It was in my last year of school that I first learned about what stress can do to you. Waking in the morning with the sun streaming through the window, until the icy hand of dread would reach out, leaving me cold and lonely as I remembered what I would have to face through the day. Just like the day before and the sad day before that. No stomach for breakfast, just an urge to rush to the bathroom and vomit.
Exams were approaching like a slow train of doom and I was tied up on the tracks, lying helplessly in its path, secretly hoping some hero would come and rescue me from this nightmare. But there was no hero, just my exposed self trapped all alone in the darkness with my head in my hands and struggling to keep life together.
Every day I knew I should start to study, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t find a way to rise from my bed, open my books, put pen to paper and just write something.
Every day the train drew nearer until I could see the headlight rising over the hill, closing in on the empty space in my mind. I needed to run but I couldn’t lift my head from the toilet bowl. Growing more desperate as the end drew near, I struggled feebly against my bonds until numbness descended and I closed my eyes to accept my fate in the onrushing wind as a voice called out: ‘O hold me, for I am afraid’.