To The Knot In My Chest

woman left hand on hair under sunset
Riccardo Mion / Unsplash

It’s like you’ve become a part of me. Like the blood running through my veins, I can’t quite make you stop. You’re there when I wake up. You’re there as I attempt sleep. I feel you at all hours of the day and night, unable to ignore your presence. Every now and again you loosen, when I’m distracted by a laughing child, a puppy on the sidewalk, my first sip of coffee in the morning. But the moment I notice you’re becoming undone you tighten yourself once more.

You control the way act. The way I clench my fists until my overgrown nails make deep indents in my palms. The way I fight back tears by biting down on my bottom lip to the point where it bleeds. I want to tear out my hair, punch a hole in the wall, scream at the top of my lungs, anything to get rid of you. You control the way I breathe. Once a slow and steady, Inhale. Exhale. has now become a frantic InhaleExhaleInhaleExhale. You’re the reason I can’t sit still. Constantly tapping my foot, cracking my knuckles, running my hands through my hair. Any moment I have to myself is spent aimlessly walking in circles, focusing on nothing and everything all at once, unable to simply relax.

You’ve replaced my once loving heart. Instead of a soft and gentle beating it’s just you, pulling yourself tighter and tighter. Wrapping yourself around my lungs, my spine, my stomach. You’ve taken over everything inside of me that once made me me. Instead of feeling love I only feel you tighten around my chest. Instead of standing tall you pull me into a slouch. Instead of hunger, all I feel is nausea despite my stomach gnawing at itself. I am no longer in charge of my body, you make its decisions for me.

I tell myself one day you will disappear entirely. One day I will wake up refreshed and return to sleep without an issue. I’ll be able to smile sincerely and hold my head high as I walk with purpose. I will indulge in the meals I once loved without fighting to keep them down. I will sit still. I will take deep breaths. I will relax. I will be me. The me I’ve grown to miss. The me I have to force myself to remember. The me I know is still deep down inside, fighting to unravel this ever-growing knot.

But until that day I will take pleasure in the little distractions that allow you to loosen even just for a moment, and savor that split second before you tighten yourself up again. TC mark

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