The Never Ending Cycle

My mind is a blur of letters upon words upon phrases trying ever so desperately to spill from the very pages of my brain, only to slip out in a jumbled up mess of colors and nonsense. My heart thumps furiously as my brain attempts to pump out all of the gunk and grime that cakes and clogs even my simplest of thoughts. The empty paper in front of me begins to bleed as I release a wave of emotion from my lips, no longer caring where it lands. The once white page now stained and red shows nothing but confusion and chaos. How could anyone read this? How could anyone understand? My mind, now emptied, prompts me with an idea. I reach for the brush, and soon the smooth, white lines wipe away any trace of color. How fresh and clean the page now looks, but soon, the process will begin once more. I worry there won’t be enough white paint.

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I am made of

reddish hair,

deep brown eyes,

freckled cheeks,

and most annoyingly,

stretch marks.

 

A mirror stands,

full-length

with white, wooden edges,

looming ominously,

waiting for me

to step up and see.

 

My reflection laughs

as it raises its finger,

viciously pointing

out each and every flaw,

leaving no insecurity

left unmentioned.

 

I am made of

self-doubt,

self-hatred,

self-loathing,

and sadly enough,

a severe lack of self-worth.

 

My inner voice

pokes and prods at my

very existence,

making me question

my will to even be

or do or say.

 

But suddenly,

like a small voice

in the midst of a storm,

something changes,

something that makes

the sun seem brighter,

the grass look greener,

my heart feel…fuller

 

He stands behind me,

the mirror now reflecting

two instead of one,

and my reflection

ceases to point,

to laugh, or mock.

Instead, she smiles

as his hands hold hers.

 

I may be made of

stretch marks and freckles,

eyes too dark

and hair too tangled,

but standing with him,

he shows me

just how it feels to be

loved in spite of it all.

 

Apart we may be made of

flaws and insecurities,

but together we are made of

love and laughter,

hope and understanding,

and all that really matters

is that together

we have found our strength.

 

 

Panic Attack

I can’t sleep. My eyes are red, my mouth is dry, my lips blistered from my obsessive licking. I roll over. My arm goes numb. I switch sides. My other arm goes numb. I roll onto my back. A brick crushes my chest, and the air struggles to fill up my lungs. In a blind panic I bolt out of bed and into the bathroom. My heart is racing, hands are sweating, knees are trembling, mind is faltering. 

No one can know. No one can see. I MUST keep this a secret. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. Everything is fine. Everything WILL BE fine. I’m okay. I’m okay. 

My uncontrollable sobs threaten to creep out from underneath the locked bathroom door and break the quiet silence of the night. I cover my mouth with a towel and let the tears flow freely.

They mustn’t know. No one can know. I’m okay. Please let me be okay. 
The world around me is spinning. I hold onto the edge of the bathtub and slowly lower myself to the floor. Why is this happening again? Why am I so sad? Why do I feel so alone?

I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m…not…okay. 

The realization of this sends me into another round of heaving breaths and muffled sobs. I can’t breathe. Why can’t I breathe? The air is thick and heavy and threatens to choke me. I cough and cough as if I can somehow cough up all this pain that’s threatening to tear through my chest. 

I’m not okay I’m not okay I’m not okay Oh God why am I not okay why is this happening to me why can’t I just be okay please stop please stop please stop

Silence. 

My breathing steadies. My chest begins to rise and fall, once again at a steady pace. 

Just. Breathe. Everything will be okay. Breathe. 

And it’s over. Just like that. Another panic attack has come and gone. I stand up slowly, my knees still shaking. Staring back at me from the mirror is an image of a broken girl, her face a dark shade of red, her eyes even darker. She’s a mess. Her matted hair is stuck to her freshly wetted cheeks, her nose dripping like a leaky faucet. 

I turn on the sink, check to make sure the water is cold, and then splash a wave onto my face, not caring where the water goes. It trickles down my red cheeks, washing away the sticky warmth my tears had left behind. A few more deep breathes, and back to bed I go. Sleep won’t come easily tonight. 

No one must know. No one can see.