Nearly every day I proclaim, “I’m going to start taking care of myself”. I don’t even know what that means. Sometimes anxiety/depression makes simple things difficult, but what about PTSD?

Simple things I struggle with these days are routine behaviors such as taking a shower. I’ve never liked showers. But, I’ve always loved baths. Even those are hard to step into lately. It feels like so much work. To start the water. Find a good temperature. Wash my hair. People do this more than once a week? And shaving? It’s a choice, one I’m usually opting out of lately. And should I choose to shave, it’s sloppy. But it doesn’t matter because I don’t really want anyone to see me anyway. My skin is always dry and putting on lotion feels daunting.

Sleeping comes natural. Or it should. Through out life I’ve struggled with it. But, lately I’ve been thinking of sleeping with a weapon again. I am always tired. I feel every day that I could slip off at any moment. Falling asleep, it’s been okay. But I wake in what feels like every hour. I check my surroundings, I go to the bathroom, I wonder if anyone is outside, I go back to bed.

I want to be independent. But being alone has been a terrifying thought. What if it makes me a target, again? I want to travel. But what if I’m attacked again? I want to challenge myself. But what I fail again?

I find myself staring at the books I should read, the proposals I should write, the language I should study, the art I want to draw… and instead of things that make me happy and feel confident, they make me feel small. Things that I will never be good enough at. Or.. if I’m good, they will bring attention. And what if that attention brings more pain? What if attention makes me a target?

When I leave the house I check the locks twice to make sure no one will be waiting for me when I get home. When I enter my car I lock it right away in case someone is waiting to get in behind me. When I park at night I survey the area to make sure I’m alone before exiting. Sometimes I pretend to be approaching a different house in case someone is watching.

And the weird thing is, I don’t really notice that I’m troubled. Until I put all of these pieces together, I think I’ve moved on. That what happened was just a freak accident and I can accept that. But, it seems that I still can’t.

When I’m wondering, why didn’t I eat today? Why have I cried three times today? Why do I feel like someone is looming over my shoulder? Why am I afraid to push myself?

I can live with being a sad person… But I don’t want to live with being afraid.

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