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Breathe With Me

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It’s a sunny afternoon in Brighton. The birds are chirping happily, and children shout to each other, playing in our neighborhood. It should be a happy day. But it’s not.

I had been feeling anxious and upset all day, but I couldn’t seem to figure out why. That’s one of the reasons anxiety and depression suck; you don’t know why you feel the way you do.

I had gotten almost no work done that morning, which made me feel even worse about myself.

You’re so fucking lazy

You have literally nothing to be upset about.

Stop being a whiny bitch and go do your work.

All of these phrases and more were going through my head when I went to procrastinate--again--by unnecessarily cleaning mine and Sean’s bedroom. I’m still being productive if I’m cleaning, I had lied to myself.

Now, as I’m dusting all the knicknacks on the top of our dresser, I accidentally drop a lovely ceramic sculpture of a Jack Russell Terrier that Sean’s mother had gotten him for his birthday last year. It seems to fall in slow motion. I try to catch it but I’m not fast enough. As soon as it hits the ground it smashes all over the hardwood floor.

That was it for me; the last straw. I stomp my foot in frustration. “Fucking hell!” I scream in frustration, slamming the bedroom door shut. Then I flop onto the bed begin sobbing into a pillow, probably ruining it with my now wet mascara. My body shakes as I cry loudly into the pillow, wanting nothing more than to be held and told that everything is going to be okay. I suddenly find it difficult to breathe through my hysteria, coughing between sobs and gagging. Suddenly I feel someone sit next to me.

“Hey, hey, shhh, you’re okay. (Y/N), can you listen to me? You’re going to be okay,” Sean says soothingly. He pulls me upright to help me breathe better.

“(Y/N), can you breathe with me?” He puts my hand on his chest. I feel his slow heartbeat and hear him breathing in and out slowly. I try to copy him as best as I can.

“Thatta girl, shh, shh, shh.” He strokes my hair with one hand, rocking me slightly.

Finally my breathing begins to slow and my sobs turn into sniffles and hiccups.

“That’s my girl. Can you tell me what happened?” Sean asks softly.

“I b-broke your s-sculpture that your m-mom got you,” I stammer. “I-I’m so s-s-sorry!” Tears start running down my face again.

“Oh, is that all?” Sean asked, surprised. “It’s okay. It’s not too badly broken. We can probably glue it back together. Is there something else bothering you?”

“I f-felt really anxious today, but I d-don’t know why,” I confide, snuggling into him more.

He wraps his strong arms around me in a tight, warm hug. “I’m sorry you felt crappy today, sweetheart. It’s always scary when you don’t know what’s wrong.”

I nod into his shoulder, calming down again.

“You are so brave, my love. You inspire me every day with how well you deal with your mental health issues. I like that we can take care of each other when we have bad days.”

“I like it too,” I say, a tiny smile forming on my lips.

“There’s my favorite smile!” Sean says in a goofy voice. I giggle as he kisses my cheek tenderly.

We sit there quietly for a few moments, Sean absentmindedly humming Ocean Man and rubbing my shoulders. I run my thumb along the back of his hand in response.

“Thank you,” I say suddenly.

He smiles warmly. “You’re welcome,” he replies simply.

I turn his face and kiss him softly on the lips. He kisses back gently.

“I love you, Sean.” I whisper as we pull apart.

“I love you too, (Y/N).”