Every day is nearly the same. Four months after my wife split with me, a years since my dad died, seven months since my Ollie dog died, and nearly every day is still the same. I wake up and feel decent enough. I take my medication, and I go to work. Things are typically fine until around 2pm, and that’s when the gloom sets in. After the gloom, the anxiety ramps up, and that’s when I start to have a difficult time fighting off the negative thoughts. Thoughts of the trauma, how much she hurt me, how much life has thrown at me, and how I can’t seem to get past it all in the slightest.

My life is fine. I have a nice house with no mortgage. I drive a nice car, and I have plenty of savings, very little debt, and a very awesome little 8 month old puppy. On paper, I’m fine, I’m going to be okay physically and financially, and I have great clients and exciting projects. But, I’m not at all fine. My anxiety is crippling, and I can’t tell how much of it is simply due to my inherently anxious disposition, or how much is because my psyche simply cannot process all of the trauma I’ve been through. The world is ready for me to move on, and my logical brain is more than ready to comply, but the deep down, emotional brain is in full control these past six months, and I can’t seem to wrangle it back in. My emotions—the hurt, the fear, the utter confusion— they are fully in control, easily brushing aside the logical voice that constantly tries to self-assure, it will be okay, I am okay, focus on the breathing, bring it all back to right now. I know these things to be true, but my emotions are that of a wounded animal, one seated and programmed from years of trauma, and one now unable to live in what is by all means extreme comfort.

The inside is so wounded. I am so very lonely, hurt, and so terrified of life that another part of my brain tells me simply to protect. To guard, to keep them all away, those that might hurt me again, those that I think may love me, the way I truly thought my ex wife loved me. But that rug was pulled out from under me, violently forcing me into a phase of life I’d never planned for, an a mindset that is in a constant mode of forced self-soothing, minute by minute checks and reassurances that I never fully believe (I’m okay, things are okay, I’ll be happy again one day, I’ll learn from all of this, one day it’ll be worth it) only to get through another day.

I worry that my body and brain have now somehow locked themselves into this mode of constant anxiety and fear. I feel it every single day of my life, this sense of impending doom, this terrified inner voice that whimpers “Please don’t let something bad happen again,” like a pleading infant. Regardless of my surroundings, of positive experiences, of new relationships that truly show me that something better is on the horizon if I could just heal my wounds even a bit. That feeling is always there, the fear, the deep lack of trust, like a wounded animal, but where my wounds are solely internal, deep down in the blood, and in the hormones, and in the perhaps-permanent synapses, now malformed to cater to a new master.

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