I delicately blow on the steam rising from my mug before taking a tentative sip, letting the burning liquid slide across my tongue and swirl around before I swallow. Gripping the mug with one hand, a distraction to keep me from picking at my fingers. A moment of silence, giving me time to think and collect my words before I am forced to respond. Getting my thoughts together, calming my racing pulse, and another tentative sip. Drinking is not out of character for me. They will not notice that my mind is racing, so long as I grip this mug and sip this amber liquid, able to get away with being quiet while drinking this liquid, under the guise of being tired. One sip, a sigh, another blow on the steam. I am able to focus on the feel of the mug, the smooth texture underneath my thumb as I grip the bottom. Focus on the feel of the warm liquid touching my lips, my tongue, and sliding down my throat. Count the bubbles that were created by the cream.
Voices swirl around me, laughter and jokes, yet I sit here stone cold. Withdrawn. A fake smirk plastered on my lips. My voice comes out as almost a whisper, raspy, and controlled. Every word heavy on my tongue. One deep breath, followed by another, in through the nose and out through the mouth. One sip, followed by another, the liquid slowly warming me up from the inside out. I sip and I stew, swirling the liquid in my mug as the thoughts turn over and over in my mind. I pull at the liquid, every drop, until I have drained the mug of its contents. The empty bottom reminding me of just how hollow I feel.
Today I found that I was afraid of my own shadow and I jumped at the sound of my own raspy voice.
Today everything was so loud, whispers sounded like screams and harsh voices felt like I was being slapped across the face with each utterance,their small nuances savagely cut me with each exhale and each pause.
Today my heart raced so fast that I thought it would burst out of my chest.
Today I nervously bit my lip until it split, I gnawed on my fingers as if they were candy, leaving nothing but strips and bloody stumps behind.
Today I let the tears leak out of my eyes and pour down my face as a reminder that I can still feel, even if that feeling was numbness.
Today my breathing was rapid, coming in short gasping waves filled with sorrow and dread.
Today the monsters in my head lied to me and let me believe that the walls were caving, even though I was sitting perfectly safe and sound.
Today my hands shook and trembled as I desperately tried to grasp onto the recesses of reality.
Today, no matter how many times I repeated that I was safe, my mind screamed bullshit.
Today… I was lost in my own thoughts, my own fears, and my own self destruction.
But tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow I might be able to bury the monsters deeper into the darkness and let my light start to shine through the cracks.
Tomorrow I can try to put one foot in front of the other until I’m back on track.
Tomorrow maybe I can see the vibrant colors all around me and allow their radiance to soak into my pores.
Tomorrow I hope I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and try to quiet the inner voice that fears everything different.
Tomorrow I might just be able to look at myself in the mirror and smile at my reflection.
Tomorrow I should be able to steady my hands and reach out for a tender reassuring touch.
Tomorrow is another day to try. ❤️