The fire and the damage done

My life has been compartmentalized into three sections

Before anxiety

During anxiety

And after anxiety

Before anxiety I was 17 years old

Naive to the world in so many ways

And somehow also much wiser than I should have had any right to be

Before anxiety doesn’t feel like a long period of time

And I can’t help but look back upon with a wistfulness

Because I did not know then how bad it would get

During anxiety was a vast period of time where days and months have blended together to give me only a drug addled memory of what it was like

I remember fear and ambulances and hospitals

And the overwhelming sense of dread that things would never be good again

I remember wanting so desperately for there to be a reprieve

From the thoughts racing in my brain

Chasing away my sleep and my appetite

And it never came

Until it did

I fought my way back

So hard

Until it became

After anxiety

I can’t even remember the moment where I realized I could go out without needing to be extra medicated

I feel like I should remember that

I should remember the exact moment that I didn’t need to clutch a bottle of water in my hand to face the world

I want to remember the exact second in time that I stopped having to counter every anxious thought that popped into my brain

The best I can remember

Is that it happened

And somehow

The last thought before bed wasn’t about having a panic attack

And the first thought upon waking wasn’t about having a panic attack

I feel like maybe if I remembered those moments in time

I wouldn’t have taken it for granted

And maybe just maybe

I wouldn’t be where I am right now

Triggered by a situation outside of my control

Feeling like once again the world is a scary dark place

That I need to protect myself from

Because that’s it really

That’s the thought that I cannot talk myself out of

I can’t provide evidence to counter that thought

Yes of course there is good in the world too

I know that

The yin and yang and all that

But that doesn’t change that fact that I am afraid of how the world will fuck with me

And why?

Because I have solid evidence that reminds me I am right to be fearful

To feel the need to protect myself

To feel the unnerving desire to flee

And I’m afraid that no amount of good will ever change that

Just because you put salve on after the burn

Doesn’t mean you can’t remember the excruciating pain that the burn caused you

Doesn’t mean you don’t still have the scars where the blisters bubbled up angry and red

It doesn’t mean you can go back to what it was like before the fire changed you

Marked you as it’s victim

Sure you can cover it up

Pretend it didn’t happen

Or maybe you wear it proudly

Tough as nails like you’re nobody’s victim

But the next time there’s a fire and those flames flicker a little too close

Instantaneously you are transported back to the moment

When the flames claimed you

And you cannot help

But to take a step back

You won’t let yourself get burned again

Not this time

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2 thoughts on “The fire and the damage done”

  1. Absolutely brilliant post Angela! So insightful and powerful which of course is so impressive. I feel the pain with each word, but I also feel the strength you somethings might forget is there. I do believe you are so much strong and encouraging that you realize. I love reading your post that are always so full of emotion! Lots of love always!

    Like

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