Poem by our amazing resident blogger Mackenzie Jerks.
Dragging my feet all the way to my bed. I know I need sleep but I’d rather be busy instead. I close my eyes and my vision is red. My body knows what’s coming as my stomach fills with dread.
Although I never intend for it to be this way, this night will be like all the others. I’ll wish I could vanish as I immerse myself under covers. Even if I keep every light switched on, the shadows of darkness always hover.
Even if I try to hide, I know I’ll always be discovered. Even when I know it’s coming, nothing can serve as a suitable buffer.
An anxiety attack is on its way and I’m frothing at the mouth with anticipation. I’ve been through this enough times to understand this situation.
My knuckles turn white as I grab my sheets tight to stimulate concentration.
I know when it ends my body will lay limp as I embrace my state of deflation. Until that moment, anxious assessments pump into me in a flow of non-stop inflation.
My thoughts are calm and start so quiet at first. Anxiety will take my thoughts and twist them with its power to coerce.
The screaming between my ears that’s coming is the part I find the worst. So many different voices enter my head I’m in awe it never bursts.
I can feel my heartbeat start to suddenly quicken. I can feel my back start to sweat as my spine lay stricken.
I can feel the air dry my tongue as my breath suffers from restriction. I can feel my eyelids sink each time that I blink but my vision’s starting to alter from wicked afflictions.
I’m losing control, my head knows I’m no longer its master. Anxiety throws a thousand thoughts at my brain and laughs when they carelessly scatter.
Even though I should be used to the feeling, I don’t know how to cope with the pattern. I find myself lost in thought about everything that doesn’t matter.
I’m thinking about her. I’m thinking about him. I’m thinking about how I’m balancing on a steep cliff with one foot dangling over the edge of the rim.
I’m thinking about jumping into the void without knowing how to swim. I’m thinking about all the things in life that I’m too scared to do.
About how my head feels like it’s missing more than one or two screws. I’m thinking about how no matter where I seem to go I always seem to lose.
About how the one thing that has control over me is something as brainless as booze.
I’m thinking about how I’m travelling my life’s path with precision so mindless. About how I’m pleading to gain some mental strength so I can lose my mind less.
I’m thinking about the timeline of this terror and how I wish I could rewind this. About how I’ll always fall victim to anxiety because these attacks appear so timeless.
I’m starting to feel numb and can’t get control of my breathing. Fresh air feels like fatality the way I keep wheezing. I can hear my heartbeat is surpassing 120 a minute.
I can feel I’m about to succumb to the void and can’t wait to be in it. My body is frozen and tense at the same time.
My limbs are locked and can’t move from their straight line. My thoughts keep speaking about anything possible.
The tension inside feels like an inflated balloon that’s not poppable.
There’s no way to reverse once my mind starts slipping. So I’ve learned to embrace the reality of my sanity slowly tipping.
There’s a pain in my chest that I perceive to be my breastbone ripping. But once I’m falling, the familiar panic feels right.
I plunge back-first with my arms dispersed as they grasp for life found in the light. When anxiety has its grip secured there’s no point in putting up a fight.
After it’s done I know I’m still alive but it doesn’t feel like I’m surviving. Am I really living when my stress is in the background hiding?
Tears take a stroll down my cheek but I can’t even feel that I’m crying. I wish the words in my head were my own deciding.
But anxiety has a forceful strength to which I always find myself abiding. Anxiety hands me a glass of poison in the night that I drink up like water.
Anxiety throws all my organs in a pot and never stops boiling them hotter. Anxiety makes me forget that I’m a person, that I’m a sister, that I’m a daughter.
The numbers on the clock tell me it’s time to relax and rest. My body’s still recovering and needs a few minutes to destress.
As I lay there on my own with my skin turned to stone, I’m curious if each attack is really a test. I can’t seem to ever win control, despite the few nights I try my best.
I want my thoughts to say less. I want no screams and no stress. I want to know what it’s like to have the night air to hold me in a gentle caress.
I want the angel on my right shoulder to be louder than the devil on my left. I want to feel at home in my own head and not like a guest.
I want this way of routine to be over so I can be free. Until then, I’ll lay awake at night and pray for a piece of purity. Until then, my head has two guests checked in, myself and my anxiety.