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Warning Signs

By A Mused Blog @Amusedblog
Warning Signs
I used to believe in absolutes. You run wild as a child - wild and free. You grow up, go to college, meet the love of your life, travel, graduate, settle down, marry, have children, and then live happily every after.
Straight, linear, logical.
I am 30 years old, female, and single. It's an existence that goes against the grain of a social paradigm, and at times it feels like death. I live alone with my cat, and it is her, and not my (ex) boyfriend of 9 years who greets me every morning, and who curls up next to me every night.  I stopped sleeping in January. Not all together of course, but I stopped sleeping well. I would rest my head on my pillow, watching the hours slowly tick by, tortured by the anxiety of loss and the unknown. In the months following, I had witnessed my "irrational" fears turn into reality: that I was unlovable, damaged, something to control, someone to dangle along for a uncertain ride.

I tried to stave off the hurt; I tried to find happiness in moving on too quickly, and in turn didn't give myself time to heal. I had thought that mercy had finally found me; that life would give me the love I so desperately craved and hoped for. It's all I wanted. It's all I have ever wanted.
But life had other plans.
Oh, I have made mistakes. Miserable ones. Unforgivable ones. Ones that left me in the merciless hands of others, out of touch, and eventually isolated out of fear. Ones that others make sure you pay for. Ones that send you to therapy. The kind of mistakes that leave you covered in shame from the names that others have called you. I have heard the cries of young men, ones who don't know better, ones who believe in fate, and those who don't believe in anything at all. They're not jaded yet. They don't know what it is to suffer beyond a certain kind of homesickness; To be left wanting, to be left alone with your love in the other room.
I used to fear being left alone. I used to fear my empty apartment, the blank screen on my phone, the tears at my desk. Now I fear making room for anyone trying to take up space. My bed once too big, is now much too small for anyone other than myself. I don't have the time for the 12:30am text: the universal cry of loneliness. Misery may love company, but it is adaptive. It evolves and attaches to the lungs, becoming a part of every intake of breath; but never an exhale.
I have felt misery and fear tighten itself around my wrist at 3am, calling me its crutch, and when it stormed out of my life without looking back, it left its harsh realities and residue in its wake...I must attract this. There must be something about me that attracts the name calling, the throwing of objects, the laying on of hands. I used to believe that was I gentle and kind, but what goodness attracts this kind of anger?
I have dreams. They are no longer nightmares, but rather ones where the anxiety is palatable. Dreams where I drive into the city in secret, trying to reminisce, trying to be happy, only to park my car in the wrong garage where immediately my bank account begins ticking down like the hand of time, as if to remind me that both my existence and finances are limited...All I experience in both life and in my dreams is panic.
If you have ever wanted to know what anxiety feels like, it feels like being stuck in traffic, strapped tightly to the seat of your car, only to see a semi-truck barreling towards you in the rear view mirror. Depression closes your eyes and waits for impact.
(This comes as a surprise, doesn't it? On social media, here on the blog, the colors are bright and palatable, and the blurbs are cute and quaint. Every once in a while I'll drop an emotional bomb as if my own craftsmanship of escapism is far too removed from reality for my own liking.)
I have tried to believe that all floods go, but perhaps I carry this flood with me. No amount of pink noise, chamomile tea, or kava kava tablets is taking this dampness away. Nightly I surrender to the exhaustion of heaviness beneath a pile of feathers and down. Daily I fight myself and the inner voice that asks me why I was allowed to survive the single worst event of my life, only to find myself here: riddled with anxiety, solitary, and afraid?

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