Am I Ready?

It is clear once again
That I pull back from the edge
But my body pushes me back
Then I pull away again

Burying myself in theories
And analysis and exercises
Seduced by transient moments of relief
From some mantra or philosophy or med

Then wallowing in hopelessness
When hours later the opium wears off
And the pangs of fear and depression return
Triggered by a thousand thoughts

Shattered that my efforts appear to fail
When some magic has worked for others
Spiralling in despair
While hiding behind a mask of optimism

And when I do plunge in
I rationalize: is feeling this terror self-loving?
I decide not
Old defenses holding fast

Even now, as I move and feel discomfort
Anxiety wells up
And I immediately look for ways
To avoid it, to quell it, to ignore it

But the gift of anxiety and pain and tremors
Continues to give
More and more intensely
Calling me home

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