I lay motion and scroll. Look up a few exes. Go on the explore page and compare myself to beautiful women. My demons come up for air, and I fight to govern my body. I do not see myself beautiful. I see myself messy. Insecure. Afraid.
Some days, I am more than enough. Today, I am anchored to my triggers. I sink where it is dark blue and heavy. Where no one will come looking. Where I am only safe if I don’t stay too long. My anxiety manifests, and I shrink. Even when I am productive, it is a quiet vinyl playing a reckless tune. It tells me that I am unlovable. That I am too much. That every unrequited relationship is my fault.
Now, I am a flurry of destination. The car ride back from his brother's house. The fast tears. The heaving. How my body was his secret. How this caused the shrinking. How a flower shrivels when it gets no sun. All the flowers I've been given. Their closed blind, table top suffering. My Brooklyn apartment. The bottles of wine. Every time I put a prayer to my lips. The liquor store on Prospect and Nostrand. The cat calls. The man in the black hat who offered to walk me home. My 21st birthday party. That kitchen. The lime and the tequila. My panties hanging off a black stiletto. My shaking thighs. His unwanted hands. All the hands after.
The ones who promised love. The ones who mimicked death. The one I found safety in. How he reminded me of my father. How my father was the first to leave. How death is the trigger. How my anxiety has always been the result of loss. How loss triggers loss. How hands trigger hands. How, sometimes, a day in bed feels like the only the solution. I swallow myself alive so no one else has the chance to.
I know how to sink without drowning. How to escape without disappearing. I don't stay in the dark place long enough to forget that I can write myself out of it. That I can push past the current. I know the art of rising. I know how good it feels to breathe life into a new day. I know the weight of depression. The panic of anxiety. I know how to fight for myself. How to savor the little things. Like letting hands hold me. Like trusting they will be gentle this time.