It’s these moments where I’m most convinced I may be crazy. Where you’re uncomfortable in your own skin and there’s not another to put on. These moments when you realize you are not in control… and even the things in your body you should be able to control, decide to lapse and prove you wrong. The progress falters and becomes a dormant place. There is a thief who stole my joy. I took it back from him, and just while I was singing in it, he crept up unaware behind... his footsteps not heard for the handclaps and shouts and songs. Like a London pickpocket that is so quick and skilled with his hands, the CCTV is unable to detect his movements. A ghost crook. And his shadow has blocked out the sun… yet it’s hotter than ever. There’s an itch I cannot scratch. And I'm evermore aware of myself. I am given a mirror. It's distorted. I know this, but I can't help but look... and I want to hide. Remorse for every mistake, misstep, mishap, every miss is now your cloak, but hiding isn't possible. There is guilt for everything for the past, for the food you ate the night before, for the conversation you had with this person, for the message you received, for everything you did and didn’t have anything to do with. And where there was peace there is now worry. It comes in waves, each one a little more violent than the last. Every wrong is illuminated and made to look larger against this spotlight. Every flaw exacerbated. Grace is turned down and Judgment blares in my ear buds. Just a moment ago, I was reveling in the wide open space of freedom… and now, I am grasping frantically for control. I am too tired to fight it. My exhaustion the foothold and I am paralyzed by fear. My insecurities blown out of proportion until they become the essence of my being. And all I want is to make these things disappear. They block the view of everything. This is how the panic attacks begin. This is how it all creeps in. Like the door flies open and the lions I’ve starved start walking in. The corpses resurrected. They are foaming at the mouth, roaring. I am hunted. I am naked and ashamed and afraid.
Heart beats louder. Eyes fly shut. Crescendo bottoms out into silence.
Only one voice left and it whispers,
“Who told you that you were naked?”
The lions’ mouths shut. Chaos is overwhelmed.
They are sent away.
It’s just you and me here now.