For a Friend

Sometimes,

my mind wanders and I begin to

think about fear.

Some people might say that

they are afraid of Spiders

or Heights

or maybe the Dark.

I for one, always say that

I am terrified of drowning,

and I am terrified of falling.

The thing is, I’m not just

afraid of driving off bridges and

being unable to escape-

I am truly afraid of falling

into my own black hole,

being unable to breathe,

and drowning in my thoughts.

I can see myself edging my

sneakers to the side of a cliff

and leaning forward,

but nobody is ever there

to catch me if I fall.

I have a friend who knows

how it feels to be lost

in his own home,

and he knows what it’s like

to get stuck underwater.

Some people told him to paddle harder,

while others didn’t believe

that he was even drowning at all.

I know that he peers over a cliff,

just as I do,

and I know that he is afraid

to fall off,

because he doesn’t know whether

there will be anyone there to catch him.

The thing is,

I promise him that I am standing

at the bottom of the valley

with arms open wide,

and a smile on my face.

This friend of mine understands

that sticks and stones may

break my bones, but that

words live through eternity.

But- for every harsh syllable that

crept out of his mouth,

my friend handed me tens of thousands

of confirmations on a silver platter.

Though he might not ever understand,

these are some of the only things that

have helped me keep my head above water,

and have kept me from drowning.

This afternoon,

I let my thoughts wander again

to that funny thing called fear.

My hands still shake when I think

about the fact that someday,

I might drown in my thoughts,

and my stomach still clenches

at the idea that

I might fall off a cliff again,

just as I did about one year back.

But, I think I am learning

to grasp the notion that

even if I trip

and I tip over the ledge,

I will always have a friend there

to catch me

if I fall.

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