I’ve been anxious for about as long as I remember.
I really have; and whether I owe it to genetics or to a wrecked gut-brain connection I don’t know.
At seven I was anxious about a war suddenly breaking, and at twelve about death, my own and others’. At twenty-three, I doubted that I’d ever be loved; I felt lacking and wasting away, always giving too little for the life flashing by. I felt unworthy and undeserving, and guilty about the blunt pain that had always been nagging.
These worries have been life-long companions, and they’ve aged me far beyond my years. They took away beauty when it presented itself, or my ability to see it, at least, and the joy of youth along with it. When you’re anxious, you’re just waiting for all your happiness to end.
“Weak,” people have called me, or “crybaby.” But as much as I’ve grown to hate being a crier, I know it’s a problem far beyond weakness. It’s the result of a heart worn out by worry for months and months, then shoved into a point of breaking.
In my 24 years, these fears were never realized. Hadn’t been, until last month.
It came as numbing bad news; it wasnt unexpected. I’m anxious, I’d dreaded it, but then it actually happened. I heard my pulse in my ears, and the muffled sobs of my aunt across the line. It had happened.
I’ve had my sorrows, as unworthy as I’ve felt of them, being blessed with more than I can thank for. But this one is a sharper pain, like shards of glass tearing at my insides. I cried more that I ever had.
It’s been a month now, and I think I’ve been learning to mend; to grow around it, to grow against it. They’d called me weak, but I’ve become the pillar, and the steadfastness of the big sister finally emerged. I’ve become one to be told the truth raw, as seemingly harsh as it could be, no longer sugar-coated, because maybe, I’m a little stronger than I’d expected.
In all honesty, I think could be a little proud of that. So bear it, heart; don’t fail me now. Don’t fail us now.
This is sorrow like I’ve never felt, but I have faith somehow, that happiness will follow, something so profound that it’ll piece it all back together. The trial has begun, so bear it, brittle heart of mine, and brave the journey.