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At the top of the hill

Guest Author: Kimber

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

My alarm jars me awake. Love grows where my rosemary goes by Edison Lighthouse – one of my favourite songs. But not today. It’s loud and abrasive after my poor night’s sleep. A night of stress and tossing and turning and night sweats. My hand goes automatically to my mouth. All my teeth are there. It was just a dream. Again. All my teeth were falling out. Cracking in half, and crumbling out of my mouth. Gums gaping wide open and the deep red blood inside is threatening to pour out. But it was just a dream. A recurring dream and it’s almost starting to feel like reality. Almost.

It’s like muscle memory.

The grey light that filters through my room reminds me that it’s day time. It’s time to get up. Time to go to work, get on with the day, have a life. It’s hard to get out of bed, like it is almost every morning.

It’s like muscle memory. Get up. Turn on the shower. Scrub my skin clean of the night’s terrors and stress. Turn off the shower. Dry off. Put some clothes on. Darken my eyes with mascara. Shoes on. Out the door.

My feet pound the pavement. I always wear out my shoes too quickly. Another mental note, buy new shoes when you get your next pay cheque. I stomp on. There’s a huge hill I have to conquer. I get short of breath. In my heart I find a wild fluttering feeling. It sounds beautiful but it doesn’t feel beautiful. It feels like a hammer in my chest. Warning. Warning. Warning. This is not right. This is not natural. Don’t do it.

There you are, on my shoulder. Every day when I wake up, when I get dressed, when I leave to go to work. Like clockwork. Like the dream where you lose all your teeth, it’s a regular thing now.

You’re late. You weren’t actually scheduled today. You got the date wrong and everyone will think you’re stupid. You’re not good at your job. No one likes you at work. They wish you would just not show up so they can fire you. Everything is going to go wrong. You’re going to mess up. You won’t succeed. You can’t.

Why hello anxiety, my old friend.

What a fucking joke. You only work there because they’re probably short handed. They don’t like you. They never did. They regret hiring you.

Every day, with every breath, I feel you. Every thought is wrought with your doomsday jargon. You’re my failure agenda. Want to get something done? You won’t. Want to hang out with friends? They don’t want you. They just feel obligated. Someone smiles at you? It’s fake. They just want to get rid of you.

Just look at you. You’re a fucking mess. Fat. Stupid. Lazy. Worthless. Why do you even bother. You’ll never make enough money to be comfortable in life. Rent is coming up and you won’t pay it on time and they’ll evict you and your best friend won’t want to live with you anymore because you fucked her over. You’re selfish. None of your friends actually like you.

The constant, berating, obliterating voice is always there, wearing me down. It’s enough to make a girl crack. Maybe I have.

Go ahead, self-medicate with alcohol. Pop the sleeping pills. Take the antidepressants. It doesn’t really work, you know. You’re just holding up a façade. Your smiles and your jokes, it’s fake. You’re not okay. You’re not worth it, not worth anything.

My own footsteps create a beat to battle.

I reach the peak of the hill, panting because I’m a little out of breath, a little out of shape. The top of the hill is coming. It’s not quite 11 o clock yet and because it’s fall the sun is still new in the sky. The daylight glistens on the wet fall leaves. I hear the wind rustle through the trees. Someone is walking their dog, I hear the pitter patter of paws and still I stomp on.

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. My own footsteps create a beat to battle against the hammer in my chest.

Give up. Give up. Give up.

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

I stop at the top of the hill and look around. I live in such a nice neighbourhood. I love this city. The air is cold on my noise and my cheeks. The cold nip of the winter to come rushes in when I take a huge breath but when I breath out it’s warm. It’s warm and I can feel the sun on my face and my blood pumping through my veins. I keep walking.

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

Carry on. Carry on. Carry on.

And I do. Because when I breathe in, then I breathe out. And when I do it’s warm and full of life and heart and happiness. And that’s worth carrying on for.

Comments

Lorrie
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Hey Kimber,

Thanks for your story. I loved it. I believe you pegged the voice in the head, and on your shoulder, that accompanies many people with anxiety and depression, me included and I’d offer to introduce mine to yours but I’m not sure how healthy that would be.

I also had similar dreams during my darkest time about losing my teeth, no blood they just fell away and I could never catch them as they always seemed to slip through my fingers.

Great job with the writing and all the best my friend,

Lorrie J.

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