Courage, Dear Heart


I wake up with panic perched on my chest. Rolling over I try to shake it off, try to dive back under the blanket of unconsciousness, but it’s done… I’m awake.

Instead of getting up I lie in bed for another hour, and as my anxiety mounts the beginning of a headache starts to scratch at the inside of my skull.

This is how a lot of my mornings start. The day stretches ahead of me like an insurmountable relay of endless tasks that I have neither the energy nor the desire to tackle.

I am now faced with a choice. I can stay in bed, call in sick, wallow in my misery and ultimately feel worse for it, or I can get up. I can eat breakfast and shower (and more than likely cry while doing so) and force myself out the door.

I can choose to try and fight this stupid thing inside my head, and yes it will be difficult and yes I will be in pain… but I am in pain anyway. Whether I stay in bed or not, everything sucks.

After fighting through the day (and having to hide the war that is raging inside my head from everyone I work with) I am overwhelmed by the fact that I have to do it all again tomorrow. What kind of life is this?

I walk home and an ambulance whizzes noisily past me. I’m ashamed to admit that my first thought is “I wish I were in it”. I’m so tired of fighting. I want to give up. I can’t though…

Something inside just won’t let me throw in the towel, and it’s what I cling to on days like this. It’s what I draw strength from (albeit, minimal) on days when I can’t seem to run out of tears, on days when my head won’t stop hurting or stay quiet.

I think this thing is called courage. It isn’t a loud or strong thing. It sits quietly in my heart; it is tiny and gasping for air… but there it sits all the same.

“You will not surrender!” it says. “Not today.”


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