Café Temptation

I have always been tempted but never ventured further than the thought. It’s addictive, I tell myself. Once I have it, will I need it or simply move on? Will it be just one more experience crossed off the list on my path to adulthood, or a constant thought on my mind, hole in my wallet, or perhaps worst of all, a never ending addiction that controls my life?

I’ve never felt the need to give into this temptation, every offer I’ve received has always been met with a shrug and an easily spoken ‘no thanks’, but today…today I hesitated. Something stirred within me, a small, soft, faded voice sighed. I could barely hear it but it was powerful, breathy yeeessssss…
That one word lingered in the air, surrounding me and seeping deep into my mind. It was so alluring, so captivating. Maybe I could give in? Just once won’t hurt, right? No. Don’t. You know the strength and control temptation can force upon you. What am I thinking? Is it worth the risk, to give up my freedom and be condemned to wander forever within the realms of dependence and need?

Perhaps it was the voice silencing the negatives, perhaps it began to stir my reason, but my thoughts began to morph. But what if it is? What if it changes my life for the better? How can I know if I don’t try? It’s perfectly fine, I assured myself. Everyone around me is doing it so why shouldn’t I? It doesn’t seem to affect them too much; a brighter smile, an elevated mood, an energy kick, a warmth. They aren’t addicted, they are armoured with it. It’s harmless, I reasoned. What am I waiting for? It’s time.

My trembling hands began preparing my first fix. This doesn’t seem so hard. I’ve seen so many people do it, my hands were skilled, it came so naturally.  Within seconds I was staring at this long avoided temptation. It swirls and circles in my hands, black and deep, hypnotising me, beckoning me to the edge. It breathes its rich scent into my nose, whispering silently, arousing my senses. I hear the voice whispering within the blackness, yeeessssssss…I want it. I close my eyes and raise it to my parted lips. It flows slowly into my mouth and I feel the instant burn as it explores my tongue, passing over every curious tastebud. It tastes bitter and dark as I thought temptation would, yet it sweet and comforting. I swallow and let out warm breath of satisfaction as the heat spreads through my body, the black temptation beginning to subdue its new victim. With one dose I knew I wanted more, and without thought or hesitation I willingly opened the doors and welcomed the blackness to take control. My hands and mouth acted without my orders, allowing again and again the temptation to enter my body until it was completely within. I sat back in my chair. It’s over. I’m fine. That wasn’t as bad as I thought, I actually enjoyed it. I felt warm and satisfied. A few minutes past and I began to feel an overwhelming sensation, it surged from the depths of my chest. The black had given me a false sense of security and comfort while it searched for my heart. It chased my frightened heart around and around my chest. Its rhythm unusually fast sent my body into overdrive. My lungs needed more and more oxygen, I was drowning in air, panting and I couldn’t slow. The world seemed so fast, my eyes flicked and moved rapidly seeing everything and nothing. I couldn’t focus. I blinked hard and breathed deep but nothing could help. I just wanted to run as fast and as far as my legs could carry me. It’s the black. It’s the high that people achieve, that they longed for to survive every gruelling day. There was nothing I could do. The black had me in its claws and it wasn’t letting go until it had its turn living my life, controlling my body while I watched from somewhere within.

The black’s power lessened slowly and I felt my consciousness and control return, but before it was gone completely it had enough strength to use my ravaged body to summon another dose and forever mark me as a slave to its will. My shaking hands typed out a small message, ‘small cap, two sugars please’. And with send, I was hooked.

Anxiety – Your darkness

*Note: I do not have anxiety and do not know, nor understand completely how it feels or the actions and experiences that come with this disorder. I wrote this piece after witnessing and trying to calm my partner having a severe anxiety attack. I do not aim to express what anxiety feels like, but rather the outside, how the people without the disorder feel and try to understand when the people they love experience the worst.

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There is no cause, there is no warning. It comes slowly, creeping from the corner of your eye. The darkness. At first, you brush it off, it’s just a shadow. There it is again. No. Leave. Your world somehow seems shaded, colder. It’s nothing. Blink. Again. It’s coming. It brushes your skin and sends a shiver down your side. It’s coming. Fear. Its stalking you, listening to your heart beat faster, hearing the sound of your breath louder, watching you flinch at the movement of a shadow. It’s coming. It laughs at you, sinister, cold, hungry for you. It’s coming. The sound takes over, fills your head, grasping to the fear inside and dragging it towards your heart. It’s coming. Brush…flinch…laugh. It’s surrounding you, circling you, waiting for a moment to strike. No. Stop. It’s coming. Anger. You lash out, swiping at anything, anyone in your path, hoping, praying, pleading, anything but this. It’s coming. Darkness. It’s coming. Fear. It’s coming. You scream.

It’s here.

You’re captured, it rips out your soul and drags it from this world into another, a world of black, a world of monsters. Dark, faceless, creatures that even your nightmares fear, surround you. Everywhere you look. You are out of reach from this world. Your body left behind, a vessel of pure emotion, a mirror image of the anguish of your soul. You’re screaming, crying, suffocating in front of my eyes and I cannot save you. I yell, I plead at you. Are you alright? What’s wrong? Stop doing that. Calm down. Stop. Stop. Stop. Please. What’s wrong? You don’t hear me. You aren’t listening. The darkness is all.

I cannot see the monsters only their effect on you. You claw at your skin, pull at your hair, scrunch your face up tight and lock your jaw. You cry, you scream, you push me away. Leave. Leave. Leave. Leave. Go. Go. Please just go. Go away. Leave. Please. I can’t. I can’t. Please. Leave. GO! I want to help you but you don’t see me worry, I care about you but you don’t think it’s why I stay. It’s not me you see. You see the monsters, the darkness. It is the reason you fight, the reason you claw, pull, scrunch and lock. I only see madness. They’re screaming at you, your worst fears, your insecurities, your failures, your problems. Over and over and over. Stupid. Worthless. Fat. Ugly. Pathetic. Useless. Annoying. Loser. Louder, closer…NO! I cannot hear, I cannot know, I cannot imagine, and I cannot understand. In this world, you’re irrational, unreasonable, doubting, believing monsters’ taunting, reciting, repeating and accepting. Why do you listen? Why do you believe the monsters? You are not these things; you are so much more. Please listen to me. Smart. Important. Beautiful. Kind. Strong. Special. Fun. Loving. Friend. I say, I write, I whisper, I scream, I know, I believe. None of these words get through to you. The darkness is all.

Come back to me. Please. I don’t understand. I don’t know how to help you. Please tell me what to do. No. Don’t. Stop. Go away. This is all you say. I want to help. Let me bring back the light. Let me fight with you. No. Don’t. Stop. Go away. This is all you say. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. What can I do? I don’t understand. Why won’t you let me in? You push me away again and again. Confusion. You’re out of reach. I don’t understand. Desperation. I push you, I hurt you. I don’t mean to but nothing else is working. Of course this doesn’t help, but I’m so lost. Frustration. I yell, I cry, I push. COME BACK TO ME! Nothing gets through to you. The darkness is all.

I leave…like you said. To me? To the darkness? I do not know. I’m so lost. I don’t understand. I never will. I’m sorry, though I’m not sure why, it just sounds right to say. I know it’s not my fault. I know. But I am not a part of that world, I have never been. I cannot help you. I am scared. I am worried. I love you. What if one day…you don’t return?

I don’t know how and I don’t know when but you come back. And it’s like it never happened. The darkness surrenders you to the light and your soul returns. Your eyes are brighter, your breathing returns to normal and you are calm. You don’t seem to know how terrible it is in that world. Don’t you see that you’re wounded? Don’t you see that I’m upset? You believe that the darkness won’t return. It will. I know. I’ve seen it. Again and again. It’s coming.