Paralysed by Fear

I wrote this one day, two years ago:

Some days, I feel like I'm being held captive. Today was one of those days. I’ll let the voice in the back of my head explain further.

Hi, I'm that voice in the back of your head that tells you there's someone that watches you when you sleep.

When you were younger, I told you there was something big and scary that lived under your bed or in your closet.

Yup, I'm that same voice that tells you not to look in the mirror in the middle of the night, and to “go” to the bathroom when you need to or you'll increase your chances of getting a UTI.

Sometimes I warn you of legitimate things...

like taking precautions when driving in stormy weather, being aware of your surroundings when you're out late at night, or taking extra time to wash your hands carefully to avoid getting sick.

Other times I like to embellish. You know, over-the-top stuff.

Like telling you to prepare for a crash every time you hear an airplane flying overhead.

Or that there's probably a bomb on your subway train and you better have told your friends and family that you love them while you had the chance.

A mentally ill gunman is going to walk into your workplace and start randomly shooting, so you had better plan a good hiding place before it's too late.

That wind's getting pretty strong — are you prepared for a hurricane?

I can scale it down too.

It's too late — that woman at the grocery store didn't cover her mouth when she coughed and you're definitely going to get sick.

Tonight's the night — someone's definitely breaking into your house tonight.

You asked him to text you once he gets home and he should have been home by now — he probably got into a car accident.

The house is too quiet but your mom should be home — someone probably slashed her throat and left her in the bathroom in a pool of her blood.

Yeah. Death is my specialty.

Surprisingly, little things that don't really matter really get to you.

You don't work enough hours — your coworkers probably think you're lazy.

You study for hours at a time but your grades don't show it — you probably won't pass the class.

They don't like you because you're just not cool enough. They talk behind your back.

They probably don't consider you as close a friend as you do them.

Will you be able to pay your bills this month?

See what I mean? Minuscule.

And yet, I crowd your mind with the most elaborate to the simplest worries — and it all works beautifully together!

Your heart beats faster, you start to get fidgety, you have trouble breathing — paralysis.

You're paralyzed by your fear of your imagination.

How can you trust yourself?

How can you trust the voices in your head? You really think that I'm worth trusting?

You have no control of what I tell you, and clearly can't shut me out either.

So what's going to help you?

I hold you captive. I'm you.

I probably wrote this on a lunch break at work or on the train during my commute to school. Or maybe some other time. Either way, it would have been a good chunk of time being enveloped in these suffocating emotions.

It's strange. I don't remember typing this down at all, yet these emotions and feelings of paralysis are all so very familiar.

Have you ever struggled with terrifying thoughts that crowd your mind? Talking it out with someone really helps me, and it could help you, too.

Photo Credit JR Korpa

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