You’ve spent years treading water. On good days, you float. A weightless, loved, and connected human being. A critical piece of something bigger than yourself. You smile as you let your passions seep into the ocean below you, unafraid of where the current may lead.
But there are bad days too. And sometimes you sink .
Once familiar water turns hostile in an instant. You kick, and scream , and curse the world for not recognizing your silent cries for help.
You’ve spent the majority of your newly adult life hiding behind “fine.”
The tears that come, the rawest manifestations of the fear and anxiety that have taken up residency in your subconscious, get written off as side effects of one too many vodka sodas. On the nights you slip up, a crack appears in your elaborate facade of “fine”. When you dare to say one one-thousandth of what is actually going on in your beautiful, chemically imbalanced mind, you brace yourself to lose everything.
Your body goes into its most primitive fight or flight survival mode. You think of every single word and feeling you just let slip, and each one causes your heart to beat faster and faster. As you lose control of your filter, your limbs follow suit,tensing sporadically . A small voice in the back of your head reminds you that had you kept your mouth shut, none of this would be happening right now. Instead of the slow, steady downward trajectory you were on, you chose to drown. Suddenly. Violently. You brought this upon yourself. You allowed him to assault you. This is what you deserve.
To you this panic attack, the way you are feeling right in this moment, is everything that has ever been and will ever be. The most conniving thing fear does to you is convince you that in your darkest moments you have no one. It teaches you the panic and guilt and anguish you feel when you finally muster up the courage to not be fine; rather than a stage you may eventually outgrow.
Because when all is said and done, you did it.
You somehow communicated the omnipresent, inexplicable pain you have been silently struggling with for far too long. And instead of leaving you when the downward pull is too much, you find that every person you choose to share this weight with, isn’t just floating along next to you. They’re building you a raft. With each new reaction, and story or experience shared, your raft grows and grows. Until one day you realize that you’re no longer even in the water. You no longer float aimlessly, but are rather tethered to the safe haven that your bravery built.
You deserve help. You deserve love. You deserve a life out of water.