, connecting to that power, knowing that I could return to the calm warmth of the house, that I could escape it should it get out of hand, that I could be victorious over the storm because in returning to the house, it could not get at me. (It got back at me for my hubris later with an exceptionally close lightning bolt and such a clap of thunder that I screamed in fright from my bastion of safety within the house). I stayed out in it for some time, splashing and playing and reveling in it.
I finally did go back in, teeth chattering, drenched and drained of my anxiety. The wind had whipped it out of me, the rain had washed it away and I was free again to cloak myself in civilization... and a hot shower.