An Open Window

Anxiety’s grip can be so tight sometimes. It latches on to every part of you and holds you down until you stop squirming. You can fight and fight until you run out of energy. You can try to stop squirming for a second and then go full force, trying to surprise the anxiety and get it off you but it just holds you even tighter until you truly are exhausted. It’s the world’s heaviest man sitting on top of you with both arms around your neck, knees pinned to your elbows with a sick snarl. You can’t do anything but lay there until he falls asleep and you get a chance to get out and breathe for a second. It’s sneaking out for the first time as a child to lay on your roof to enjoy the stars even though your parents say it’s too dangerous. The roof is too high! What if you fall? What if you get abducted by aliens? But the sight is so beautiful, it’s worth the trouble you could potentially get in. The stars always seem to sparkle a little brighter when you’re not supposed to be looking at them. Isn’t it odd? If your parents said you could go see the stars every night, you’ll probably get tired of it and they won’t shine as brightly because it becomes routine rather than a gift. There’s an extra element of beauty when it comes to rebellion.

My thoughts are super scattered today. Every time I feel like I get myself back for a moment, I feel the urge to make something beautiful or do something I love because it’s my way of rebelling against anxiety. When I have anxiety, I feel like a zombie but I’m hyped up and I’m paralyzed at the same time. My ability to create is stripped from me. I’m trapped under this man who won’t get off of me and I’m stuck. I feel like my window of freedom is closing quickly and I’m scrambling quickly to create something beautiful before the window closes completely and I can’t feel the rain on my hands anymore. I don’t want to just look, I want to reach my hand out and feel the rain! I want to feel the sun on my skin but as soon as the window closes, I’m stuck inside again. Every moment I get out on that roof is a breath of fresh air and a beautiful relief. Enjoying something when I get my freedom is like my way of displaying my two middle fingers to the monster that is anxiety.

Right now, it’s thundering and there’s lightning. It feels like God made this weather happen today just for me as selfish as that sounds. It mirrors what’s going on inside of me. My storm is being displayed by Mother Nature and I stare, only seeing my own inner turmoil. It’s beautiful watching nature put on a more elegant performance of what’s destroying me on the inside. She understands. With every boom, I feel the grip of anxiety tightening but it’s such a beautiful sound. It sends shivers down my spine and I jump, every muscle tensing for just a moment before I relax completely. My body gets a microsecond of complete rest. Then the quick flash comes. It’s a brilliant highlighter that radiates each color in the world even brighter than before. It used to scare me as a kid and still does sometimes, but right now, in this moment, the thunder just echoes everything inside me and the lightning colors everything falling apart. It’s a beautiful disaster.

The inspiration has vanished and my train of thoughts have come to a complete halt. The window is closing to just a crack now as I type my final words. My moment of rebellion is now over but I can lay down in peace. I do not feel the grip of anxiety, I do not feel the legs pinning my arms down, I do not feel the weight on my body. All I feel is peace. I turn around to face the room behind the now closed window and see nothing but a comfortable couch to lay down on and enjoy the silence. Silence is a beautiful sound when the storm passes. I hear the world recuperating and I feel my body doing the same. Yes, the grip was excruciating. Yes, I couldn’t breathe and was convinced I was dying. But the storm has passed and now I can breathe. Even though the drizzle is lingering, I have my rain boots on and can now dance freely, spinning faster and faster as the weight continues to be lifted off of me. Those moments when I’m trapped are terrifying because they seem to never end, but I have a secret storage room in my mind where I hide my peace and knowledge of the fact of who God is. I retreat there in my mind and cling to the fact that He has brought me through before and He will bring me through again. He has never left me and He never will, even if all I can see is the ugly face of anxiety and feel its disgusting hands around my neck. Every moment of freedom I get will be treasured because they are simply that: moments.

You know that term live like everyday is your last? I understand the meaning behind it now. Enjoy every moment of freedom you get like it’s your last one. For me, it could very well be my last one for a long time and I need to make something beautiful to look at when the anxiety strikes and my walk through the desert begins. I need more to look at besides sand and endless nothing. This may not be beautiful to the eyes of the world, but for me, it’s my moment of rebellion, a memory of the sweet taste of freedom I had for the twenty minutes I got to quickly unscramble my thoughts enough to form coherent sentences. With that, I lay down on the couch, close my eyes and enjoy the silence, pretending I can hear the sound of a bird singing through the window that is now closed.

Until next time, stars, I will be seeing you again soon, my friends.

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