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if my anxiety was an ocean

my entire life i had an ocean rushing in my head. always reminding me of anything and everything that could possibly go wrong, or right, or left, or up or sideways.
i didn’t know what it was.
when i became a teenager the ocean began to fall out of my head and through my eyes and mouth, onto my desk.
i still couldn’t tell what it was
she told me it was anxiety.
i could never remember seeing the open water, and now suddenly i had this ocean inside of me, and i could hear it crashing and thundering and i couldn’t control it,
it scared the hell out of me.
one day the ocean spilled out of my eyes as water and you asked what was wrong.
i said i contained 75% of the world’s surface in my head, and it was big and loud and scary,
i didn’t know what to do or how to cope.
you took a breath.
you said you had seen this before.
a stream running out my ear, down my leg to my tapping foot.
puddles in the bags under my eyes.
drops in my hands, twisting my bracelets round and round.
you took my hand, and we breathed together.
you pointed to that time i couldn’t breathe for two hours, and you said that was a wave.
you pointed to that time i couldn’t sleep until two, and you said that was a rip current.
you taught me to breathe past it.
to hold on through the waves so they don’t smash me apart.
to float, but prepared for the next storm.
to remember that i am human and it is the sea.
then you looked at me and asked if the ocean was quieter,
and it was.
now i see the ocean in the palms of your hands
under your eyes
in your chest.
and i take a breath.
i take your hand, and we breathe together.
i hope that the ocean that lives in our heads,
will coexist, and quieten,
to let our thoughts break the surface.
– v. l. gorlewski

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