What's it like?
It's like an anvil sitting in the center of your chest, the elongated sides pushing out to the bottom of your stomach and to the top of your throat. It seems like no matter how you lay it just pushes harder.
It's counting all of your fingers and toes over and over again, not just to make sure they're there but to try and steady your breathing.
It's shaky hands mixed with invisible bugs crawling all over you, punching at you to remind you of every bad thing you've done in the last six months.
It's feeling the waves crash into me over and over again until I eventually fall, letting them pull me into the sea that harbors my deep-rooted fears. It turns from an abstract sensation to a
feeling all at once then vanishes again.
Underneath it all, it's trying to convince yourself it's okay. It's proving your humanity by making mistakes, it's trying to understand how to make it better but accepting that you can't. Just find something to focus on and it will take care of itself, I promise.
"Buttt," a voice whispers in the back of my head, "what if it doesn't?" "I will still be okay," I tell myself over, and over again. But when trying to convince myself that I actually am okay, I play over the scenarios that could play out if my anxieties were right. This gives me anxiety about my anxiety. Which turns into me laying in the dark with a throbbing headache at 4:32 a.m. and then thinking about how I like times like that due to the fact that they're in order.
When I do fall asleep, it's a rush of bad dreams playing out my worst fears. I wake up more exhausted then I was before, but I pull my hair up and do what I have to do.
Then...then it becomes a social fear. Will people comment on my clothes? On why I look like I haven't slept? On why my hair is in knots or my nails are picked all to hell? After a long day of trying to cover it up, it's back to the bad dreams.
It becomes this ruthless cycle, sometimes for weeks. But it always breaks. And when it does, I am reminded how loved I truly am. How valued and useful I am.
You just have to have hope. Because a very wise general once said, "Hope is like the sun..if you only believe when you can see it, you'll never make it through the night."