That feeling when the stress finally clicks and you find yourself for at least a moment starting to transform from lowly, common graphite into rare, wondrous diamond. After all of the preparation and work that went into it, the start of the phase change is painless.
It’s something of an out of body experience, your thought processes splitting, the “outside” you going off and being socially acceptable and pleasant while the “inside” you steps back from that other self and says, “Ah, I see what’s happening here! I’ve heard of that, never thought I would see it up close, let alone in my own cerebral cortex!”
From there, grasping to hold onto that new state, desperate to not tumble back to dust, it’s exhilarating and empowering to be able to touch that feeling in future times of crisis, to keep it hidden where no one can take it from you, a shiny mental trinket buried deep in memory. Perhaps with time and possible repetition and practice, it will be large enough and strong enough to act as a shield – or a sword, slicing away at the self-imposed bonds and limitations.
Tomorrow we fight again. Possibly stronger, possibly more wise, hopefully less afraid.
Especially that last one.