I do much better in the daylight.
But it was dark. And cold. All the curtains were drawn so that no one could see in. It was meant to keep them out. But I was kept in. And I was very aware of my heartbeat.
Calm down. You’re fine.
I was fine. I’m fine. I. am. fine. My breath though… it was more shallow than normal. My heart rate was speeding up.
Would you stop? You’re fine.
Yes, I had to stop. But my head felt funny. I couldn’t think straight. Why couldn’t I breathe like a normal person? Why could I feel my heartbeat so clearly? Am I okay? What should I do? I can’t sit hear anymore. Pacing. No stop. I’m fine. Am I safe here? I can’t stand anymore. Sitting. The floor.
For goodness sake. You’re fine. You know you’re fine. You’re being dramatic. Just breathe.
Just breathe… I can’t! I can’t get enough air. Why is my breath so shallow? Aren’t I breathing? My chest hurts. Should I… call someone? Text someone? What would I even sa–
No! You are fine. You are in control. You do not need to get a hold of anyone. No one would be able to do anything anyway. And you know that it’s no big deal! You’re working yourself up for nothing! It’s all in your head. You are fine! Pull yourself together. Why are you so dramatic?! Just breathe like a normal person!
How do I calm down? I want something… comforting. Something warm.
Tea… Tea. Do I have tea? Why didn’t I bring tea! Why didn’t I bring enough of anything?! I’m supposed to be more prepared than this!
Your backpack. Are there still some tea bags in your backpack?
Backpack…. Yes! There’s tea. Lemon.
Good. Go make it and calm down.
I sat quietly, trying to read one of the thousands of pages I’d been assigned. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t anywhere near the book I held in front of me.
I replayed the moments in my mind. Not the good moments, though I had many of those to choose from. Just the awkward ones. Just ones where the silence lasted a touch too long. Just the ones that didn’t go perfectly, that made me question every single thing either of you had ever said to me. And my mind worries over every single second.
Because what if one of those seconds made you realize I’m not as great as you’ve somehow made me out to be? What if one of those moments caused you to wonder why you had bothered to come? What if you realized how uninteresting I was and got bored? What if you suddenly became aware of the fact that I am a horrible conversationalist? What if you came to terms with understanding that you had an idealized version of me in your head?
And I know none of those things are true.
Maybe it’s because I can’t read either of you very well. Or I think I can’t. Or maybe it’s because I… well, I honestly think you’re really cool so I can’t imagine you actually wanting to be my friends.
I do realize that this is not fair to you. I know that. I know that you, if I said these things to you, would argue relentlessly. I know. I am aware. I know you’ve proved me wrong countless times by now. And yet I question everything. I wish I could just turn that off.
Wouldn’t that be great? Do you have any idea with how much more comfortable I would be around you? Do you know that I rarely, if ever, fully let my guard down around you because I am so focused on how I’m being perceived? No, you don’t. Because I can’t tell you. Because that would legitimately hurt you, and for good reason. Because I should not be like this. I consider you close friends and yet… I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.
I’m so sorry for that.
There’s a part of me- I don’t know how large or strong- that wants desperately to go into hiding. I can just picture myself scrambling to secure walls I’ve set in place and make them stronger, higher, thicker than they’ve been before.
Because I’m scared. I’m absolutely terrified of what the future will bring. I don’t know how to move forward and yet, daily I have to. I can relate to those people that are too scared to leave their house. Because why would you want to face the day? Why would you want to roam about in a world where pain sits in eager expectation around every corner?
I’m afraid of myself, of who I could become. I’m afraid of the pride that wells within me, it’s back to feelings of unworthiness growing just as high. I’m afraid of the tendencies that I have. I’m afraid of my laziness. Of my compassion. Of my stubbornness. My mistrust. My inadequacies. My self consciousness. My obnoxiousness. My ability to go unseen. My inability to hide.
The other part if me- oh how it competes with the first part- wants nothing more than to embrace everything. This part of me is fearless. It longs for the walls I have to fall and crumble beneath my feet. It wants to live each day without a care in the world. I’m excited to see the world. I’m excited to take new steps. I’m excited to learn new things. To except more responsibility. To be on my own. To have no one responsible for me. To not need to worry about anyone else when I make a descision.
But what if I don’t get to see the world? But what if these new steps destroy me? What if the new things I learn don’t stick? What if more responsibility crushes me? What if I can never be on my own? What if it’s worse to not have someone responsible for me? What if I can never make a decision for me alone?
I’m afraid fear will paralyze me.