3.18 - Anxiety

3.18 - Anxiety

“I just don’t see why you couldn’t just go out and hunt for the blood you need,” I explain as Destiny puts away the blood.

“Because Adze don’t need a ton of blood. Honestly, you bought too much. I get maybe a gallon and I’m good for a month or two. But the wine was a nice touch. Maybe we drink some later.”

“I don’t drink blood,” I’m getting a little annoyed she isn’t taking me seriously.

“Maybe you should try. It’s alcoholic, might take the edge off.”

“I’m not on edge.”

“No, you totally are. You get really anxious, a lot. Actually, you’re anxious majority of the time. I can feel it around you,” she looks at me from across the room.

“You could have at least told me what I was walking into,” I try to take the attention away from me.

“Take your shoes off and sit with me,” Destiny takes a seat on the floor and crosses her legs.

“What are you doing,” I ask.

“Just take my hand and sit down. You don’t have to take off your shoes if you don’t want to. Just sit with me,” she shakes her hand at me until I take it.

“Cool, now find a comfortable way to sit. It might not be crisscross apple sauce, just something you can do for a while without discomfort.”

I shift around for a moment, not letting her hand go. This is the first time we’re holding hands and it isn’t lost on me. I always thought we’d be walking through the park or a fair. Instead she’s got me sitting on her apartment floor. I settle in my left leg fully extended resting on my bent right leg.

“What’s the deal with this,” I ask.

“Do you trust me?”

“I don’t know. You’ve sent me into some strange places and I had to fight off a succubus before it raped me. I don’t know if I trust you.”

“That’s cool,” she rolls her eyes. “But I want you to close your eyes anyway.”

“Are you turning me into a vampire?”

“What,” she sounds offended and sucks her teeth, “No. Just close your eyes.”

“Fine,” I close my eyes and wait for more instructions.

“Alright, first off, Anxiety is common, we all have it. But you can’t let it control your life or dictate who you are.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Shutup and listen,” she squeezes my hand.

“You know I’m not a vampire? That hurts me, a lot.”

“Well pay attention, and I said close your eyes.”

“Okay,” I close my eyes again.

“Now, anxiety is common, everyone has it. But, if you allow it to rule your life you live in terror forever. So I want you to focus on that anxiety. Whatever it looks like in your mind.”

“How long are we going to do this?”

“Until you’ve got a picture of anxiety.”

“How do I do that?”

“Just think of everything anxiety is to you, and try to create an image of it.”

I just keep my eyes closed and try to follow her instructions. What makes me anxious? What doesn’t make me anxious? Large crowds, people I don’t know, unfamiliar places and situations. Sometimes even grocery shopping is hard. Holidays, big sporting events, bad storms, I always try to avoid going out on those days. Even talking to Destiny sometimes is hard. I really like her, but my heart just starts beating so fast when she’s near me. Like right now, I know she can feel my heart beating through my hand, it’s pounding. But what does anxiety look like to me? I feel like I’ve been asking that question every day of my life. It feels like I’ve been here focusing on it for an hour.

“I’ve got it,” I let her know.

“What does anxiety look like to you?”

“A monster, the body of an elephant, with scales, but claws of a lion. An alligator’s tail, and a vulture’s wings, no trunk but the head of a big lizard. Like a Komodo dragon or something.”

“Okay, good.”

“No. I take all that back. This is a dragon, a big sickly grey dragon. Scales falling and patches of bare flesh, you can see where it was once a shiny black and silver dragon. Wings that are damaged and can’t fly anymore, broken bones poking through the flesh. The head is dripping some yellowish puss and the horns that were once there are just bloody stumps. I can see it was a fierce dragon once, and the blue eyes are still like fire, showing how strong it was in the past.”

“Okay,” she pauses for a long while. “I see what it is. Can you see both?”

“Well, kind of.”

“So, here’s the deal, that dragon is you. Black and strong, fiery eyes, but it’s afraid to live. Life has kicked that dragon, and it doesn’t realize how great it is. Maybe it never did because nobody has ever told it. That homunculus of a monster is your anxiety. If you can care for that dragon, make it the beast I know it can be, that monster will shrink in size, and the dragon can kill it.”

“What are you saying?”

“Self-care is the answer.”

“I take care of myself.”

“But when do you take time for yourself? I bet you’ve never gotten a manicure, took a weekend trip for yourself, gotten a massage or even turned your phone off for a day and just lived for yourself. Do you have a skin care routine or exercise regimen for yourself? If you do, it’s been a long time.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize to me. Apologize to yourself for not loving yourself. You love everyone but yourself. That’s why you’re always anxious.”

“I’m sorry I got upset with you earlier. I get it now.”

Destiny doesn’t respond, I feel a hand slide across my face beneath my eye. I open my eyes, not realizing that I had started to cry. She was right, I don’t take time for myself. I just give all my time to other people, even Destiny. I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself that really made me happy. I’m happy around her, but I don’t recall ever being happy in life. The moment we’re separate I lose that happiness. I’m not depressed, I can’t be, I don’t spend all day crying in dark rooms.

“I have to go,” I try to stand up but she wraps her arms around my shoulders.

“Don’t,” is all she says as she hugs me tight.


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