When I was born someone else was also born with me. A creature chained to my right foot, that is my dominating foot.
I assumed it to be an animal in my naive mind. But I didn’t know its specie.
It could be a wolf, a fox or a dog. I realized it growing up.
I couldn’t really see it but always felt its weight, its footsteps matching my pace. I could sense its pulse rippling in the air around me all the time.
I knew it’s living with me. Growing with me.
Sometimes it fought me. Growled and hissed at me. Scared me.
Then one fine day when I just turned 27 I got to know finally.
It wasn’t a wolf. Wasn’t a dog. It was a very cunning FOX.
I could see her now. Her gleaming sly eyes that looked like she’s plotting something. Every strand of her fur. Her fuzzy tail resting on the ground as she sat flaunting her deviousness. She was exactly my age.
She wasn’t capable of killing me. But she was immensely passionate about pushing me to the point where I could take my life.
I had this epiphany at a doctor’s clinic when I was getting treated for autoimmune. When he told me about anxiety I could see it spread over all of my life. Weaved into every day, every minute I have lived.
The word wasn’t new to me, but I never associated myself with it.
You know what I associated myself with?? Arrogant, spoilt, stubborn, short-tempered, emotional, sensitive, aggressive, clingy, possessive, obsessive, impatient…
The phrases I heard about me ..“she can’t live with anyone” ..the worst… “don’t talk to her”.
Imagine your closest people saying that about you.
I remember my best friend of 20 years, Sam, giving me head massage when I would feel my veins would burst. I would put my head on table or her lap and she would give me head massage to console me.
I remember her telling me to start counting and breathing slow every time she sensed I was losing control..all of this in our teens.
I remember one of my best friends telling me I ruined all my relationships. This was one of the worst things I heard in my life as I always tried not to hurt people. And always feared being left alone, that made me pathetically tenacious at times.
Family was always there when I fell sick physically. But I still don’t have courage to open up to them about my mental state as I had younger siblings and I had this pressure of being strong and a role model for them.
I fought for each one of them as I felt I have to be their savior when nobody even acknowledged it later. I don’t regret this part. I feel I did my duty.
My fits of anxiety always completed a circle. Me being triggered….then throwing tantrum…then being left alone because I reacted.. then dying with guilt (when I shouldn’t have) then me going to people to mend things just because of fear of being left alone.
This was embarrassing. I always regretted once the circle was closed. Regretted proving people right when they are clearly wrong just because I was weak and scared.
The moment I heard the name of the animal I joined all the dots and I realized I have been living with this almost all my life.
And trust me it was such a relief.
Now I know I have a fox as companion.
Now when she runs i run. When she wants to rest I HAVE to rest. But she hardly rests.
Playing fetch means I throw the ball and we both chase it.
Sometimes it’s fun.
Honestly I don’t hate her. She isn’t all too bad I just didn’t know her.
I had a few phases of depression that silenced both of us. Most recent one lasted for around 1 and half months.
My fox went into hibernation and I started missing her terribly.
That’s how our relationship is now.
I hate her for making me a terrified weird kid who had to built unnecessary walls around her just so that nobody gets to know how sensitive and deprived of attention she was.
I had pretty much Allison situation going on in my teens. (Allison, basketcase from movie “breakfast club”)
I hate her for all the meltdowns I had in front of heartless people.
I hate her for the bitch face I donned which in result turned me into a challenge in front of people only inviting further troubles.
I hate her for instilling in me trust issues and phobias.
So when I say I was fireball trapped in a shell of ice I mean it.
Me hiding my vulnerability made me very unapproachable. People would leave me alone when I needed them most thinking I am strong enough to deal with it or I just don’t have feelings. This happens still.
But I love her for making me a vehement expressionist.
I love her for turning me stronger than anyone around me and still having a heart.
Because I know what it is like to be chained with an animal that for a very long time I feared might be a wolf.
Realizations, diagnosis lifted the fox.
I knew when I felt suicidal twice and I acted promptly. I keep Xanax handy, even though I don’t take it but I understand if I feel I can’t handle myself it will at least halt the situation for a while (this must not be taken as an advice!)
I keep number of a therapist in my bag that my rheumatologist gave me. And I know which bag.
I know when I am going to zone out with mental exhaustion and its time to lay down.
Now I understand her. And somewhere she understands me too.
Sometimes I manipulate her to my advantage.
When I really have to do something I know I am not alone. I have a very smart fox with me. We are two brains working. That’s a pretty badass combo.
I got to know late. Very late.
But it’s never too late right?
And I know we will die together as we were born together.
So we both have accepted this relationship. Only relationship that I know is never going to end no matter what, besides Sam obviously.
I still see deceit in her eyes though…
I have shared my story in response to a Mental Health Awareness Campaign campaign, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” initiated and administered by Sue (owner of blog myloudbypolarwhispers.com), who I truly admire for her efforts to raise awareness and fight stigma around mental health issues.
Kindly visit my post Warriors Invited To Raise Mental Health Awareness where I am inviting Mental Health Warriors to submit their blog’s address so that we can join hands to control this wildfire.
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