Worrier Not a Warrior

Amelia Komisar-Bury, Opinion Editor

I’m scared.

I’m scared of what’s going to happen in my sleeping home. As soon as I close my eyes, I lose control of my safety, my family’s safety. The possibility of an intruder breaking into my suburban house is frankly laughable, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m scared that my nightmares are my reality. Maybe, my medication is making my nights worse, but without it my days would be just as bad.

I’m scared that I forgot my homework, my phone, my ID, my… something. Leaving the house, I always feel like something is missing, that I am naked.

I’m scared that no one on the bus likes me. I must’ve said or done something but I just can’t but my finger on it. I don’t know if my 14 year-old sister sits next to me because she wants to, or she feels like she has to take care of me. My heart breaks that she might also have anxiety, but her problems will be ignored until I go off to college.

I’m scared that Roosevelt’s halls are filled with people staring at me, wondering what’s wrong with me. What is wrong with me?

I’m scared that I’m not smart enough for my classes, funny enough for my friends, loving enough for my partner. I question every step I take down the hallway, whispering to myself that other people are so much better.

I’m scared that it will be too loud in the cafeteria, or too quiet in the library. My own thoughts are as loud as a crowd when I am left in an empty room.

I’m scared of the future. That in a matter of months I will be going to another town, to live with other people. The only thing worse would be having to stay, not achieving the potential my parents and teachers have spent so much time helping me reach.

I’m scared of the past, that I have already peaked, or worse, that I am doomed to make the same mistakes over and over until I am buried in my own self-hatred.  

I’m scared of taking the bus home, and walking home, and getting a ride. The crowd and the noise, or the wandering eyes, or the vulnerability of saying that I can’t take care of myself.

I’m scared to drive, to be responsible for life and death on the road. However, I hate having to say that I can’t. I feel like the only 17 year-old not bucking to get behind the wheel, and that in itself is alienating.

I’m scared of being home alone. No one to hear my cries or dry my tears. If they don’t come back, what would I do?

I’m scared that when others are around, that I am a burden. That they are just waiting for me to attack. That because of my anxiety, they have to take care of me.

I’m scared of hyperventilating. Like a hamster on a wheel, my lungs don’t stop cranking. If they gave out, I would be gone.

I’m scared of losing feeling. First in the tip of my toes, I remember the sensation climbing my calves, leaving me still like a statue, my mind trying to escape.

I’m scared of my teachers and how they might act when I stumble out of their rooms blinded by tears, hoping that they don’t ask too many questions.

I’m scared of the nurse who knows me by name. I think I annoy him. He knows how to help the others, with ice and band-aids, but none of that would help me.      

I’m scared of people who care and those who don’t. The direct eye-contact of girls asking if I’m ok, and the seas of hungry teenagers speeding to lunch, both add to the stress.

I’m scared of love because those who love me are worried the most. My parents, sister, and boyfriend sacrifice so much for me. I worry that that is misplaced.

I’m scared of hate because I provide enough of that for myself. You’re an idiot, nobody cares, just shut up already! My brain is a playlist of insults I must replay because I don’t know how to press pause.

I’m scared of bridges, glass walkways, fireworks, balloons popping, strange men, medication, poverty, dogs, and even myself.

So, what is it like to be a worrier and not a warrior, an anxious teenager that has more than teenage angst, a girl who’s worst enemy lives inside her? I’m scared of knowing the answer myself.