My Life is like a fish

“Do you know what happens to salmon after they swim all the way upstream and lay their eggs,” I ask. A heaviness hangs in the balance as my therapist stares at me anticipating my response.

“They fucking die!” We both erupt in laughter but I am far from finished with my rant. “And do you know why they die,” I entice, my voice slightly hostile with a note of sarcasm.

I ask this question; however, I’m not looking for an answer or any engagement from my audience of one. My therapist stares back amused and intrigued by my slightly comedic routine.

“It’s because they’re so fucking exhausted!” Again, laughter fills the room at the simple absurdity of the story.

“No, I’m dead serious, I continue. It is completely true. This stupid fish takes a journey of swimming for miles and miles against the current. I mean it’s like running up a never-ending down escalator at the mall while it’s on high speed.”

In this silly analogy, I painted the picture of my life. I felt like I had been swimming upstream and fighting the currents of life for years and years. I had become exhausted. And yes, something inside of me was dying. All I needed to do was turn around and let the current of the life’s stream naturally take me wherever it was flowing.

But like the stupid, little salmon, there was in instinct in me that only knew one way, a way fraught with excruciating hard work, very little fun and an unrelenting task master. I had finally come to a place of burnout and utter fatigue.

My soul was dying and I knew it.

I left my therapist that day feeling a little lighter because I had somehow likened my life to that of a fish who dies from exhaustion. Suddenly, everything didn’t seem so serious. The laughter released something in me. It gave me hope. Hope I could change course.

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