My anxiety has many disguises. It is not always easy for me to identify it, though I should know its walk and speech well. I cannot justify the faith I have placed in something that has done me much harm, except to say that it is one of the only constants in my life, and that I have always known it. The familiar has a hold over all of us. Despite this, I have chosen to extirpate it. With the help of the Virgin of the Sea, I am steady in my position, and aim to shoot at the heart of it. Then, when it is weakened and bleeding out, I will pull it through and away from me.
The Virgin of the Sea coaches me through telephone calls. He keeps me firm in my resolve, and says such things that I have never been very good at accepting. I am strong, he says. Yet, all I see is myself as a fragile vine, twisting around whatever I can believe in, and eventually breaking off from what I had hopes would save me. My past cannot define me, he says. Yet, I see that is all I am. I am made up of pictures of things I have experienced, and nothing more.
Every day, I force myself to confront the things I fear. I am locked in a closet, facing a literal darkness that hangs heavy on my skin. I am pumping my body full of caffeine, and it chokes my heart. I am staring at coffins, and I am a child resentful of a God that designed us to have an expiration date. I am thinking of love, and I see that I was never afraid of the hurt that could be done to me, but of the hurt I cause those I love. I am tired. I am very tired.