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From the outside it’s easy to think someone’s got it all figured out because my hair is curled and my cheeks are intentionally flushed i must not have a care in the world. As if it were expected for my demons to be worn like a scarlet letter pinned to my chest, and they assume if you cannot see it then it’s not really there. As if pain does not exist unless you’re bleeding or slung in a cast or staggering with a limp. But sometimes the most painful demons are the ones they can’t even see. So we learn how to smile, how to grin and bear it. Because nobody likes to talk about the tough stuff, heck i don’t like to talk about the tough stuff. I have anxiety. It feels like every cell in my body is going so fast that my veins are blurry. That despite the constant metronome of my heartbeat inside my ears it’s like listening to a spastic drumline. It feels like bees in my ears, like a broken white noise machine playing all of the sounds at once.

And i don’t even realize i’m gritting my teeth or cracking my knuckles or rubbing my fore finger against my pinky or spinning the gold band on my finger holding on to myself like I’m the only life line bridging the gap between reality and my own two feet. And the atomically loud obis of noises and sounds and feelings of fleeting rushing through my mind. And I’m avoiding eye contact, not because I’m not listening to what your saying, because I’m listening to the sound of my own voice, hoping that through your ears you can’t hear that it’s two octaves too high, and on the edge of breaking because my palms are sweating and I somehow forgot to speak with anything behind my words other than insecurity. My anxiety feels like fire, unexplainably hot and rash and frustrating as I now the inside of my cheek as if the solution to this feeling is buried between my teeth and gums. It feels like drowning but it feels like burning but it feels like dyeing forever. And I imagine my feet moving with trails of dust like the roadrunner in those cartoons you watched on Saturday mornings growing up because somehow it feels like I’m moving faster than the sixty seconds they’ve allowed in a minute. All the while I’m just playing catch up on the stopwatch.

And it doesn’t add up like it did in middle school mathematics, I can’t carry the one and find the square root of the problem because most of the time there is no problem. There’s no life or destination or situation there’s no rhyme or reason there is just feeling and I’m feeling all of them at once. Some days are better than others, some days are worse. But there just days. And i’ve got more where they came from.

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