When Will from Stranger Things said, “He’s (Mind Flayer) still there — I just don’t know how,” it perfectly summed up my inner monologue with anxiety. However, this time, the Mind Flayer was my anxiety, which grew inside me each time I breathed. It was like an uninvited guest who refused to leave, who called the shots and who dictated my every decision.
Some days, I would wake up in the morning with great optimism only for it to crash faster than a cannonball. While on the other days, when that shred of optimism went amiss, I was reduced to tears. I couldn’t tell which ‘day’ was better as both of them lead to a downward spiral of anxious thoughts and panic. Funnily, while crying, I didn’t know why I was crying as at the time, I had my dream job, a work-life balance (which I craved), and was with genuinely lovely folks. It seemed to me, even after all these privileges, I was melodramatic. From there on began another season of guilt (one much darker than Stranger Things).
It wasn’t until being clinically diagnosed with anxiety and OCD that I acknowledged the full effect of this. For a while, the medication helped me feel better than I had in months. But, this feeling lasted for a couple of months as the Mind Flayer returned. In this struggle, I learned, the grotesque tentacles of the Mind Flayer might sprout doubts in my head about every decision I have ever made. But I could not live in those imaginary negative scenarios. Currently, as I punch the keys on the keyboard, the monster does threaten to lose control. However, I know those threats can only stop me so much.