12:15 am

by James Edgar Skye

It’s 12:15 am, I am in a dark room
my mind racing and
the panic is rising out of nowhere.
Shallow and slow,
I can’t catch my breath.
It happens, every night, this night— the next.

Restlessness. A feeling of unease.
“I can’t do this,” I think.
A tingling feeling engulfs my hands,
numbness consumes my body.
I pace, take a drink of water—
then begin to pace again.

I must stay inside, “no— I can’t.”
I must go outside, “no— you can’t.”
“Fight this feeling! Please!” A different part says.
“You will never win this fight,” the anxiety answers.

My mind races faster this time, I’m running out of breath.
Helplessness, I am no longer in control of my body.
I overthink. “I am going to die!”
“Please stop! You must fight,” my heart and brain say.
Then again, I overthink! And again.
My mind overthinks, “is this my life?”

I feel as if I am underwater trying to catch my breath,
to be the person I was before I started to drown.
Sleep, it would be divine. I reach
for this tiny white pill. It is in my hand.
My salvation.

God, I want to sleep
so much to do tomorrow.
The weight of my school obligations crushes me.

Finally, in control— again.
Anxiety, why do you control me so?
It’s over for now, but
tomorrow is another day.

Another 12:15 am.