2016 weaves its way gently through my door, up my stairs, into my bedroom and then gently caresses my cheek, bringing me into wakefulness.

For just a few precious seconds I don’t feel it. Then, like a paintbrush loaded with black paint being swirled through a glass of clear water it starts to stain my consciousness. The panic and anxiety. They are my constant companions.

As I type, I feel my heart thudding like a drum inside my chest. It scares me. It’s not supposed to be this way.

I hear some unexpected commotion from outside and unconsciously my body decides to expel wave after wave of tears. The panic threatens to overwhelm me. I have to force my mind to focus on the clicking of the keys. This noise is a talisman. It helps me to bring me back to myself.

For just a few more precious seconds, I wish I could be alone… without panic.