Until

for as long as she could remember, 
she’d felt it,
even though she wasn’t superstitious,
she couldn’t deny it, 
this unwelcome, 
yet eerily comforting presence,
signs of its existence ever-present,
but no more so than in vulnerable situations,
especially when her feelings
were so big she thought she’d crack 

sometimes, it consumed her;
when she most wanted to hide,
she’d feel it in the pulsing pressure of unfallen tears behind her eyes,
in the ball of rubber bands tangled
and bouncing in her belly,
in the twisted tightening behind her ribcage, the anvil resting on her heart,
in the shallow breathe,
because anything deeper would make her burst,
collapsing her into herself

it was most present,
and most potent, 
as this toxic voice inside her head,
one which constantly told her
she didn’t belong,
that she wasn’t enough,
that she owed something she could never quite repay,
was expected something she could never live up to,
that the world must be railing against her,
this voice loudest when the world seemed to quiet around her, 
when she desperately attempted to slow,
to try and savor it, 
her pillow’s other side never cool,
and her mind never quite at rest 

it was a blurred existence, 
a constant feeling of living in a black mist,
one she couldn’t shake no matter what she tried,
no matter how much she laughed and smiled and pleased on the outside

she’d tried to hide from it
by pretending it wasn’t there, 
by speeding through her days at 100mph, trying not to blink

and yet, here it was, still,
a backpack of lead upon her back, 
making her feel as if she were
living in a spiral, 
every action destined to repeat itself

it took 40 years of this sinister ghost chasing her,
40 years of futile running,
years upon years of spiral and repeat, 
until she finally slowed, 
until she looked with unclouded eyes,
startled when she saw her own reflection

all that time,
she’d been haunted by herself,
the weight of regret, 
a relentless stream of self-deprecation,
and even punishment,
obscuring every decision,
every interaction,
every day

afraid she’d become the epitome of everything she’d cursed, 
she’d become just that in the running,
the illusion of control causing her to fall further and further out of its grasp,
making her want to scream until there was no voice left to hear, 
her fear of vulnerability so strong,
it had begun to shroud the hope in her eyes

until today

-image found on Pinterest, source unknown 

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12 thoughts on “Until

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