It never knocks.
Never uses the front door
Or announces its presence
Like a polite visitor would do.
It creeps in slowly
Like the flow of water into the basement
That destroyed my favorite bedroom after a week of June’s rain.
It makes its home in the walls of my body
Until they begin to rot away.
What’s left is unrecognizable
And covered in the harsh stench of mildew.
For a while I stay upstairs,
Blissfully, manically unaware
Of the damage being done to my foundation.
Unaware or ignoring?
I never know until it is too late.
There’s barely a hair of a line between the two.
It’s easier to pretend I’m not weighed down by the waters flowing in,
Even if they keep me awake
Night after night.
Was that a trickle I heard?
The slight drop and silent steps of an uninvited visitor.
Eventually the rushing waters get too loud to ignore,
But I still burrow into the tunnel of my covers
Searching for safety
Plagued by the incessant chatter of overthinking.
My brain is always working overtime
Coming up with words my mouth will never speak
To tell my visitor he is unwelcome.
It doesn’t matter anyways.
He’s already made himself comfortable
And brought with him a few friends.
Anxiety. Pain. Paralyzing fear.
They’re having a party,
One I’m hosting but not invited to enjoy.
Munching on cheese and sipping my best wines,
I don’t want them there, but they’ll stay.
They’ll tear me down
Make me believe I’m fragile
Until they can easily take over and make my body their home.
Author: Michelle Carpenter
Image: Zak Cannon/Flickr
Editors: Katarina Tavčar; Caitlin Oriel