I hate to admit it, and it took me a long time to really say it, but now the words are right there. I’m afraid. I’m terrified of waking up tomorrow and finding out the world has fallen into carnage. I’m terrified that tomorrow might not be as pleasant as today, as simple as today.
I go to bed every night and as I slip between the covers, I close my eyes and try to calm my racing heartbeat as the scenarios of what tomorrow could bring race through my head.
It’s never good.
And somewhere along the line, I’ve grown so consumed by this fear that I have sacrificed large parts of my life just to try and level out some of that anxiety.
Has it worked?
All it has caused me to do is fold in deeper to myself, try to focus on something else as the space around me grows smaller and smaller, and yet even when I think that it can’t possibly shrink anymore, it grows smaller yet. I feel my breath pick up, my eyes dart anxiously side from side, my back ramrod straight is such a clear contrast to my down-turned gaze.
I once learned a long time ago that if you want to fade into the background, keep your head down and hope they’ll walk right past you. And I wish I could change. I wish I could lift my eyes so I could see the falling snow, the rustling trees, the sun making patters through the air, the wind whistling, the water rushing, the laughter, the cheers, the beauty, but…
I bow my head to fear in submission and every time I do, I’m not thinking about how much I wish I was some other way. I’m desperately hoping, fervently praying, that this won’t be the day where someone decides I’m not good enough to be here.
Fear barged into my home without being asked and has taken a seat, put his feet up on top of my books and use my notes to wipe the screams off his shoes. With a snap of his fingers, I am at his command and he makes me close the door, lock the window, put out the fire, until there is nothing left but me, him, and the darkness.
And this darkness curls around my legs and tugs sharply, pulling me down onto my knees without any way to escape. And no matter how much I cry or plead or rebel, Fear will just smirk at me and continue to make amusement out of everything that is broken in my mind.
And I’m so ashamed.
I’m ashamed of my fear, of this thing that I can’t tame. I’m ashamed of my unwillingness to stand for myself even though the only thing I’ve preached, the only thing I’ve known is to save a voice.
I fought so hard, I worked and I spoke and I thought to myself that I would be so much more than what people expected of me. And yet here I am. Stuck back where I once was, giving into something I don’t understand, that I don’t see and if you could look at me now you would never know that stars used to glitter in my eyes and I poured my heart out onto these pages because once upon a time I felt loved, I felt heard.
Now I am nothing more than the remains on the bottom of Fear’s shoe.
And I’m so sorry.