For the past week and a half, I have been walking through a tunnel of darkness, it feels. I couldn’t see and thought I wasn’t going to be able to find a way out. It was disorienting. But I kept trudging, and along the way, fears from childhood pulled at me from the darkness. They nagged at me. “Stay with us,” they pleaded. “Don’t leave us behind,” they cried. So I stayed for a while. They soothed me with their familiarity. So I stayed for a few more days. Then a voice within the darkness asked me, “Don’t you remember?” But my fears gripped me tighter, “it’s a trick” they told me. “Don’t listen to It. We are your protectors. We know whats best for you. We have helped you survive all these years.” So I stayed. “Don’t you remember what it was that you wanted?” It whispered. “Try to remember.” So I thought, and thought. What was it that I wanted. Why had I agreed to put myself through darkness in the first place. It was my choice, but the reasoning had suddenly disappeared, obscured by all my fears. “I don’t know,” I sobbed. “I don’t remember. I don’t know. I just want to stay here because I can’t go back the other way. The other side won’t take me back. But I don’t want to go out there. Being out there doesn’t suit me. I just want to be myself. I’m myself here.” So I stayed. “Try to remember,” It asked of me each day. But I ignored It as I wallowed, immoblized, in the safe, familiar grips of my fears. I felt them coarse from my heart to my brain. Loudly at first. Then, softer with each passing day. I felt each fear in all its intensity. Then one day, the feelings could be felt no more. I reached for the familiarity in vain. It had gone as it came, without notice. So I trudged on. As I approached the other end of the tunnel, I grimaced at the light pouring in. “Can I?” I asked the infinite darkness behind me. “You can,” It told me, “you can.” So I did. I turned to look behind me, only to be surrounded by light. Then I remembered. “Freedom,” I exclaimed incredulously to something that was no longer there.