I slide my foot into the sock.
It is soft, just as I remember.
I wiggle my toes; there is a hole at the end of the big toe.
I remember getting that when running through Amy’s house last winter.
I had tripped at the top of the stairs; my sock got stuck on something.
I switch the socks, wiggle my toes around again.
A sense of warmth and security floods over me.
Then panic, total anxiety. I can’t breathe.
These are my hospital socks from last October.
It has been a year.
Exactly a year.

It is all I can think about.
Where I was this time last year.
What was happening.
What I was feeling.
Nine days were spent there.
Nine life altering days.

The floor was so cold; my room was an ice box.
It made me want to cry.
I was still in the blue clothes.
I did not have any of my own yet.

Someone told me to ask for socks.
Something so simple, but I couldn’t do it.
I was afraid, and cold.

Someone asked for me.
In fact, they didn’t ask, they demanded.

I was grateful, so incredibly grateful for that person and socks.
I was such a mess.
I felt so alone.

I made some friends.
They changed me.
Mostly for the better.

I have been through things I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable talking about.
But these socks, they represent a journey.
They walked with me through it.

I got several pairs of these socks.
I wore them every day there.
They came with me to group.
To lunch.
Outside to smoke a cigarette.
And to the quiet corner of my room where I cried and slept.
They were there.
They came with me out of there.
They felt me tremble from the fear of returning to the real world.
They were there as I struggled to walk back into my life.
They walked with me as I struggled through day after day to get things right.
They were there when I failed.
And there when I fell apart.
They were there as my life became something I didn’t expect.
They were there until I put them away for summer.
But they were still close.
Always within reach.

Last October, my life flipped all over the place.
It causes me to panic a bit.
I can never leave the past behind, but these socks have provided me with a security that allows me to move forward.

I hug my knees to my chest and look at my socks.
Take a deep breath, and keep moving.