“After Effects” Fiction. Based on a True Memory of a Dark Time

“For heavy emotions, I need to create in order to purge it” –Elsa Kennedy

“After Effects”

Fiction. Based on a True Memory of a Dark Time

by K.E.A

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255

You feel it catch in your throat, that familiar feeling. Like there’s too much air and not enough all at the same time. Each breath trips over the next, building up in your chest. You feel your pulse through your fingertips, hyper-aware of each beat of your heart. That old friend you hoped wouldn’t bother you again.
The anxiety.
It hounded your steps and waking moments every day last year. Now you feel it lurking at your heels.
You worry that this will be like what happened last year. That anniversary is coming up. Memories of constant nausea that made it almost impossible to eat and made you scared to leave the house. The tightness in your throat that remained when you woke up until you went to bed. A sense of foreboding that followed each breath, unable to be banished by any amount of essential oils and deep breathing. Anxiety that took up residence in your chest and burrowed in deep, refusing to release its grip. Months of living underneath the heavy weight of worry and sadness, watching the threads of your life unravel and being helpless to stop it. Tears that flowed daily and refused to stop.
You remember the dark days, the ones where you thought you would never see sunny days again. You remember how long it took to break free from the cycle of anxiety.
That time marked your life, left you with emotional scars, and a new understanding of yourself. It hollowed out a part of you that hasn’t filled back in yet.
As you drive down the bright road with the new growth of spring lining the sides, you feel the familiar quickening of your heart and the changing of your breathing.
It passes, leaving behind a tinge of worry. It doesn’t return, and your day passes without event. It’s just a memory. Just a reminder. Echoes of the past and echoes can’t hurt you.

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