I know you’re still there, lurking in the shadows and waiting to pounce.
On bad days like today, you remind me of what I used to be and just how far I’ve have fallen. You tell me I am worthless, that I don’t deserve anything more, and that my child will never respect me for what I do.
You twist every one of my thoughts into a reason to hate myself. You turn them into reasons to not exist.
“You are a horrible, boring, pessimistic person with no passion, no creativity, and no love to give. No wonder no one wants to be around you. That’s why the phone never rings. That is why you spend your time alone.”
“You are broken.”
“You cannot be fixed.”
“You do not deserve to make decisions for yourself. You are not the protagonist in your own life story. You do not matter.”
“It’s no wonder you’re back at the bottom. You were spineless enough to let them put you there. You are worthless enough so they’ll keep you there. They are laughing at you.”
Your words cut deep and leave scars so even on the good days I question my worth. I wonder how my husband can look at me with anything but distaste. I don’t attempt to reconnect with friends. I feel out of shape and ugly. I have withdrawn.
I tell myself that of course I am worth something and that I look fine. I remind myself that I haven’t withdrawn; I’m just fighting an illness. I remember that my versatility has helped me survive.
I take a break.
I breathe out the bad and breathe in the good.
I sit in a room and cry.
I sit in a different room and cry.
I sit in the dark and cry.
It has been long enough.
I am fighting hard to leave you behind.
You cannot possibly be strong enough to beat me down.
You want me to give up and to give in. You want me to withdraw from others so I sink deeper into the hole you have dug for me. You want me to believe all those terrible lies and twisted truths you fill my brain with. You thrive on it.
But I am fighting against you. I go out in public and remind myself that the anxiety is a mere whisper of what it used to be. I hold on to my emotions, remembering there was a time when I felt nothing. I repeat these victories over and over in my head as I take deep breaths and relax.
I do not avoid you.
I write all of this down so I have to face what I’m feeling. I type these words, bleary through my tears.
I know I have come a long way. I am so close to the end that I can almost touch it, and I know that the last bit of the climb is always the toughest.
You sneer at me when I lose my footing and tumble backwards once again. I tell myself two steps forward and one step back is hard but it is still progress. I fight harder.
The dark times do not get easier but they do not last as long as they used to.
You won today.
But there’s always tomorrow.
And at some point I will kick your ass.