The anxiety diaries: chapter 2

Missed part one? Read it here.

Gavin opened my eyes and stared up at the ceiling. The moon glow streaked in between the blinds and cast dim light onto his desk and across the comforter and the foot of the bed. In the far corner of the room, near the door, the light gently bounced off a mirror he’d never hung up.

Slowly, he rolled himself over to face the nightstand. The time was glowing on his smartphone screen but he was too groggy to decipher the numerals and make sense of what he saw in the distance. For a few moments he pondered what it would be like to be able to pinch to zoom in real life, to have such zooming powers in his eyes, at his fingertips.

It was still sometime before sunrise, he guessed nearing four o’clock. He stretched, scratched his chin and pushed himself up in the bed. Reaching for his glasses, he bumped his water bottle sending it tumbling to the rug. It landed in a shoe, casually left by the nightstand from his stumble to bed earlier that night. He left the water, and with the clear view from his glasses, grabbed his phone and saw the time clearly.

It was 3:53. Not too bad, he thought, reflecting on his ability to guess the time.

He was still tired but something was eating at him. The stress of so many things — work, school, family — it wasn’t that it scared him, but it was something that he always thought about. He’d forgotten about the bills of late, but they were paid off for the most part. Rent was due soon, and so was the internet bill, but he’d be able to cover them by the time pay day rolled around. Four days until payday. Four long days. Four days of new stresses.

Damn it, he thought. He was doing it again. Putting himself through hell for no reason was getting to be something he was good at. He’d been doing so well lately, especially with a change in his medication. His new therapist was a godsend, mainly because he actually listened to what he said, not just telling him to think about certain things. Gavin felt safer since the change.

One piece of advice his therapist suggested was to get back in the journaling habit, to take some time to write each day and reflect on one good thing and one thing he’d use as a learning moment. Tomorrow, well, today really, would make four days since his appointment. Four days of journaling. Also, it would be five days since his 23rd birthday.

Gavin was determined to make 23 a better year. Last year had been a challenge in terms of overcoming and controlling anxiety issues, as well as adjusting to being himself, to learning to love himself. The first time he’d been into journaling, probably around age 20, he wrote himself letters every few days, letters to encourage himself. He’d challenge himself to read them as he woke up the next day, but they didn’t do much considering he gave up the habit before turning 21.

He decided to start with now. To remind himself of his worth and his determination. To have a goal for later today. It was his day off. Rather than sit around with no goals and do more than just read and attempt some healthy self-care, he wanted to feel and see productivity around him. 304-D needed to be “finished,” to be more like home. The mirror had been sitting in the corner since he moved in, and it was time for it to be put on the wall.

Reaching for his phone again, he saw it was now 4:11. He unlocked the screen and tapped the memo app icon. Opening a new note he wrote:

do something worthwhile. hang up the mirror. clean the bathroom. make the bed. go for a run around the park. read for one hour. mediate for ten minutes. remember to journal. take meds.

Gavin was never good at making a list, but if he wrote everything to look like a paragraph, it made a bit more sense. Tapping the settings icon, he tapped the “remind me” button next and set it for 8:15 a.m. He leaned over and put the phone on the floor so he’d have to reach for the alarm when it reminded him about the memo.

He looked back to his right and the moon glow seeping in. It was peaceful, almost like seeing another world. The lights of the city were masked by the darkness and the moon’s presence gave him hope that it was still time for rest. There was still time to breathe.

Lifting his head slightly and adjusting his pillows he eased himself back into a comfortable position between the sheets. Grabbing the second pillow and pulling it tight into his chest, he lay on his right, closing his eyes as the moon’s peaceful glow illuminated him and he drifted back to a calm slumber.


Thanks for reading part two. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.

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