As I turned the shower taps I could feel the water absorbing into my skin as I stood there floating in a cloud of anxious tension wishing for the thoughts in my head to stop swirling. I exited the shower and pushed the button to open the next door, which led to a steamy, cramped sauna filled with men huddled over a slow burning fire. The air was thick with the smell of sausage.
“What am I doing?” I whispered to myself.
Regret started to rain down around me as a million thoughts began to spiral in my head going from negative to absolutely terminal. Concentrating on my breath I took control and as I began to calm down I looked around the sweaty, smoked filled room and realised I was sitting in a weird sausage party. Well, let’s be honest it was a literal sausage party and it did not look or smell festive by any stretch of the imagination.
“Christ, why is it so hot in here? I can barely breath,” I suddenly screamed internally at myself.
I was so overwhelmed by the heat I didn’t know what sausage the guy across from me was suggesting I eat. Disorientated, I got up and burst through the doors running straight out and into the snow. Looking around confused and a little blurry eyed I started to see just ahead of me an old lady who was hand gesturing towards the icy lake. Instinctively I followed and as we approached the lake there was a pontoon with two sets of stairs leading to a hole in the ice.
She demonstrated by lowering herself slowly into the icy water with a smile on her face. Reeling from the heat of the sauna I decide to give it a go. Grabbing onto the ladder adjacent to the old woman, I lowered myself down one step at a time. A million tiny knives sliced into my skin as every part of me was screaming to get the hell out.
Suddenly, everything was happening faster than I realised when my foot reached for the last rung on the ladder and missed. Plunging beneath the water my face and head were struck with lightning bolts. The pain was so blinding before I knew it I found myself standing on the pontoon with my heart pounding, muscles pulsating and skin reverberating.
“What just happened?,” I asked the old lady reaching for breath.
She came over placing one hand on my shoulder and said quietly, “You were reborn my dear,” and simply walked away.
To be honest I was questioning whether I was dead in that moment. Everything continued to pulsate as shivers of hot and cold ran across my body. It was a strange, but liberating feeling. There was some sort of clarity or should I say calmness embalming my sense of self. I realised I couldn’t feel the suffocation of anxiety in that moment.