Imagine tugging at a loose thread on a sweater, expecting it to break off, problem solved...
but instead that thread unravels and unravels until the sweater is a sweater no more,
but rather a mess of string in a heap on the floor, a chaotic tangle that
resembles the contents of my brain when someone asks, "how was your weekend?"
My thoughts are replaced with the blare of static on TV and I can't hear myself think, so I say what I imagine a person is supposed to say, a preprogrammed response I construct for situations like these when my brain decides to check out...
Because of course the only time my mind -stops- is when I really need it to go, not when I'm laying in bed at 2 a.m., fixating on that cringey thing I did four years ago.
But anyway, I would tell you about my weekend, except it seems that the wires connecting the language part of my brain to my mouth have been cut. My weekend probably ****** anyway, but I manage to say, "it was good." And even then, those three words struggle to get past my lips, and any words more revealing hit the backs of my teeth like a car colliding into a brick wall.
By now the elmer's glue holding me together is losing its grip, so when you tell me about your weekend, the words wont stick. How your breath is wasted on me, when I can't concentrate on not falling apart and on tales of your tomato garden at the same time.
On the surface I look so cold; my painted on smile is a thin sheet of ice, concealing the puddle that hides underneath, one that the sun can't reach --
People will often say, "if it helps, you don't seem anxious". I want to tell them that anxiety is a tormented ghost that drags its dagger like claws across my skin at night, whose presence I can always feel but never see. A monster that feeds on vulnerability, and knows it will never starve.
But, I don't know what to say, so I stare at my hands. Because making eye contact feels like facing a lion, and facing a lion means facing death. But then there are times that death doesnt sound so bad, because I know that as long as I'm still breathing, anxiety finds a way to make that hard for me too.
Anxiety is a broken appliance that the store wont take back, the Annabelle doll that returns from the trash, so it made a home of me instead. And in return for the shelter I give, my heart pounds like its full of angry bees when I finally press 'send' on the 8th draft of a text message I've been working on since yesterday and I want to hide, but why bother? when in a game of hide-and-seek, anxiety always wins.
It is my shadow during the day and my blanket at night, one that that drapes suffocatingly around my shoulders while I'm pacing the kitchen in the dim glow of the stovelight, worrying that the next day could be the " someday " that the ones I love finally leave me. On these nights, anxiety comes to my rescue everytime. It slithers up my back where it can softly whisper into my ear : "I promise you, chelsea, I will never leave"