What If I Fail?

I always have this nagging what-if feeling. It accompanies me throughout my life. In the back of my head, what if I fail? Then the chaos ensues and the floodgates of worries fall on me again. I feel the pressure on my chest and I am struggling to breath as the worries try to drown me in their uncertainties. Which thought opened the gate?

What if I fail? I do not want to live a long life of struggle. What if my plans do not work out? Do I have a back up plan? Do I have the strength to pursue the backup plan in my failure? Tears streaming down my face now. I am locked in my own dark prison, the place I once called my room. I am paralyzed in my bed and I wouldn’t wish it any other way. What if…What if…I fail.

Cry. Cry it all out. This will take the weight away. I cry until my brain hurts and my eyes are red and puffy. I cry until it hurts to worry anymore than I already have.

Catching my breath, I turn to the other side of my bed and lay there for a while. All I can see is the glow of the digital clock glaring back at me. The only light in the darkness but, the light from outside would hurt my eyes after being in the dark for so long. It’s meditative, comforting. Then, I wonder to myself, ‘Do you enjoy being sad and overwhelmed? You end up in this state so often. It seems to be happening more and more frequently.’

I heft myself up out of the heavy dark blankets. I swing my feet off of the bed and my feet hit the ground. I just sit there, breathing. It’s been a long time since I last caught my breath and I feel lighter, if that’s possible. Who knew an imaginary drowning could feel so real?

Should I stay here or go back out there? I could, surely, use more peace and rest. I look back at the rustled comforter on the bed beckoning me back to keep my soul comforted. This must be where it gets its name from, comforter.

Back to the real world, I decide reluctantly. I’ve taken enough time. I head to the bathroom and turn on the bright lights. It stings but, it’s not that bad. Wipe off the tears, put on my smile, pack my worries and, leave the room as if that never happened but, only this time I put myself out there a little more cautiously. Then, maybe next time, the what-if will not be so big and the world will never know to judge me. But, it will always be in the back of my mind, waiting to rush out again, ‘what if I fail?’

© 2018 Shika Tamaklo

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacist who graduated from Mercer University (2020). She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, life struggles, creative side hustles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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