There’s a Monster On My Back

It’s a beautiful day, you notice the birds chirping after so long. You notice the children in the park, reminiscing about the happiest of times you had as a kid. There’s a smile on your face, it’s a feeling that has become unfamiliar. And then a sense of dread takes over you, a smell of fear and despondence is around. The kids are there and the chirpy birds too but it’s your smile that has just vanished. The monster’s back.

You’re not even surprised anymore. It’s like being a prison of your own mind, getting visits from happiness once or twice a week and then you’re back behind its bars. You start accepting that these moments of escape wouldn’t last long, you start waiting for the gloom to be back with handcuffs. It comes to a point where being happy for an extended period starts making you feel uneasy.

Your shoulders are sinking, your words fumble on their way out. Waking up everyday becomes a burden. Even the thought of going through the day seems daunting. You’re drowning and that thing is pulling you down every passing day. You try to stay afloat by holding onto things that keep you happy. Some find solace in sleeping all day to dodge reality, some write, some prefer to get high from attention on social media, some party, some cry through their time here. You start overdoing these things to remain on a high, now that you know one bad day and it’ll be back to zero. Sometimes you just want to give up, wishing that the ground below you cracks wide and swallows you because there is no hope left.

Why are you sad? The worst thing that happened to you last week is that your phone’s battery died and you had no charger. You know your life has no problems, yet there is this feeling that something’s wrong. Something that’s making you feel wretched all the time. You seek help, you look for hands to hold, for ears to lend, for words of comfort to guide you out of this dark place. But will they treat me the same way if I told them all that is wrong with me? Will they understand? You ask yourself every time you think of sharing this mess with your friends or family. You wonder how will they comprehend something that even you couldn’t understand after having lived through it for so long.

You tell yourself It’s just some elements in your cranium pushing you down this hellhole. Nothing’s wrong and everything’s gonna be alright. You finally feel like you have some control over your thoughts, a sense of relief takes over. You know it’s over. You’re back to being what you used to be. You’re smiling, you’re buoyant, the shoulders aren’t sinking anymore. It’s the best day you had in a long time. And then you feel it, a tap on your back. The cycle is on, and the worst bit is that the monster is nothing but a part of you.

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