It smacks me like a dead, slimy, wet fish to the face. The understanding causes only more anxiety to rise in my belly. Every attempt to steady shaky breaths seems weaker than the last, but I still try. Finally, I reach a place where I can recognize that I do not want to be angry. The answers are always within, even if the problems lie outside of ourselves; I have a firm belief in this. Powerful minds we have been given, for just such a task.

Pushing aside that I feel invaded upon by the rumbling bass from the neighbor’s entertainment system. Completely detaching myself from any past experiences with neighbors or sounds, outside of the context of this place; couch, room, apartment, building. Here I find the core of my trouble.

I can’t help but remember, I cannot manipulate these emotions, instead they shove me to the ground. Waking up in the hospital was terrifying, it was like a nightmare except it started when I woke up. How weak my legs were, I couldn’t even walk. How sick my stomach was. How my heart kind of sputtered like a dying engine.

I am safe. There is nothing to be scared of. Feel the soft bed under your body, take in a breath and smell the familiar smells of your room. Breathe steady. Center yourself. Let the memories and pain wash over you. Let it all wash itself away into the depths of the ocean. Soon the panic subsides, and I can realign myself with reality.

I feel like I’ve just stepped inside after being out in a cold rain. The warmth kind of stings at first, but soon my body adjusts to normalcy again. Every time I am faced with this memory and it breaks me, afterward, I feel a little lighter.

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