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Breathe, by Ella

I am honored to share the below with you

The author is my cousin Ella who has a beautiful talent with words. Her creative writing 'Breathe' resonated deeply with me and I am very proud to share her experiences with you.

Breathe, by Ella

My eyes ping open and they’re already there.
Little yappy Johann and big lethargic Dean. Their paws begin clambering over me in my bed made of candy floss. My safeplace. Already fighting each other in a game of tug-a-war and chasing their own tails in order to get my attention. Their barks begin to get louder and louder as I question if it is even worth getting up to face the day.
But I will not let them win! I won’t!

Suddenly Dean loses interest in Johann and has a new plan of attack. Slow as a snail he pads over to me and completely flops down on top of me, covering my entire body. Those familiar feelings of heaviness and exhaustion make its appearance once again, as Dean sends them travelling down every limb of my body right to my fingertips and  toes. I am rooted to the bed. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t move. Johann becomes envious of Dean who is winning me over, so he pounces to my pillow. Johann begins circling my head sending lightning bolts of fear shooting down my body, trying to take over Dean’s powers. FAILURE and DISAPPOINTMENT flash in bright red before my eyes. Setting off the droning warning bells in my head, alerting me of the danger that will arise from staying in what I thought was my ‘safe place’. Johann has completely taken control but Dean is not giving up without a fight! Every inch of my body is aching and screaming at me to stay. To let Dean win. But the fear from Johann is just too overpowering. “Breathe” I command myself. “In and out.” Mustering up every last drop of energy and courage I have, I heave myself out of bed like I’m a sack of potatoes.

 The math pages are blurring in and out of focus, my brain feels like it’s full with dark, stormy, heavy rain clouds and my pen has turned into a trembling child. Johann and Dean are still here. Right beside me, barking orders in my head. In desperation of Johann’s threatening barks, I try focus as hard as humanly possible on the equation before me. Which I am certain holds my future in it’s hands. But my head is swarming with a hive of bees and no matter how hard I try, I cannot focus. Dean’s bellowing barks come echoing in, persuading me that I’m not worthy of success. That there’s no point in even trying, that I will just fail anyway. This time Dean has won. I succumb to his pressure and gently lay my head down on my desk in front of me. My muscles sigh in relief as they finally get a chance to stop and fill their aching needs with rest and recovery. “Breathe” I command myself. “In and out” as I slowly trace my finger along the shiny, smooth desk. Who knew you could be so envious of furniture? This desk has a purpose. Something I do not.

Slowly my hand grasps the door handle and turns it, opening up the entrance way to my ‘safe place’. The place that my heart has been aching for all day long. I collapse onto my bed in a heap, unable to take this any longer. “Breathe” I command myself. “In and out”. Guess who’s right beside me? Snuggled down into the crook of my knees? That’s right, Johann and Dean. They have been stuck by my side like leeches all day long, controlling every thought, feeling and action I have. They even stopped me from going to Kickboxing training that I once used to enjoy, persuading me that i'm not good enough. Suddenly I am filled to the brim with this intense anger at Johann and Dean. “Why must I be the owner of these two horrendous creatures?” “Why won’t they just leave me alone?” “LEAVE ME ALONE!” I scream bursting to the seams with rage. But only in my head. As i’m invisible, stuck in this gloomy, dull, drab snowglobe with no one for company but Johann and Dean. I can see out perfectly fine. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, everyone is smiling. But no one can see me stuck in here, drowning on air. “Why me?” I ask myself for the millionth time that day. “Why me?”

My thoughts are startled back to focus as I notice that the door handle is slowly moving. Someone is there, entering my safe place. Anxiously I watch the door creep open, paralysed in fear that someone is going to see me without my mask on. The power Johann and Dean have over me, is only visible to myself. To everyone else they are non-existent. Some of the anxiety escapes my body as the intruder to my ‘safe place’ make its appearance. It is my brother. My big, strong, courageous brother. “Are you alright Bub?’ he gently asks me as he makes his way over to my candyfloss filled bed. Johann and Dean are at full force now, as they have been made aware of a potential threat to their power. They command me to spit out “i’m fine”. But Hayden is not fooled as he asks “Are you sure?”. “Breathe” I command myself. “In and out.” But this time I just cannot take it anymore. Waterfalls of tears begin crashing down my face as my entire body starts rocking back and forwards with sobs. Hayden holds me close to him, not doing anything but telling me that I’m loved and that I will get through it. That is enough. Because for the first time in what feels like forever, Johann and Dean are no longer glued to me at the hip. Without him knowing it, Hayden has pushed them away with his hulk like arms. I know they will return just like they always do, but for now I will take peace in knowing that I’m not alone in fighting this battle. “I think you should go see you’re psychologist (Johann and Dean’s worst enemy) again tomorrow.” urges Hayden. Without any hesitation I nod in agreement. Anything to permanently get rid of these two horrendous dogs, anxiety and depression.


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