As you all may know, October is mental health awareness month. If this were a few years ago, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to it and subconsciously thought that it’s okay and people are able to easily get help. However, now that I’m older and struggle with mental health more than I did at the time, I realize that this is not the issue. In order to contribute to the understanding of mental health, I decided to share a piece based off of how anxiety feels like from my perspective as someone who struggles with it. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. According to the ADAA, it affects 40 million adults that’s above the age of 18. Something that’s even more saddening, though, is the fact that anxiety disorders can be treated but only 36.9% of the people who have anxiety actually get treated. Anxiety often leads to depression and vice versa and it’s angering and upsetting that we have the materials to help people with these mental illnesses and disorders, yet so few people actually get treated.
Remember the worm who wriggled around in her peach?
Giggling to itself as she bit into the sweet fruit.
She wished she’d known.
It waltzed its way into her body, finding its way into her brain.
“I wish I could whisper sweet nothings to you, but you must listen to what’s important, first.”
It set out to terrify.
It wanted to abolish every well-meaning thought inside her head.
Get out get out get out,
Please get out.
It only laughed though and continued about its job.
She desperately wanted out and needed to stop the worm from talking.
A short time later, she met the “magic” fish.
With the worm and his torment, she could not think clearly.
“What’s your wish?”
“There’s a worm, can you get him out?”
A badger had sat at the edge of the pond, watching with a wide smirk across his face.
“Of course, I can get him out, your troubles will stop in no time.”
The badger began to chuckle silently and whispered, “silly girl.”
The fish opened his mouth wide and it felt as if someone was yanking her brain from her skull.
She looked up, and there was the worm sitting upon the fish’s tongue.
“Wow, how can I-“
The whispering began to start about more terribly than before.
“I thought you got the worm out!”
All three laughed and as the fish sank into the water, worm in his mouth, the badger just smiled.
“The worm only provoked it; it was inside you to begin with.”