emotional abuse is when someone does something to hurt you, and when you express your feelings, that you’re upset, they turn it around to be something you did to hurt them and they force you to apologize for it, and your feelings, like always, are rendered invalid and silenced, forever damaging the ability to trust others with your feelings because they always are used against you
They say drowning is the most euphoric way to die, but I’m not buying it. There is no ecstasy in having the oxygen choked out of you while sea salt and water flood your tightening throat. There is no romance in asphyxiation. The tides could be high or low; the ocean deep or shallow. Even if you’re wading with the ice cold currents kissing your knee caps, there’s someone dunking your head beneath the surface, shattering your skull, and forcing you to inhale your aquatic demons. But once you finally lift your head up, once you finally remind your lungs just how much they love the sweet taste of air, you realize that you’re all alone.
With your hand behind your head.
That’s anxiety. Feeling terrified as your heart races and feels as if its clawing its way out of your chest, only to find out that you are the monster who haunts your own nightmares and dwells at your bed side. You are your own worst enemy. What others fail to see, however, is that it’s not really you at all. You think you know fear, but you don’t. Not until the darkness rolls in and the fog settles inside of you, lightning and thunder striking at any given moment in a painfully silent plume of mist.
This phenomenon is hardly a flowery vignette. For some, it’s hell. The utmost heinous of Dante’s infernal tiers of agony and horror. For others, like me, it’s just a glass wall; appearing to be penetrable due to the occasional crack, but ultimately shatterproof. It provides a translucent barrier between you and the universe, but no one gets out. And no one gets in.
It’s purgatory. Awful, but not the worst, intertwined with a fragment of hope that one day, the madness will come to a graceful end. One day you’ll get better.
I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see. I look in the troubled and tired eyes of friends, family, and those who simply tolerate my weakness and I don’t like what I see. Queries echo throughout my mind — are they right? Is this all merely an overreaction to the daunting pressures of reality? Is it really all in my head, and if so, how on earth do I get it out? Everyone has an opinion, but no one has an answer. In order to make a problem less problematic, you need a solution. But if you can’t find a solution, it remains a problem.
Anxiety is a problem and recovery, if there ever is such a thing, is an endless search for a solution.
There are days when I’d rather slay a fire-breathing dragon than walk down a narrow high school corridor. The galleria is a blood bath waiting to engulf me in crimson waves of vicious mayhem and betrayal. Teenagers are scarier than cannibals. Children are callous serial killers. Adults are useless. And people like me are afraid. So afraid that we typically can’t bring our fear out into the light, so we’re stuck in this internal battleground all alone with no army and a very thin layer of armor constructed solely out of drugs and breathing techniques. There are places to hide. But that’s the thing about running from yourself, isn’t it? You always know where you are eventually.
Anxiety is a desert. Dry, hot, and hopeless with only the brief chill of cold sweat to remind you that even if you’re coughing up sand in the scorching sun, you’re still a person and you deserve a hint of comfort. In the distance lies an oasis. A fresh water aquifer of crystal currents surrounded by a harmonious rainforest with frequent acidic showers that bathe you in the joy of coolness and contentment. This is normalcy. A divine paradise you have only ever witnessed in a dream. And within time, because time is the ultimate game maker, you reach this imperial nirvana.
You’re a bitter cold winter melting into the dawn of spring and you never want to go back. But seasons progress. And paradise is often lost. And before you know it, the snow is starting to fall again, cascading onto your fingertips and dripping down to your soul, but you’re still there. You still have your oasis.
That’s why you’re wading with the ice cold currents kissing your kneecaps. Until someone — something — comes behind you and forces your head beneath the surface and you’re drowning. And they say drowning is the most euphoric way to die, but I’m not buying it.