Creative Writing Blog: The force of change

I sighed heavily, watching the commotion around me. The vibrating noise and the bright lights overwhelmed my senses to new extremes. Around me, I could see each person laughing, dancing, and swaying to the music. I desperately wanted to join, but I was nowhere near on the level of energy that others were vibing with. Instead of feeling the movement with the music, my heart raced uncontrollably, and my anxiety reached its height.

My anxiety wasn’t caused by not being able to start a simple conversation, but PTSD was the main culprit and it crippled. I was afraid to break out of my  shell, which had protected me for so long. There was a time when I had buried myself in a safe place within my mind; a place where I was sure there would be no more negativity plaguing  me. This club was no simple retreat after all. Others could easily smell the fear this place was built on, as crippling anxiety and fear were disguising themselves as walls of safekeeping that surrounded me.

My train of thought was quickly interrupted by one of my closest kin, Lorraine.

“It’s different for you. It’s a setting you haven’t seen for a while, isn’t it?”

I shrugged.

“It is new. Just haven’t adjusted to this yet.”

She sent me a reassuring smile.

“You are doing great. Just remember how much work you have accomplished, good grades, and hours hard at work. You are with a safe and trusted group of people. You deserve this.”

The word safe ran through my mind. I still had this  weight sitting on  my chest, one I was unsure I was ready to bury on this day. Another thought began creeping up on me. The flashing lights grew brighter in my mind, taking me back to a time far from safety. I was alone, approached by a stranger who would change my life unexpectedly  with their negativity.

I closed my eyes once more, trying hard to fight this thought.

All I could form cry when I opened my eyes , causing me to sigh.

“I’m sorry Lorraine. I can’t do this. I can’t be here. It’s too much.”

I began to push through the plethora of people in my way at the club, on my way outside. At this point, the weight pressing down on  my chest was at its extreme, and I needed the fresh air. After closing my eyes and taking a breath of air, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around to see Lorraine.

“I get it. You are new to this, but you can’t be ashamed for getting upset like this. It takes time for you to re-adjust to your environment. It’s not going to happen overnight, but at least you are trying.”

There was an awkward silence between the two of us.

“You’re here, alive, living, and breathing. Maybe this isn’t the scene for you. If we help you re-adjust to everything, then it can be in a different setting. One with more quiet, a small, but new beginning.”

I thought of the word quiet now–how peaceful and joyful it sounded to me at that moment, something I had begged for within my mind all night . I knew that escaping a bubble built on fear of the unknown and anxiety would not help the situation, but I also learned that taking things slow was ideal. Trauma and negativity are not aspects of life that will fade from your mind overnight. It takes work, but also, it takes risk to overcome and achieve. Each risk you take can lead you somewhere you never thought of, and as I long for peace of mind, I plan to take that risk. Slowly but surely, my mind will find rest.