For all those who struggle with anxiety in your heart that rattles your mind, may we learn to tame the internal chaos with words.
My journey with mental health is like any walk on a sunny day. It looks bright, happy, warm – and for the most part, it is.
But the sun casts shadows. That is where my anxiety hides.
Most of the time it stays hidden, suppressed in the shadows. Its ever-present, yet non-effective when the rays hit my skin.
But the moment I step in the shadows, it creeps up on me like a rattlesnake – slowly it slithers, quickly it pounces. The venom hits even quicker.
It poisons my mind, latching on to fading doubts and subtle insecurities. Suddenly they’re all-consuming in the very being of my brain. It erases other thoughts and paralyzes my lips.
I am so sorry I could not speak with you today, the poison is tightening my heart. My lungs are trying to catch breaths in-between the cardiac twists.
I am physically transformed into a lowly-looking, mute creature. You can’t see how my the venom has taken over.
There is simply nothing I can do. I try to breath, deeply. I try to wait it out without fidgeting or ripping my hair out or smashing something against the nearest wall.
Instead I must sit, dreaming of those magic circles a handful of friends have. I hear they suck the venom right out, at least temporarily. All I want is a quick fix, an easy solution because right now I cannot smile at a familiar face passing by without tears streaming.
That grin would be too painfully fake.
Despite my tight heart and battling brain, I find my sense of reason. I remind myself, my pain is temporary and not as severe as those who surround me.
As you may guess, comparing doesn’t do me too well, yet I always come back to it. I think of my close companions who’s shadows date back to a previous darkness, memories they can’t make go away. Without a tablet, they limit themselves to rainy days, maybe overcast at best.
I do not have this deep-seated darkness that I can attribute my mental state to. And the frequency is not nearly as great.
So I push my feelings to the back, to deal with myself. Their battles are more intense, immediate, important.
At the same time, I want to prove that I can heal myself in hopes of develop relieving mechanisms as a lasting skill.
Wouldn’t that make me strong? I like to think so.
So I continue to teeter between the decision of curing through self love or reaching out for help.
Which is why I continue to walk down bumpy lines on sunny days – between the shadows and the sunshine.