When the lights go down, when the sun sets, when the sky is black as licorice melting in your mouth, when the stars sprinkle the sky like powdered sugar against a molten lava cake, I can finally breathe. The world is still. My thoughts are the same. The chariot drivers of stress, racing all day long, now quiet and content. Thoughts of my monsters, named “honor roll” and “perfect” and “physical appearance”. All sound asleep, preparing for another day of ripping my head apart, leaving me with only skin and bone. When the lights go down, my organs can regrow. My muscles come back, preparing me for war.
People try to help. They try to let my lights back in, so I can brave them once again. They try to get me to explain how I feel. They say to slay the monsters. They tell me to rip them in half and to let the cold air fill their empty spaces, filling my bones with life again. I know what you’re thinking. I'm not depressed. I'm actually cheerful, kind, animated, and full of life. But if you dig deeper- a lot deeper- you will find three monsters living in a deep, dark, miserable place. I have anxiety disorder. My monsters, named “honor roll” and “perfect” and “appearance” all have the same middle names- stress and pressure.
I try so hard. I take swords made out of the kindest, most relaxing words. Words like “you’re beautiful” or “breathe” or “you’re perfect”to try to slice the monster in half. I take the brightest light bulbs, made out of spas, family, and friends. I screw them into my heart, trying to get the lights back on. They burn out in a second. When my sharp swords and knives strike the monsters, the blade disintegrates into nothing. They are invincible.
It's taken me a long time to realize, but now I know that guns and bullets will ricochet off of monster’s face. The blades will fall apart at the touch, and no bombs will blow them up. And that is just great for the them. It lets them stay in my body, a parasite, living off of my stress. I felt them slowly killing the happiness inside me. So I did what had to be done.
First I cut off their resources. I started to truly believe those kind words said by people that I loved. It blinded them. Now they are beasts stumbling through my body in the dark. I took all the love and acceptance and slit their throats with it. One by one. I took all of the lightbulbs that had been previously burned out. I lit them once again with friends, family, facials, and massages. It set fire to all three monsters. The ashes blew away, straight through my chest, below my heart. The light flooded in, swallowing my pain and pressure and anxiety. My insides will always be scarred from the once alive monsters, called “honor roll” and “perfect” and “appearance”, just like my anxiety will never truly go away.
When the lights go down, when the sun sets, when the sky is black as licorice melting in your mouth, when the stars sprinkle the sky like powdered sugar against a molten lava cake, is when I can finally breathe. The world is still. My thoughts are the same. The chariot drivers of stress, murdered in their once quiet and content sleep. My monsters are dead now, all sound asleep in the depths of hell. I do not need to prepare for another day of my head being ripped apart, leaving me with only skin and bone. My organs are whole and will never be broken again. When the morning comes, when the sunlight floods in, my thoughts remain still. Lights and all