There are days I feel like a wounded animal. I want to crawl into my den, lick my wounds, and hope to heal. Fatigued, thirsty, hot, aching, longing for rest. I lick my wounds and wait for the healing power of nature. Alone, I shun any attempts to lure me from my den, even my pack is unable to help. I curl around myself, longing for the healing balm of sleep, but the pain drives sleep from my grasp. The pain pulses through me, growing to a dull ache as endorphin and adrenaline do their jobs. I begin to shut down, shut out the world, I am still but for the occasional tremor or shuddering breath.
As I heal, I am still over-reactive, sensitive, delicate. Even the hint of my foe wafting on the wind and my hackles rise out of sheer instinct, I have no control over my grumbling snarls. I run on gut reaction, hackles up, lips curled to bare sharp teeth, I lash out, claws extended and razor sharp. The movement hurts, reopens wounds, bleeding resumes.
Retreating again, curling tight, licking wounds. I know the wounds will close, eventually. I know it isn't a thing to be rushed. Wishing it will not make it so. But I feel my strength returning, the gaping wounds closing, They are sensitive to the touch, but the pain is no longer constant. I know I am healing, but like the wounded animal, I am skittish and easily spooked. I will need a gentle hand, a kind voice, a soft touch. Healing will come, soon, I know. I am stronger today than I was yesterday. Stronger, but weary. And tomorrow will be better yet. I am well along the long road, but not there yet.