The first things I noticed were the enveloping darkness and the cold sweat upon my brow as I bolted upright.
“It was just a nightmare,” I whisper into the chilly air. “It’s okay.”
And as I retreated to the warm covers of my bed, I repeated these words, desperately wanting them to be true.
But sadly, what my heart wanted to believe didn’t align with what my brain knew to be true.
That nightmare had sucked me in every night and had blocked out any and every peaceful dream for the past few months. And when I had finally awoken and gotten up the next morning, I sadly realized that that nightmare was reality.
Oh, the irony: what had seemed just a nightmarish dream had turned into a reality that sucked any hope out of my being.
The hovering walls that slowly closed in on me–bringing a thick, tangible darkness–were not just a mere nightmare. No, they symbolized the metaphor that has become my life.
The walls made out of the stones of my doubts, fears, worries, insecurities, and anxieties enclosed around me in the real world–wherever I went and whatever I did.
I was never one to be claustrophobic before.
But now I find that these walls have me breathing hard, hyperventilating and wishing for just a little more space.
A little more light.
A little more hope.
A little less load.
Everyone’s expectations seem too high for me. Couple that with my own high expectations, and it’s a recipe to make those stones to build up the walls–those fears, those insecurities. . .
I have myself convinced that if I can just live up to all the expectations expected of me–which are set as high as the walls stand–then I’ll finally stop having this nightmare. . .and living it.
The pressure to meet those expectations, to climb those walls and escape this reality is mounting, only increasing exponentially as the walls move closer and closer.
These walls will crush me.
These expectations will crush me.
These fears, these doubts, these worries, insecurities, and anxieties will overwhelm me.
I will die in this hellhole.
I will want to scream out for help, but I won’t.
Because I’m supposed to be at the top, and not down here.
I’ll just bottle this scream inside, as well as these feelings and emotions.
There’s other people with worse problems than me. They deserve help, not this shell of the person I once was.
And while in the back of my brain, I know there is only one solution, I can’t seem to find Him among my self-pity, insecurities, and desperation.
I need Him to shut the mouths of all these invisible lions, but they still roar at me. They still stalk me, circling me and staring as though I’m a tasty treat.
The walls come closer. . .
The lions roar louder. . .
The expectations remain as high. . .
And I huddle in the center of the space, already accepting death until a bright light blinds my eyes.
The first things I noticed were the enveloping darkness and the cold sweat upon my brow as I bolted upright. . .
. . .and the warm, inviting rays of light shining through the window.