Inspired by Autopsy: Five stages of Grief by Donte Collins
TW – panic attacks and anxiety
Blue ink spread out of the neat confines of coherent letters into the fibres of the paper as it mixed with salty tears and unheard cries for help. A sharp metallic clang of vintage fountain pen on crystalline marble soon followed as did shaky breaths and racing thoughts.
You see, panic is an easy trap to fall into. All it takes is one stranded memory, a single moments gaze into the abyss of emotion, a fleeting loss of concentration, a lone lull of silence and the spiral begins. A dizzying descend into the all familiar but ever hated feeling of unrequited anxiety.
There is nothing left to do but to be kinder to yourself, to create a softer reality. It starts with the small things – not setting an alarm and waking up with the sun, adding that extra spoonful of sugar in your morning coffee, lingering in a warm shower for a few more minutes. Sometimes you have to go a little further like playing you favourite song and having a dance party for one when no one is looking, or maybe its ordering takeout from your favourite sushi place to create a pocket of lazy happiness. Belief doesn’t hurt either – believe that silver linings exist everywhere and you just need to find them.
Lastly there is a little bit of dreaming involved. Visualising a place where the grass in the marigold field sways gently and tiny birds sing foreign songs. A place where the bread is always warm and freshly baked and an easy breeze cuts through the folds of your sundress every-time the butter yellow sun-rays touch your skin.
Eventually, like with all things, it gets better. The shaky breaths become steadier, calmer even. You bend down to pick up the still intact fountain pen and try again on another sheet of paper with firmer, more confident brush strokes this time around. You know where you are going, what you are meant to be doing and if the panic tries to seep back in your mind then all you have to do is return to your version of a softer reality.