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My Own Personal Nightmare

What is it like to battle your own monsters and have everyone tell you that they're just in your own head? Well, allow me to go into detail for you...

By aureliabloodPublished 5 years ago 8 min read

Some days I wake up and I feel like there is this weight on me, and I have a sinking feeling in my stomach as if I am about to throw up. I realize that the monsters have come back for a visit, and I prepare to go through the day with their constant nagging and whispering in my ears. At some point during the day they leave me, as if going on a slight break so we don't get sick of each other or to go home and rest for a while, but they always come back to bother me... usually when I am in a great mood.

When they do come back, they come back in full force, attacking me in ways they had not before, causing me to begin to drown in the deep waters that are my emotions. They pull me down deeper and deeper with no time to take a breath, as the panic sinks in I forget how to swim. Mentally, I am screaming. Just when I think I am about to drown completely, I am released from their powerful grip and I breath in the fresh air as I rise above the waters.

The monsters have left, but I am faced with the aftermath of their destruction. Though they may be gone for now, they always return and it is absolutely inevitable no matter how hard I try to keep them away.

They have names you know, these monsters. Just it has become easier to call them monsters because all they do is cause destruction it seems. However to help this all make sense to you, I shall tell you the names of these beasts.

Depression and anxiety are my monsters.

No they are not in my head, I am not a child who is afraid of the Boogeyman. These are real live monsters that I deal with. Everyone deals with them differently however and on varying levels, some to greater degrees than others.

This is just the story of my own personal nightmare, and it is not meant to be an "emo kid tumblr post." Though quite frankly I know a lot of those posts on tumblr have truth behind them, and those individuals who post or create them do indeed struggle with those feelings/thoughts.

I was one of those kids. When I was in high school, it was hard to "find myself" in a sense. Being that I was always more into the arts such as music, drawing, or graphic designing, it was a struggle for me to fit in. To even make the situation ten times better, I did dress as an "alternative" or "emo/scene" kid. I loved the style, it conveyed who I was, and I felt so confident strutting the halls in my black clothing, dark makeup, and my hair teased out to high heaven. I'd even get complimented occasionally.

However, no matter how confident I felt, I would go home and deal with my folks saying how I "looked like a freak" and that I was too "dark." This all happened around my junior and senior years of high school. My first two years, I was in that awkward phase where I knew who I was meant to be, but I had a hard time expressing it. I always would watch music videos from Black Veil Brides, seeing their style and just identifying with their lyrics. Feeling I always belonged and wasn't alone when I listened to them.

I come from a Catholic home, born and raised in the faith. Before I go any further I wish to point out that I am not against any religion whatsoever, for I respect all religions and religious views.

Now coming from a Catholic home, you are expected to have "undying faith" no matter what life puts you through, and also you shouldn't even entertain the idea of liking something that is "dark." Another thing that has been brought to my attention while living in this environment, and this is just from what goes on in my church and my home, it can always be different elsewhere, is that talking about any form of anxiety or depression or any other kind of monster is completely unheard of. It is automatically assumed that it is something that you should pray about for it to go away and you keep it to yourself.

I always did keep it to myself, and I still do in a way, by writing lyrics and drawing to help myself cope. Though I had nights where it would all get to be too much and I would end up cutting myself. Fortunately I no longer am self harming and have found a way to keep myself from doing so, but at the time all I had was the bands I loved, my art, and my guitar. No one would bother to listen to me, but Black Veil Brides seemed to understand and they weren't (and still aren't) afraid to shine light on those who are considered outcasts, by either their family or society, because of what they struggle with or believe. My music was something I always had to keep hidden. If I was caught listening to BVB or watching one of their music videos, a giant fight would erupt in my house and I would be told that they are "dark people" and be asked, "Why do they need to shine a light on and bring those topics to the surface?" My answer would always be this: Because no one else bothers to give those topics or people the time of day, and they all deserve a voice too.

At the time I also listened to another band called AFI (A Fire Inside). They have been and always will be my favorite band. To discuss them and what their music has done for me is a whole other post I will be writing another time for you all. But to summarize it, however, they've given me strength through all of my wounding I have ever endured in life (hah, AFI joke right there, I'm so punny). All band puns aside, however, they truly have given me strength from within and that subject deserves a whole other post in itself.

Moving on however, between the music from AFI and BVB I had finally found my voice. I knew I was not alone with how I was feeling, and with all I had experienced in my life, and it felt like I had finally found where I belonged. But then came the day when my folks found out about my self-harming, and they immediately put the blame on my music. Music was the only thing saving my life at the time though, and I know it has saved countless lives. Just because it was seemingly "dark" however, it was immediately assumed as the force that had caused me to be depressed and self-harm and eventually in late 2015 take up drug use.

It is never thought to be that someone could truly struggle with anxiety or depression that could make them self-harm or eventually take their own life. I lost a friend from high school to suicide in late 2015 and also dated a beautiful individual from Chicago for six months who did attempt suicide. Hearing the words that someone you know, love, or care about attempted/committed suicide is the scariest most heartbreaking statement in the world and I wouldn't wish that even on my worst enemy. I hope that my friend found the peace that he was looking for and knows that he is and always will be missed. As for the individual from Chicago, though he and I may have parted ways, I hope that as a human being he is doing well and found a way to be able to cope with his monsters that I know he battled with on the daily.

As humans we are quick to point the blame on the one thing that could be helping the person, such as music/art or the one individual who listens to them, help them cope and deal with their monsters. Or we are quick to say that it is just "all in their head," just because we don't want to take the time to listen and understand or are just too afraid to bring the dark into the open. This is all just because we are humans with natural fears and have been taught certain things by society.

Today I am proud to say that I am two years clean of self-harm and of drug use. Even though I was constantly told that who I was meant to be was wrong and that in reality I didn't know who I was meant to be, I remained strong. Through constantly being told I was a freak for being myself, that loving the music and bands I loved was wrong and dark, and that all of my monsters are just "in my head," I remained strong. Strength is the key.

Though still to this very day I have days where I feel like there is just no strength left in me, this is not true. Strength is not about being able to show them all "who is boss" every time you are beaten down, strength is about being able to get back up when you think you cannot. Strength is when you are able to get up in the morning and go through the day even if you are battling your monsters. Strength is even just being able to get up and getting a cup of coffee in the morning.

Even though I am constantly battling my monsters off and on in my own personal nightmare of a life, there are good days too. There are always going to be good days and bad days. But no matter what I know even in my darkness I am not alone, and it always gets better.

Anyone who bothers to read this post and give me the time of day, thank you. If you or someone you know is struggling with anything, please listen to them. Sometimes all anyone needs is just someone to listen to them and not accuse them or their coping mechanism of causing their monsters to develop.

You never know, you could just be the one person in the entire world that helps change their whole perspective on life and helps save them from their own personal nightmare.


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