Warning! Sad writing ahead!
I wrote this short story (poem? Word vomit? idk what to call it) at the very beginning of January when things were extremely stressful and overwhelming. I was transitioning off of some anti-anxiety medication and my emotional state was in disarray. I was trying to adjust to a new work and school schedule, while shaking off the rust that developed over a very lazy winter break. And I just felt like I was drowning. Then, things got better and I tucked it away in my iPhone notes to revisit on a rainy day.
Today is that rainy day and I’m back in a state of panic and overwhelm. School is starting to get hard, I had a rough day at work, and I’m just feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, and stressed to the max. Poetry always helps me cope with strong emotions by giving them a pretty face and some imagery. Something I can confront because I know what it looks like. And I wanted to share this poem with the world as another way to cope, even if I’m just sharing it into a void.
Life is like the ocean and I’m a strong swimmer. I can wade through the shallows with ease. I take the time to look down and admire the little shells bouncing around on the sand and joy sparks in my heart. As life gets busy I’m forced to wade deeper. Responsibilities, dreams, school, work, love, friendship, bills, fun all pile up as I’m dragged into the depths. But I’m a strong swimmer so I push on instead of retreating to shallower waters. The deeper I get, the harder it is to keep my head above the waves. But I’m a strong swimmer. The little shells bouncing on the ocean floor are too far away for me to see easily and seem inconsequential now. There is only room for thoughts of survival. Who needs the little shells anyway when threatening waves are right in front of me, demanding my attention. I’m a strong swimmer I tell myself, I can handle this. I push on. My limbs grow tired, my teeth chatter, and the salt stings my eyes. But I’m a strong swimmer. A wave bigger than I expect approaches and washes over me. I tumble under the water and then kick to the surface. I’m a strong swimmer so I carry on. Wave after wave attempt to push me under the water but I’m a strong swimmer so I fight back. Until I can’t. A small wave surges in front of me and I decide to give in. It washes over me and I feel everything. I feel every wave that I fought against before. I feel every moment the salt stung my eyes. I feel the soreness in my jaw from my chattering teeth. I feel the wrinkles of my skin from hours of exposure. I feel every muscle in my body begging for rest.
I’m a strong swimmer but even the strongest of swimmers can’t swim forever.