LighthouseToday, I looked at the way I present myself, differently. I’ve been thinking about how I present myself, what it means, and how it affects my life going forward, when I make a decision to present myself a certain way..

We can make ourselves mediocre, on purpose. Or worse, we can try and make ourselves invisible, to blend into our beige pants, to have our pallor match our dried hair, willing ourselves to disappear.

When you hurt,  invisible is better than being visible and yourself. Invisibility, it dulls your shame. Feeling mediocre – it numbs your soul, your inaction matched only by the stillness in your head, that blessed nothingness. Your painful thoughts, they finally slow.

Now imagine, if you will, that I’m not just talking about clothes, I’m talking about greeting others, making conversation, taking a shower, exercising, doing something I love.
All abandoned. You don’t feel you deserve it.

You are wearing all black, and your hair is dull. It isn’t a coincidence, or a fashion statement – though it could be for someone else. You don’t talk to people at work – and it is not because you have important studies on my mind, or because you are painfully shy.

No, this is different, and I know I’m not the only one that this is happening to.

– C.

To Breathe for a Second

I usually laugh it off
but
today I stopped laughing
because
I don’t love myself enough
to pick myself up,
no,
I put myself down!

For the surge of relief,
to breathe
if only for a second.

Mediocrity,
just as I expected.

Mediocrity,
just as I deserve.

I think.

Just as I deserve,
I repeat
to myself
and in the process,
damage my own soul,
senselessly.

Invisible,
means no one else can see,
the monster
that is me.

The slug
that is me.

And I deny
my beautiful humanity.

So walk the other way,
please
walk towards the light and
celebrate your
beautiful
humanity.

Because I wait
and I pray
for someone to come save me
to take away the voice I battle
not good enough
don’t deserve
don’t have worth.

But I pick up myself,
instead,
again.

And I hope
tomorrow is a beautiful day
when
I won’t
wake up,
look at my bare, naked reflection
and clothe myself in mediocre.

Origin of Anxiety

When did your anxiety really start? I’ve said ‘beginning of this year, things just got worse…’. I’ve said, ‘the year I turned 15 was difficult, I had wisdom tooth surgery and after I stopped the codeine pills, everything became too much’.

I’ve said many things and I’ve been talking, really, about the symptoms and not the cause. A short talk with my grandfather, for example, reveals that the signs were there much earlier. Procrastination for example, which I now realize was an early example of avoidance on my part.

But why, but why? As I write I don’t really know if I’m brave enough to say, and although I’ve known for a while the gist of it, it came to me today, the exact mechanism by which my guilt drives my anxiety, and drives the pattern of avoiding seemingly dangerous things that gives anxiety its strength.

When I was very young, an adult in my life tried very hard to help me reach my potential in terms of traditional accomplishment. Would my life be on a path of awards for academic excellence, of early entry to school, of discipline? This is what this presence wanted very hard to me. Like many people who have a child, they saw the unique spark in that child and believed it was important to do everything in their power to make it grow.

Which is where things went ever so slightly off the rails already, because no one ever can, nor ever will, make another human being’s spark brighter. The spark within us is already infinitely bright, already beyond all of our wildest imaginations. The only thing a person can do for another is to let them shine.

I think this is all I will say about this matter for now.

To my loved ones, if ever you come across this, I just want you to know that I am grateful for all the blessings you have provided me. Any mention of my early years is only meant to help myself and others with anxiety heal, not to hurt anybody.

I want to finish with this quote that a friend showed me today.

“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

I hope we all find that which is gold within ourselves.

Shake it out.

“I am done with my graceless heart – tonight I’m going to cut it out and let it restart.”

It feels like my have been scrubbed with a scrub brush, that feeling you get after a long cry but it isn’t going away. I get chills when it’s warm. Getting motivated has become even more difficult, even to do simple things like grab breakfast.

I’ve had 3 panic attacks in the past 2 days. Yeowch. Apparently this leaves your body pretty depleted.

As I write this, I’m on a bus home. I watch a little red ball cross the street. Cars pass, nudging it. I assume it will get run over, crushed, but it doesn’t, it only bounces higher with each contact.

Soon, miraculously, it is on the other side.

On the curb of a busy gas station.

Surely it will be nudged back into traffic, into its little dance, again.

That doesn’t matter. It hasn’t lost anything. It is still going someplace.

I want to be like that little red ball. I am like the that little red ball. No matter where life takes me, I will bounce back up.