Featherweight Anxiety

This is a personal & creative writing piece I wrote in August 2021 at my lowest point toward the end of my 19-month entrepreneurial journey. It's completely different to the other content on my website. It was edited by the kind community at Foster.

There it is again—that sinking feeling.

By noon, my breaths grow shallower and my obsessive thoughts dig deeper. Would someone kindly take the 25-pound plate off my chest, please?

It’s like the survival of the fittest—but not how Darwin meant it. It’s my neurotic thoughts racing like they need to procreate.

The only time of day I feel at peace is in the early morning. All the ideas in my head are encouraging and time expands like a balloon. I smile easier and my mind feels less like a light yet persistent storm.

It’s all a trap though because time isn’t a balloon. It’s more like a stiff tin box. That’s why they call it timeboxing, right? May as well call it Tetris if you ask me because eventually, nothing fits.

The nice thing about Tetris is you can just play again. Forget about all the misplaced pieces and start fresh.

But you can’t game anxiety like that. Even when it’s featherweight.

So all my candles are blown out without a warning. And my motivation escapes along with the flame. I keep a box of matches in my drawer but it’s in vain because they can smell my desperation and they wet themselves before I can light them.

“I can’t do this,” I whisper to myself as if I’m pleading with someone—but it’s just me and my flimsy breaths.

I’m bad at resetting myself in the middle of the day. There’s this ball in my chest that keeps rising to my throat. It wants me to throw my face into my pillow and try to get it out.

Nine times out of ten, I choose the pillow. Write the day off and try again tomorrow (and hope desperately I don’t end up in the same place again.)

One time out of ten, I manage to breathe deeply with the ball in. And realize how my anxiety is featherweight — it’s a fear of what might happen, not what’s actually happening. I’m free to go if I’d like.

I settle for scatter-working: surfing random tasks without a plan or purpose; silicone productivity. It dulls the pain just enough until I go to bed. I’ll take this over my defeated puffy eyes any day.

My afternoon surfing session dulls the pain just enough. But later in bed, the unnerving thoughts slowly wrap back around my brain like a python. Until I eventually fall asleep.

Tara. Tomorrow is another day.

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