It’s terrifying, to say the least when you realize you’re working hard every day not for money but for sanity. From where I’m from, this is a conversation better left unsaid because “we’ve got more important things to deal with”.

Of course, no one can contest against survival. 

But for years, this struggle within has made seas and oceans look to me like a basin of tears and high, green mountains seem only like an ambitious dumbass -- which is why traveling was not on my bucket list.

“What" and "If" are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What... if? What, if? What *if*...?

~Claire reading out the letter written by Sophie, Letters to Juliet

I mean, the “what ifs”, for instance, seem never-ending still. The lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic triggered more bouts of what-ifs than ever, but this silent chaos has been around for as long as I can remember.

Most “what ifs” could be about taking risks and chances, but mine often takes a grayer and more regretful turn.

What if I missed out on something important today? 

What if I thought I did great, but it was not?

What if I’m reading the signs wrong or not reading between the lines enough?

I curl up in my blue bed sheets and needle-like pain raves around my sinuses to the nape down to my lower back and up to my eyes where tears just crawl out on their own.

When the silent chaos starts to rage, I do fight it. 

I push myself towards distractions -- work my ass off, play with my dogs, help out when I can --and for years, they have worked well enough to get me through one day at a time.

I have added dropping hints to my significant other of which he would frustratingly pick up right away and drag me out of my shell, figure this mess out with me.

“I’m typically the rescuer, not the damsel in distress.”

Probably, that’s a white lie that I say to myself now to soften the blow on an already bruised ego.

An screenshot from "Create Your Own Calm" by Meera Lee Patel

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