I can feel its presence everywhere. I can feel its warm, sour breath breathing down my neck before a presentation in class. I can feel its twisting my internal organs when I walk down the hallways. I can feel it clutching my foot during swim practice, dragging me down to the bottom. It was The Monster under my bed. Except, it wasn’t hiding under my bed anymore.
The voices in my head swirled with my reality whispering,”You’re weak. Don’t bother going to swim practice, you’re not going to even make it through warm up. Really? You’re going to wear those jeans? They make your thighs look meaty”.
These taunts were the lyrics to a song on repeat. This nightmarish reality was a prison of my own creation.
Unbreakable bars created by the essence of my darkest thoughts. The consternation clung to my chest like a leech, weighing down my lungs, making it incredibly difficult to breathe. I was surrounded by an ocean of air but i was drowning. I was face to face with The Monster under my bed and I had never felt more vulnerable.
I begged for the pain to stop. I screamed at the universe, God, all of the powers that be pleading them to end my suffering. But my damned prison seemed to be sound-proof also.
I looked into the eyes of my Monster, petrified by what I may see. I forced myself to stand rigid as I stared into the very soul of this beast that stalked my very existence. And what I saw caused chills to travel up my spine and freeze my blood. I knew. As I stood defiantly against the demon, I breathed, “I know who you are”. The words rolled out as smoothy as flesh grinding against sandpaper. I bit my lip in anticipation, tasting the metallic blood. I had realized that the beast I cowered before, the demon that fed off my weakest emotions, the Monster under the bed that murdered my life but allowed me to live was in reality, me.