Tag Archives: anxiety

Comfort of a ghost

I’m sitting on the wooden benches, in Astoria Blvd, waiting for the Manhattan-bound N train. It’s so cold outside that vapor comes out of my mouth every time I take a breath. The tips of my fingers are frozen, and I blow into them every five minutes to keep them warm.

It’s snowing and raining at the same time. My shoes are wet, and I can feel my cold socks cling to my skin, but I can’t feel my toes. The coldness rattles up to my ankles and it’s slowly clawing up to my calf.

For a moment I stare at the rusty, old tracks and there’s a voice in the back of my head, telling me to jump on them as soon as the train comes, but the voice fades away beneath the stress of tomorrow.

I try to focus on the long walk home. It’s getting dark and because of the slippery roads, the buses will take forever. I’ll get home faster if I jog. I don’t have an umbrella, maybe I can buy one on the way, but I don’t have cash; I forgot my wallet at home. The thought makes me curse myself, and the harsh voice in my head scolds me for being careless.

I lean back and divert my attention to the Tri-borough bridge. The cars passing beneath the train station, with their colorful red and white lights, vanish in the fog and reappear close to the blue bridge; but all I can see are blurry outlines and flickering lights.

The day didn’t go well; not like the other days are any different. But today it felt like someone was suffocating me. Like someone had lowered the pressure of the oxygen in the air. Like something heavy was sitting on my chest. Nothing went well. I failed two of my classes, and I won’t be graduating on time. The thought doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is having to explain all this to my dad. What will I tell him? His hopes are bounded to me and my siblings, and my failing is like stabbing him in the chest. Things at home aren’t well either. My parents have issues of their own. It’s like I’m forced into these two wars and ironically, I’m losing both of them. I’m at that point, where everything feels like a burden. No matter how much effort I put into something, I always fail, and I’m tired of failing. I’m tired of trying. Tired of just existing.

I’m in pain, and it’s the type of pain that can’t be explained. That can’t be put into words; no matter what language I use.

The train comes after half an hour, and the walk home isn’t as long as I imagine it to be. Maybe because I run half the way, splashing water all over my clothes.

At home, no one asks me any questions, and I am grateful. Everyone is too occupied with their own issues, that my little problem seems like a minor inconvenience. My blotchy cheeks and stuffy nose are the result of the rain- that’s what everyone thinks, and I don’t correct them. I could easily break down but besides “get over it”, “have faith,” or “I’ve been through worse,” I won’t get any other form of comfort.

I change my clothes and go straight to bed. I have an English paper and a lab report due, but I don’t care. Nothing seems important. My mind is messed up, and I’ll probably break down crying. I just want to sleep. But as soon as I close my eyes, tears as big as raindrops cascade down my cheeks. Searing pain is ripping through my chest and it hurts so bad that I can’t put it into words. I’m wheezing, and I can’t seem to breathe. I want to yank my heart out of my chest and squeeze it until it explodes. A throbbing headache spills through my skull, and I find myself questioning God.

But as soon as I close my eyes. Hands as soft as feathers touch my forehead, and I feel an odd, unexplainable warmth spread through my body. Like someone has wrapped me around in a nice tepid blanket. Like all the negative thoughts in my mind are caged behind bars of tranquility.

“It’ll all be okay,” a voice as warm as the sun whispers into my earlobe and I can feel the warmth of someone’s breath. The voice reverberates in my mind, and I find myself repeating those same words.

For a moment there’s comfort. A one I’ve never felt before, but as soon as I open my eyes there’s no one around me, but I feel like I’m being watched. Like someone, invisible is hovering over my head. I’m too tired to think. Too tired to comprehend.

I close my eyes, and I feel someone massaging my scalp. Someone is sitting next to me on the bed and is whispering “everything is going to be okay.” And for some odd reason, I believe that voice. I feel an odd ecstasy take a hold of my body, easing every cell rushing through my veins. It doesn’t take long for me to fall into a deep, dreamless slumber.

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I’m drowning

Sometimes I get scared
and I don’t know why
but I want you to embrace me
and tell me it’s alright.

Because I trust you
more than I believe in myself
maybe because you become an anchor
when I’m crying for help.

Just don’t ever let me go
or the pieces joining me will shatter
tell me I am important
because I feel like I don’t matter.

I need you to praise me
and tell me what I am worth
because my mind is in chaos
and I feel like a curse.

Please don’t say anything
that will bring me down
because in this cruel sea
you’re the reason I haven’t yet drowned.

I’m not drowning. I think?

Poetry book: Curing My Venom
Read it for free on booksprout (limited time)

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A war between hope and despair

I opened my mouth, but I couldn’t speak.
“I understand,” she said kissing my cheek. “You don’t have to say a word. I know what is going on inside of you. The demons are stronger and they’re breaking through. You’re cracking because you’re losing your faith, but the sky is rumbling it’s calling your name. I know you’re afraid because you don’t know how to fly. Those voices in your head are making you cry. You’re breaking; I can see it through your chest. That organ pumping blood in your body won’t let you rest. I can feel the beat echo through my ears. You want to speak, but you’re afraid no one will hear. It’s getting dark inside; I can see your heart. You’re aching, your soul is ripping apart.”

She gently came and wrapped me in a warm cocoon. “Just swallow these pills, everything will be okay soon. You want to meet God and ask about all this. Death will be gentle, he’ll just give you a kiss. Everything will be over. You won’t have to fight. At the end of the tunnel, you’ll see a ray of light. No more panic attacks, no more fears. No more anxiety. No more tears. It’ll be over, and you won’t have to play pretend. It’s okay my love, everything will come to an end.”

I looked at her beautiful face, and then at those pills, she clenched in her fist. I didn’t want to die, but I was afraid to live. I had nothing to lose and nothing to give. I was dead inside, but my heart was still beating. I was losing and falling what was the point of breathing. Everything in life was a burden, what was the point of dying every day. Wouldn’t it be better to end it all today?

I extended my hand as I wrapped those pills in between my sleeves. I was tired of hoping. I was tired of those dreams. Maybe she was right, life would be better if I wasn’t even alive. I was tired of falling and sinking so low. If I was gone, no one would notice and maybe no one would know.

“No,” Hope said with a tattered voice as he stood in front of me blocking my view. “I know your hurting, but you have to pull through. This is your life and it’s your choice. Love how can you give up so easily when the war has just begun. You’re pulling your curtains just because you can’t see the sun. The clouds are heavy, I can feel the thunder. But you are a warrior and warriors don’t surrender. The ground is bleeding, and I can sense the blood. But darling how will you taste victory if you can’t embrace the mud. Things are hard, and they will get harder, but you mustn’t back down. If you leave the battlefield, you’ll lose your crown.

“But I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of bleeding. I’m tired of everything. I can’t take it anymore. I’ve lost all my battles and now I’m losing this war. I quit. I’m sinking to my knees. Go give hope to someone stronger and better than me. You don’t understand. These demons in my head won’t leave me alone. They’ve carved their way and now they’re making a home. These thoughts I’m running away from, say things would be better if I was gone. I don’t see my road or any reason to carry on. Look…others are better off than me. They’re climbing mountains while I can’t even stand on my feet. I’m sinking in this ground and I can’t seem to ascend. No matter what road I choose it brings me to a dead end. I don’t even know what I’m fighting for. I quit. I can’t do this anymore.

Hope gently knelt by my side. He lifted my head and said, “I know there are explosions erupting inside. I know you’re scared, and you’re afraid to fall. But you can’t rise if you don’t learn how to crawl. I know giving up seems easy because you can’t take the ache, but how will you reform if you don’t break? Without all this dirt on your skin, how will your journey ever begin? The dark clouds looming above your head will part someday and you’ll see the blue sky. Keep holding on. I promise you’ll get by. I know all you see is darkness, and the road ahead is filled with thorns. Your destination looks empty and your bridges are torn. You can’t open your windows, and there is a seal on your door. I know you can’t walk; your legs are sore. But you must try again and again; knock on every wall, whenever you can. So darling, throw those pills away, you’ve clenched so tight. If you want to see the sun, you’ll have to pass through this night. If you want to win this war, you’ll have to keep your head held up high. So darling, pick yourself up because no one will come and do it for you. If you had the courage to fight, then you should have the courage to pull through. Don’t you dare let those thoughts crawl into your mind? There will always be hope, just look inside.

Poetry book out now- Curing My Venom

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Destroyed by kindness

Sometimes you have no idea what pain someone’s carrying, or what baggage they’re holding onto, or what demons they’re trying to fight. Sometimes life brings you to a point where you’re standing in front of the person you thought you knew, but in reality, they’re someone completely different. It’s disappointing and confusing because they weren’t honest, and you weren’t supportive. It’s like all your life, you believed in a lie and now that lie is standing naked in front of you, and all you want to do is cover it up because you’re ashamed.

Today I learned something. I learned that sometimes the most beautiful smiles are the ones that rip through moments of doubt. That the shattered souls have the most innocent hearts. The most broken people are the kindest, maybe because they’ve been through hell and they don’t want you to go through it too. Or maybe they’ve given up on life, and they don’t want you to do the same.

I learned that just because you’re kind, ethical and moral, that does not mean the world will reciprocate the same attitude. Sometimes being moral and just will be the reason for your downfall. Being ethical will pull you back. Being kind will destroy you.

Life is only grateful to a few of us. No matter how good and kind you are, the world has its way of dragging you down. It has its way of breaking you and then putting you back together only to knock you down again. To say that you’ve reached the top because you’ve worked hard for it is an understatement. Other factors play a huge role, and life favoring you is one of them. I’ve seen the kindest people break their backs, tear open, and then crack only to drown, and then I’ve seen people curse and laugh only to rise. Why this unfairness? Why does life play hide and seek when it’s wearing a disguise? Why do some people get everything on golden platters while others have to scavenge? Why do some people have happiness dancing on the tips of their fingers, while others are drowning in despair? Why is it that one person’s kindness is overshadowed by another’s cruelty?

Not everyone rises when they fall. Sometimes people drag down the world with them as they plunge. It’s like saying, “if I fall, I’ll take down the world with me.” When life breaks you and tears you open, three possibilities arise.
• You get back up and you try.
• You stay down there and give up.
• Or you pull down everyone else.

Your time will come- I’m tired of hearing this and I’m tired of saying it. You can break all you want, work as hard as you can, spend as many nights awake, but you will get nowhere- not until the doors of your destiny open.

But it is you who has the key. You may be carrying more baggage than your shoulders can bear. Your soul may be joined by twigs as thin as hair strands. Your heart may be bleeding, creating oceans in your chest. You may be the kindest person on the surface of this earth, who’s been broken by the cruelty of this world. You may have blisters on your soles, and your heels may be cracked. Your fingers may be trembling, and your nails might be chipped, but darling in order for the world to see the horizon you see, they’ll be needing your eyes. But that wouldn’t make a difference because the world is blind. Remember a phoenix rises only when it is burned. A diamond is formed only when coal is pressurized. A rose does not grow without thorns. Your time won’t come, you’ll have to drag it to you. Life will break you, but how much you are willing to break depends on you.

Darling, life is tough, but you are tougher.

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A page from my diary…

Because I find myself thinking about you in the oddest of all times. You’ve left your mark on me, and its embedded so deep that sometimes I can feel it tug at my lips. I smile at the thought of you like a salve placed on a burning wound I didn’t know I had. You’re like a cure to a poison that tends to swallow people with just a few words. Your voice is like a melody, and I hear it calming me down in the back of my head whenever I’m stressed. You listen not because you’re obligated to but because you want to understand, and that’s all that matters. I’m surrounded by people who hear but don’t comprehend.

I miss talking to you. I miss waiting for you to call. I miss being sidetracked from a fight I know I won’t ever win. I miss worrying about things I have no say in. I miss knowing that I had a safety-net waiting to catch me if I ever fell. I miss being happy. I miss the feeling of comfort when I talked to you. I don’t know that the home I was seeking was in you. But life is a gamble and I choose to play it safe. The endless outcomes, the probabilities, the possibilities all scare me. I’m terrified of being broken and terrified of breaking. So I will wrap you and seal you somewhere in the back of my mind and I will lock that door for it to never open again. But I know like a thorn you will sting, and you will hurt.

I’m a snake, and I will poison you the first chance I get. I will bite you and then blame you for what I’ve done. You don’t understand that you are the breeze of heaven and I am the wrecks of hell. You’re like a lighthouse illuminating the dark sky, and I am the ruthless ocean.

I am unstable and like a radioisotope, I will change forms to gain stability, but in my reaction, you’ll decay. In my degeneracy, you’ll lose your orbit. I will explode, and you’ll fall in my destruction. In my reforming, you’ll break.

I’m terrified of commitment because I am an eagle and eagles never touch the ground. I’m scared of loyalty, of love, of everything I’m not. But I will let you go, even though you’ve carved your name somewhere in my heart. I will clench my teeth, bite my tongue, cry but I will let you go. I will release you.

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