I have been getting this feeling lately in the pit of my stomach, kind of where the diaphragm is. It feels like someone is punching me in the stomach but I know what it is. It’s the knowledge that I am simply existing instead of living. The last ten years of my life have been spent merely breathing, eating and sleeping. I haven’t truly lived since I was a teenager and in my early 20s.
Back then I was going out everyday. I was rarely home. I was climbing mountains, hitting up beaches, shopping and just living the west coast life. That has changed. I now spend my days on the couch in front of the TV or on my laptop. Living online is so lonely. The problem with being online all day everyday is that you see how others are living. You see all their best moments and you watch their lives unfold from your couch. They are out at music festivals, eating brunch with friends, going to beaches, climbing mountains, travelling and just doing what people without anxiety do. They are living, they are experiencing every breath in full detail. They don’t take naps to pass hours during the day that they simply cannot stand to live through. They wake up with excitement and positive thoughts for the day. They shower, brush their teeth, head off to work and meet up with friends after. The life of an average 30 year old is something I have been craving desperately. A life free of the fear of my own body, free of the “what ifs” and “I can’ts”. They don’t think about it, they simply do it. They hop on planes and go on adventures thousands of miles from home.
I know that people put their best life on display on social media. They want us to see the highlites of their lives, the times when everything is perfect. I know that there are stories behind those smiles and sometimes there is suffering behind the sparkle in their eyes. I just wish I had a little bit of it. I’m not asking for much, I would just like to be able to do simple things like go into a mall without having to have the exit in sight. I want to be able to eat in a restaurant without my stomach doing backflips and my mind racing. I want to be able to post pictures of me smiling at parties or out with friends shopping or even just walking down the street. I have a very limited life right now and the worst part is that it is my own doing. I realise that only I have the power to change my life. Anxiety is self-inflicted. I locked myself up in a cage years ago and threw the key just out of reach. I can feel freedom, I can see it. I know it’s possible because I have been there before. I have felt the wind in my proverbial sails and I have felt what life is like when it is truly lived. Maybe that’s why it is so hard now. I know what true freedom tastes like. I am in a prison of my own design and I’m not sure how to break out.
The pain of merely existing is starting to become more than I can bear. Sitting on the couch everyday, I can feel my soul rotting away. I can feel the person I once was getting farther and farther from the person I have become. Every day spent on the couch is another day wasted. The feeling in my stomach is getting stronger every day and I feel like I am either about to burst out of this and come back to life with a vengeance or I’m about to implode and fall deeper than I have ever been. I am trying to stay positive, focus on the small victories and realise that I will never be like the people I see on the internet. I will never have that life. All I want is freedom from my own mind to live the life I want and, frankly, the life every human deserves. I am sitting on the sidelines of life watching others pass by with their accomplishments. I want back in the race. I want to feel life again.