I never see it coming, and it scares the life out of me every time.  
Cold as ice and crippling. 
Like an invisible sledge hammer demolishing my chest, sending numbness to my extremities. 
A black snake slithers in through the shards of my pounding, broken heart, and up my neck where it coils itself around, choking off my voice. I am small and helpless compared to the monster inside, eating me alive.  
I could die.
I know I need to eat soon, but I can barely swallow my own spit let alone think about nourishing myself with food.  
It seems like I’ve felt like this forever, and always will.  
My face is burning. 
Flames creeping into my eyes.
Tears threatening to put out the fires.

As I stand in the middle of this crowded subway train, I try to hide behind the thickest skin I can find.
I can’t rely on my own; it’s raw and too exposed.
I can’t breathe.
Why is everyone looking at me?

I get a flash: The guy that’s stepped in way too close behind me- I lose it on him.
I elbow him hard in the stomach, turn around and knock him the fuck out with my right.   
But I don’t.
I won’t.
My anger is just a bi-product of the malfunctioning defence mechanism I’m clinging to for dear life to protect what’s really inside me… the deepest pain a human can know: core wounds.  

The voices are too loud to hear the music from my headphones.

“Worthless. Unloveable. Weak. Inadequate. Stupid. Outcast. Irredeemable.”

I’m trying not to believe they’re real, but I’m confused, terrified and out of control.

The mantra repeats.
I feel so alone.  
Tidal waves of dark emotion crash inside of me, crushing my body until it feels like my spirit disconnects and fades to black.

“I love your shirt” a stranger says smiling.
It’s the shirt my mom bought me when we were in California together when our family was falling apart.
A sentimental piece.  

My heartstrings have been plucked and snapped back into place with a velocity that vibrates in my throat and into the whole world around me.

The tears come. I can’t stop them any more than I could stop the train I’m on.
They’re deep.
Breaking free from being locked in my cells for decades.

Maybe it will seem like my eyes are watering if I keep my face poker straight.

I put my head down; there’s nothing I can do about it now.  
It’s too late to give a fuck.
Let the pain show all it wants.

The snakes start to retreat, my breath gets deep.

Finally a space opens up.
I move to it.
My chest opens up.
I’m exhausted and now I hurt.

I’m angry again.
Fuck depression.
Fuck anxiety.  

It’s a powerfully alone feeling.
You decide people won’t understand you, so you shut down.

You worry that they wouldn’t want to be around you if they knew the REAL you, so you turn into someone else.

The stigma, the judgement, the discomfort is all you see occur in others when they don’t know how to help you because they simply just can’t relate.

But you’re not even asking for their help.
You’re asking for a connection.
You’re asking to be heard.
To be seen.
You’re asking to be accepted and loved just the way you are.

Instead, you’re told to get over yourself.
That you’re too in your own head.
That you must be “attracting” your unhappiness.
Accused of being irrational.
Prompted to think of all you have to be grateful for.
Reminded “it could always be worse,” which ultimately makes you feel even worse.

You’re completely misunderstood and part of you doesn’t even understand yourself.
Part of you wants to abandon yourself, always looking for a way out of your own skin, out of your own mind.

Every time you have a genuine laugh or smile the darkness is just around the corner waiting to entirely consume you.

You scramble to keep yourself together so your loved ones don’t become frustrated and start to pull away, seeing you as a hazard to their happiness.
A burden.

You’re paranoid.
Positive they’re going to drop you.
It’s only a matter of time.
They’re going to decide you’re really not worth it.
You’re terrified they don’t love you enough to put energy into trying to understanding you, or to forgive you for your mistakes, or to be patient with your healing process.
You can only pray they love you enough for you to survive just one more day, because you sure don’t love you enough to.  


If you just resonated with any of this, you now know you’re not alone; you and I are one and the same.
The truth is, there will be people that can’t relate to your pain, just as you may not be able to relate to a pain that you haven’t gone through, but it doesn’t mean you’re unloved, unworthy or alone.
Your experiences, good or bad, don’t make you any less or any more.
They don’t make you broken, they just make you human.

Everyone is fighting their own battle.

Time does heal all wounds. It takes deep digging into your heart, courage, patience, vulnerability, compassion, acceptance, self kindness, love and grieving of past hurt.
But day by day, one foot after the other, we’re healing.

We’re on this journey together. You’re not alone. – Janey