Anxiety

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I try to explain to her,

“Nothing scares me, nothing at all.

But from the moment I’m awake till the moment my eyes close,

I’m afraid of everything around me.

The things that could go so right and those that will go wrong.”

She laughs. She doesn’t understand. “How could you be so afraid?”

I want to tell her how this works.

I want to show her all my thoughts.

Instead I explain with a lot of words.

“I fly a lot, don’t I? I’ll tell you how this goes.

I’m packing at home. I’m terrified of leaving Mom.

I worry my dogs will die again. This time I won’t be around.

I worry I’ll leave a medicine. I worry I’ll leave my passport.

I worry I’ll miss my flight. I worry of getting caught.”

“Caught for what?” Her cluelessness makes me smile.

“If I knew, I’d be careful. But I don’t.

And that’s just where this all begins.”

She shakes her head with a smirk.

I don’t blame her.

I sound insane, even to myself.

But how else can I explain?

“I’m afraid of sitting next to a stranger.

I’m afraid he’ll be drunk.

I’m afraid the flight will face turbulence.

I’m afraid we won’t reach at all.

I’m afraid our parents will find out.

I’m afraid I might land safe.

I’m afraid that I won’t have a place to stay.

I know I booked that great space,

But what if it’s a scam? What if they had issues?

What if I’ve lost our money on something that doesn’t exist?

What if my trip sucks?

What if I get mugged?

What if you find me dead?

My life revolves around a series of what-ifs

And I’m at a point where I don’t know how to tell

If what I’m feeling is an instinct or just plain ol’ anxious.”

 

“You sound stupid. You should be like me.

Not a care in the world. Things will happen as they should.”

 

I want to tell her that’s my biggest fear.

“What if it all goes wrong and I can’t stop it?

It’s out of control and my life goes to shit?

How will I survive in the middle of chaos?”

I hear his words from a recent memory,

You can do this, darling. I believe in you.”

I smile a little.

His words calm my racing heart, if only for a minute.

 

But then it starts all over again.

And I sit on a train, clenching my fists, holding my tears,

“Oh God, please. Not again.”

She’s lost, yet right next to me.

She has no idea how fast my mind was running

We were headed to sign a contract,

Another thing that makes me cry.

 

Not just tears rolling down my face

Like a yesteryear actor and a bottle of glycerin.

I cry like a baby does in the middle of the night

Loud, breathless, arms at my side.

Unable to speak,

Unable to move,

Unable to breathe.

I cry hysteria but I sit where I am.

“Because I can’t move.”

“Why not?”

“Because it will be the death of me.”

“Says who?”

“Me. A dark version of me.

A deep voice inside of me.

I can’t move.”

One hand on my chest, I remain as I am.

Waiting for it to end.

Waiting to breathe again.

“Until the next time

I go through it all over again.”

 

She tells me she doesn’t understand.

I’m now afraid to explain.

The Stranger In A Helmet

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To the stranger in a helmet,
The one I can’t forget
Not for the romantic reasons, no.
If that were the case, I’d start with dear.
You’re anything but my hero.
You’re my worst fears come true.

I drive by thay street everyday,
I’m left no choice, I live two streets down.
And every time I see that corner,
The one you stood on, your bike parked, your gaze wandering,
I look around.
I try to spot every man holding a helmet, perched on a bike.
I wonder if it’s you.
If he remembers me.
If he’d say it again in broad daylight.
Does he know?
Does he know what he did?
Does he know why he shouldn’t have?
Does he know I still hear his voice in the back of my head and feel a chill run down my spine?
“Madam. Madam.” Every time?
Does he know that he hid in the dark, his face covered because his instinct told him it was wrong?
Does he know I’m judging him when it maybe wasn’t him at all?
Because I do.
Every man I see looks guilty.
Even the innocent.
That’s what you’ve done.
“Madam. Madam..” like a helpless man. I shouldn’t have turned.
Should’ve known you’re helping yourself.
But I was taught and raised to be nice to the lost.
Yet, as you stood,
Your hands on your pants, your mouth asking for mine,
I was glad it was me and my little sister had walked a few feet.
Imagine a table turned.
For being taught kindness,
Punished.
Humiliated.
Scared.
She won’t judge that innocent man,
She’d fear.
Because of you.

How difficult life would be.
As long as she lives, she’ll never trust.
Afraid of eyes, even the ones filled with love.
Yet, how easy it will be,
For you’ll forever live in peace.
Hidden behind a helmet
At 7pm, in the middle of the city
On a lonely street.
Just your voice echoing, “Suck me please.”

The Fear of Falling

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There are these moments in life. These moments when you see someone for the very first time and you feel your heart skip a beat. Not because you’ve fallen at first sight. But because in that instant you know, with time, falling for this person would no longer be a choice.

I met someone for the first time recently. He caught me off guard and if only I didn’t know better, I would have said the skip of a heartbeat was from feeling startled. But it wasn’t. It was the moment when I saw trouble.

Ten seconds later, I felt my heart hammer. Because I knew. This was a trap I was going to walk into, willingly.

There are three kinds of people when it comes to circumstances like these – the ones that never take the first step forward if they knew it was trouble, the ones that would walk in a little and then choose to back away because they know it’s unhealthy to their heart and of course, there are people like me. We know it’s trouble. We know how this ends. But we will still keep going with the hope that this will be different from the last time while always knowing deep inside that this path is taking us to a place we’ve known before. A place that’s going to emotionally cost us a little too much than it’s worth.

It’s been a few months now. We get along quite well. He’s one of my closest friends. And I feel that pit in my stomach because I know what’s happening.

We have so much in common and yet, we couldn’t be more different if we tried. We want the same things from life. Just not in the same way. We’d be right for each other but it won’t last. And somehow, I’m still here. Because I enjoy the time we spend. I value the little things that only I know. And beyond all, there is something about finding company that’s been where you have and understands the nooks and crooks of all the emotions you feel at very specific moments.

Which is precisely why, at this very moment in my life, I feel nothing but fear. I’m afraid of falling for this person and ruin a friendship that I hold dearly. That I’m going to make this awkward. That we’ll never get back to this place of comfort again. And I’ve thought of the million things I could do to stop this including the middle of the night ridiculousness that is “I could always move to Mars!”

But quite honestly, I don’t think that’s going to work. I’d miss my dog too much.

So I’m going to do what I do best. I’m going to sit back and hope this goes away. That this turns out to be different than the rest. That what I’m feeling is not the hint of a crush but rather a fondness for a friend.

And if it doesn’t..

Well, you’ll probably find a blog post about heartbreak within the next year.

The Feeling That Controls

The irony is – the reason I’m writing this post is the reason I almost didn’t.

I always knew this about me. It has been a part of who I am for as long as I’ve known. I’ve come to accept it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. It’s one of those things where I believed – it is what it is.

I never really understood how it affected my relationships and friendships. I never psychoanalyzed myself. Until a few years ago.

I remember the first time I noticed that I was doing it. We have those moments when we become self-conscious about something we normally do and it becomes this thing we notice about ourselves every time we end up thinking or acting that way. I suddenly realized how many times in a day I questioned whether someone in my life would leave me. How many times in a day I wondered how many people hate me. How many times in a day I wondered if I was a pain they were putting up with simply because they’re friends now and feel bad changing their mind.

It was the first time I realized that what I had come to accept as a simple part of my life had essentially ruled every relationship I had ever had. Because that’s what happens when you feel this way. When you’re at your best and you still feel uncomfortable in your own skin. When you’re at your happiest and you feel a pang wondering when it’s going to come to a crashing end. When you’ve met that perfect person and can’t stop thinking if he’s going to run away any moment now. When I stand in front of the mirror and like what I see only to feel the need to cover it all up as soon as I walk out the door. What if they see? What if they hear? What if they read? What if they leave?

We wear different masks for different audiences so we can fit in. We tell them what they need to hear so they’ll keep us close. The way we shake our hands. The way we walk, talk. The way we live. Everything dictated by the one thing we can’t control. When nothing we do feels good enough. When a compliment feels difficult. When self-confidence is a charade.

I have forgotten who I am amidst the masks I wear to please people I’m afraid will leave if they ever knew what really goes on inside my head. Because I grew up with this feeling. This feeling that you have felt at some point as well. This feeling that has taken over my life. The feeling that influenced many of your decisions. It’s what keeps us hanging on to someone while also craving isolation. I need you to tell me I’m perfect but know that I will never believe you. I want you to stay but know that I’ll run before you do. Because someone told me, leave before you’re left and I’ll always believe you’ll leave. It’s not what I want to think. It’s what I’m made to think. Because this feeling has taken over every inch of my being and there is nothing left of me.

Insecurity.

I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to control it. But I know what created it. The moment it hit me that just because you love someone with everything you have doesn’t mean it has to be reciprocated. When I realize that the person who is supposed to love you can still walk away from you. That when it comes boiling down to the very last second, everyone is selfish about their emotions and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Insecurity. It’s why I didn’t want to write this post. Because I didn’t know if anyone would relate to this. Maybe this is going to be boring. Maybe they’re going to think I’m hopeless. Maybe I am hopeless. Because I can never win against it. But this is me trying.

Fear | What are you afraid of ?

We all have things we’re afraid of : Spiders, Cockroaches, Dogs.. I’m most afraid of lizards and snakes. When I see a lizard around the house, I feel like my worst nightmare has come true. I run from that room. But is that really true? Are lizards, snakes, spiders, cats and dogs really our biggest fear?

There is something in us that is more emotional than those. A fear that only we know. That only we understand. A fear that surfaces every time we try something new. Every time we take a leap of faith. Mine is Rejection & Failure. When I like someone, I want to tell him. When I do, I clench my fists, praying he won’t say no. It’s not that I can’t take it if he does. I can. But somehow, I pray he won’t. I’m afraid of the “No”. I’m afraid to apply for a job and never hear back from them. I’m afraid to apply to university and get a letter that says “Not accepted.” Even though, I can live with it, I fear it. I’m afraid of the first emotion that happens. That moment my heart falls.  And as far as failure goes, I wasn’t the brightest student in school. I hated school. I failed constantly, exam after exam, test after test. It didn’t bother me. I was completely fine with it. But there are certain things I’m afraid of failing in. Like keeping up my bucket list. Not doing all the things I want to do with my life. I am afraid that I might wake up one day and realize, I’ve done nothing with my life. I’ve wasted it. I’ve failed at it. And I don’t like failure.

Sure, there are quotes that make you feel like it isn’t the end of the world. Like the dialogue Rick Castle from the TV series Castle says. “Rejection isn’t failure. Failure is giving up.” It motivates me in that second. It makes me feel like it’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. Ten minutes later, I’m right back to where I was. 

But beyond emotional fear, there’s a fear we have. A fear that is more literal than emotional. A fear of future. Of life. We don’t want certain things in our life. We are afraid of it, every day. It differs with each person. A mother fears her child’s safety. A couple fears separation. A cross-cultured couple fear parents’ approval. A homosexual fears acceptance. A student fears exam results. A patient fears death. Like I said, differs with every person.

My biggest fear for the future, in life : Failed marriage. If there ever came a day when I have to be standing at a divorce court, I know my mind would rather be dead. Every time I think of marriage, I fear a failed one. No matter how safe the guy makes me feel, I know this fear will live on till the end of my life. Our fears of life are usually from our surroundings. We don’t want what we’ve seen happen to someone else. We don’t want our child kidnapped like the one in the paper. We don’t want our parents throwing us out for being gay like the other gay kid’s parents did. We don’t want to fail like that one guy in our class did. So we restrain ourselves. We’re careful with things. We tip-toe around our fears. We give our kids a cell phone to keep track of them at all times. We refuse to come out until we know they can’t do anything about it. We bury ourselves in our books until we know there is no possibility of failure.

Even the most rebellious kid on the block fails to realize – his choices aren’t purely made by him. His choices are dictated by his fears. But what if you faced your fears? What if you dealt with it face-to-face and said “Bring it on!” ?

I had a fear. It was something that scared me to the very depth of my bones. The fear of losing someone I fall in love with. I stayed away from love. I told myself, I’ll keep my heart protected. I’ll put up walls nobody can ever break down. Nothing can happen then right? But then I met someone who tore those walls down. I fell insanely in love with him. A year and few months later, he walked away. I loved and I lost. I remember that day. Standing outside my university campus with my best friend. I couldn’t cry. I was in shock. I felt like a dead person. It was like I had no emotions. When I was finally able to get my thoughts and my emotions back, I felt broken. My fear was here. It had happened. And it sucked. Time passed by.. A year. Two. I was able to breathe again. I lived. My emotions were fine. My heart still bore a scar but it was back to normal. I surrounded myself with people that love me. With friends who cared. I had hope for the future again. I regained my faith in fairytales. I’d had my worst fear come true and I’d lived !

It taught me a lesson. Something I will keep with me for a long time to come. It taught me to face my fears. It taught me that that was, in fact, good for me. It made me stronger. And here’s the bonus : Now I know what it feels like ! The next time I love and lose, I know what to expect ! Coz remember.. Fear is always of the unknown ! 

So, What’s your biggest fear? What are you afraid of ? Face it ! Once you know what it’s about, it can no longer scare you. And if you need someone to hold your hand while you enter that dark room, call me and I’ll jump at the chance..

🙂