Anaïs Charles

The alarm on my phone rings. 5am. I feel the heaviness in my chest, aching and tender. No mind, I start my early morning ritual of mentally coaxing myself out of bed. And so it goes. “You just need to open one eye. That’s all there is to do, in this moment, right now. Just one eye, and then we can deal with the next moment.” I open one eye, and the second opens automatically with the first. mental-illness-self-portrait-shot-on-black-and-white-filmWhat I see has me cowering back into unconsciousness. My room, my reality… The children need me today. “No… I cannot get through this day”, the heaviness and pain in my chest is overwhelming. I allow myself some moments to breathe, and to believe that if I wanted to, I could stay here today – safe in this warmth, this warmth. I start sliding back into sleep. “No. You are going to…

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