We’ve been together for how long now? I remember you first coming into my life around the time I had my first wave of uncertainty – 20 years ago. I was five when you slipped under my covers, I remember that cause it was the first big fight my parents had that I heard beyond the teak doors.
You’ve changed your reason to show up over the years – the divorce, the new schools, the move, that first rejection, the bad grades, the body weight, the fake friends, the bad haircuts, the words those bullies said, the doubt in my mother’s eyes of whether I’d succeed in life or not, that long winded breakup, and many more I can’t recollect now.
Anxiety, you’ve become kin to the demon within me. As much as you hurt and scare me, you motivate me to prove those reasons wrong. But now it’s as if you’ve turned undyingly strong.
How did my adulthood end up depending on whether or not you show up? I feel your smirk when I do a double-take on the WhatsApp last seen, I hear your cackle when I pass by mirrors in public spaces, and I hear you whisper to the demon “there’s our girl” when I pour my glass of wine. Your glare radiates from my inked shoulders and I feel sick to my stretch mark ridden stomach, and there goes another day of me not wanting to eat.
My demon is my own, but you are not welcomed in my life. You come in episodes and series of not wanting to get out of bed. You take my hand and put the water to boiling hot in the shower I can’t walk away from, like a drug that has contaminated my system, you make my ears ring sirens with the voice of my mother. You make me fear for my brothers, you make me cry over my father.
“Why do you still bother?” you ask as I look over the balcony.
This time I have a reason to stop you, I can float above you and the waves you bring. I’m okay now even if the thought of saying it out loud still makes me shake. This time I’m awake. So please, dear anxiety, please just give me a fucking break.