The Monster that Lives in Your Head

April 6, 2017

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. Everyone that crosses your path in life is a soldier, fighting day to day in the war that is conjured up in their life. You may look at a person and see the reflection of a splendid, immaculate figure, which in reality, does not exist. The irony of life is simple: no matter how exemplary someone’s life may seem, it is nowhere near perfect. 

I don’t like to put myself out there very much. Actually, that’s a lie. I love being outgoing and talking to people and being the center of attention, but when it comes to the deep-down, soul-searching kind of stuff, I am terrified to share. You’d just have to know me to understand, but no one knows me better than I know myself.
Everyone knows the feeling. Someone’s attempt to see the unguarded, unmasked, real you, dispatches a wildfire, making your heart race, nearly beating out of your chest. Your hands begin to sweat as your voice shakes with every breath. They gaze into your eyes, desperately seeking to help you and attempt to pry open the padlock guarding your deepest and darkest thoughts, but, to their dismay, you prevail.

You are absolutely, completely, totally petrified and have no idea how to begin to calm down.  It’s this all consuming, Earth shattering, terrible feeling, as if every force in the world is pressing on you, and you are horrified into paralysis. This can be defined as the malicious, inescapable feeling of fear, the same feeling that traps you in a cage like a zoo animal and taunts you ceaselessly.

Usually, fear is triggered by something like heights or snakes or any number of other asinine, “really not that scary” sort of thing. It makes you question your braveness and ponder if you really can ever overcome something so transfixing. Your mind escapes your body for a moment and you feel everything. The microscopic bits of molecules in the air flourish into monstrous bricks that lay upon your chest, hindering your breathing. The shoes encasing your feet morph into chains and shackles, impeding your movement. The Earth stops spinning for just a moment and it is then that you are completely submerged into antipathy and perturbation.

You wake up and follow the same monotonous routine as everyday, but as soon as change is presented, it is immediately rejected and thrown into the comforting flames that keep you warm. Today, yesterday, the day before that, and the day before that are presumably similar, but do you really want them to have been so abstractly different?  You could have woken up and had your parents decide to get a divorce. You could have awaken to the news that your cousin suddenly died on his 39th birthday. You could have gotten out of bed, in your own home, and gone to sleep that night in an indistinguishable, bland hospital bed, after being told you may need immediate brain surgery.  You complain about the tedium of everyday life, but would you really prefer to come face to face with the same abhorrent, unnerving demons that make you toss and turn at night?

One second you’re breathing and the next second you’re drowning. Your body is scrambling to make sense of a situation in which there is no legitimate answer. You are under the water and there is no going back to the surface. The more you fight the water, the farther down you go.

One second I was fine, in convalescence after an operation, and the next second I am readmitted to the hospital due to a possible infection. The practically know-nothing, barely-out-of-medical-school-resident blurts that that major brain surgery I received as a near infant may need to be redone. Meaning, my head would be shaved, I would be in the hospital for a month, and recovery for what seemed like a myriad of weeks.

The moment those wicked, cursed words left his mouth, truly, every shred of my being went numb. I felt nothing and I felt everything at the same time. I was consumed, chewed up and swallowed, completely obliterated by the force of the Universe. The center of my being was deteriorated and I felt as though I was left to be preyed on by some carnivorous beast. This beast was something I couldn’t detect or run away from or liberate myself from whatsoever because it resided within the walls of my skull. This beast manipulated my thoughts and brainwashed me with one of his sinful potions, yielding negative thoughts and panic. Sounds pretty dramatic, right? Well, I did previously mention my undying adoration for attention.

I didn’t care how psychotic or preposterous I sounded. Words flew off my tongue before my brain could process them. Tears washed over my face before I even realized I was crying. I was about as vulnerable as my brain would be, lying open on that operating table while surgeons poke and prod at me.

I screamed. Sometimes, that’s the best way to express fear and anger and anxiety. Just to get it out of you and allow your vocal chords to suffer for a second. Sometimes, that is exactly what the situation deserves. You purge all of the angst and poison from your bloodstream and soon enough can slip into a nirvana of bliss.

Think of fear as an artist and you are the divine, wonderful art being created. It can be a lengthy, arduous process with hundreds of paint brush strokes and thousands of hammer and nail strikes to the solid surface, but the outcome is breathtaking. The result is showcased and admired. Your greatest fears are the very sculptors creating the reality of you tomorrow, however, as art is never complete, you are never complete. Even the most spectacular art pieces are incapable of being inerrant.

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