stream_of_unconsciousness_anxiety

Hello, everyone…

I’ve been trying to work up the courage to talk about this, but it just isn’t coming, so I’m just going to close my eyes and blurt it out before I notice and chicken out (which in itself is progress that I’ve gotten far enough to be able to do even that [edit: progress that I have days where I feel I can do this and can begin a post like this.]).

I will be honest. I will be authentic. And most of all, I’m going to be vulnerable. Writing this post scares the heck out of me, but it’s time you know what’s going on, for real.

For some time, I’ve struggled with anxiety. Anxiety can be broken down, parsed and labeled with different brands or flavors. I simply refer to it as “my anxiety”, and I’ll continue to here. Specificity doesn’t matter to me. Honestly, I don’t even like calling it “anxiety’, even. It feels like I’m saying something’s wrong with me, or, the voice whispers, overstating my problems. So often, I just call it “it”. It’s more manageable as a two-letter pronoun, even more ambiguous than “thing”.

I meant this to be a brave post, finally coming out in all honest vulnerability. It was begun on a day of strength. But now I can’t find courage, or the words to begin explaining any of this. To go into the spiraling freezing attacks that seize me (like when blogging. I tried to hit the restart button, and then again, but it didn’t change the fact that blogging triggered my anxiety, which made it kind of a losing battle). To explain what it’s like to barely be able to drag myself out of bed in the morning, or to suddenly sprawl on the floor, rasping desperately for breath, heart bursting out of my chest and feeling so so alone. *

So instead I’m just going to leave this poem, this stream of consciousness unconsciousness. It spilled out of my soul’s veins the other day after an anxiety attack, and communicates what it’s like to suffer from severe anxiety and depression (or at least be inside my head).**

The Mask

How easy we slip

from skin to mask

from flesh to armor

How quickly we hide

our fresh-stinging hearts

It’s silent in here

a tomb

cold

dark

safe

this is death

No more fear

I’ve lost it all already

This isn’t me

what you think you see

it’s not really me

it’s the demons inside

so I smother it all

behind my mask

where no one will see

just how much it hurts

The scars on my heart

I shroud with my armor

A smile

A laugh

A fake happy face

lips moving

I don’t know what I’m saying

I can’t hear my own voice

over the ringing in my ears

my thoughts are screaming

of murder and pain

and the beauty of both

I’m clawing my eyes out

and all I can hear

is the echo of my own screams

tortured

in my ears

Hi (I’m ready to die)

How are you doing (I can’t even breathe)

I’m good (someone help me, save me please)

With a hug and a smile and laugh

I smother it all under my mask

My demon it hides

so very very well

and if you don’t know me

you can’t even tell

Of death and horror

flames and knives

he whispers to me

of hammers and nails

and torture and pain

it’ll make everything better

he lies to my brain

I know it’s not true

but I can’t let it go

and all I can hear

is the riot in my soul

alone in the dark

alone with the pain

alone with the voices

alone in the shame

So tired of everything

so tired of it all

this weary wearisome world

I wanna give up

lay down and let it all go

I can see it

watch it disappearing

in a slow dark hurricane

in reverse

I don’t even care anymore

to just let it go and say goodbye

to the demon inside

my head

but I can’t

I won’t

so I smother it all

behind my mask

I’m out of control

my emotions a raging storm

I see red

black

white

stars

emptiness

rabid butterflies in my stomach

I’m breathing helium and it feels like death

to breathe

I forget

each one a hard-won battle

I’m not sure I wanted to win

Roaring voices in my head

clamoring for attention

Demons shred my soul

I can’t move

I’m paralyzed

Help

someone save me

why

why did I come back

I can’t do this again

but I pretend I can

I pretend I’m okay

that nothing ever happened

and I smother it all

behind my mask

I’m fine

 

*In case you’re worried/wondering, yes, I am seeing a therapist to work through this. She’s great and has helped me a ton. It doesn’t take away the problem, but in all honesty I don’t know what I would have done without her these last couple months that’ve been especially bad. 10/10 would recommend.

**If you experience this yourself or relate to it, do a quick google search on anxiety, talk to people you trust, and consider seeking professional help. Do not suffer in silence – I know it can be scary to go to a therapist, but if you’re struggling with these things, you’ll thank yourself later. ❤

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