Driving her car down the highway, a wave of a familiar feeling washed over her. It was deja vu for her stomach, as it started flipping and a pressure began to build in her chest. She hadn’t felt this way in over a year, but when she was reunited with it, it felt like just yesterday when it was controlling her every action. It wasn’t fear that she felt, yet it wasn’t not that. It wasn’t the nervous stomach that she was prone to acting up, and it definitely wasn’t excitement. Searching for a word to describe how she felt, she was lost. It was a feeling that could only be described, and once you knew what it felt like there was no denying its presence. Yet, it was an old friend to her and she was almost warmed having the gut wrenching feeling return. It was not drug induced as she had imagined it was during her college years, but it did induce her to use drugs. She did not feel anger and resentment for returning to the familiar emotional place she had worked so hard to progress from, but more so shocked that it came back to abruptly and undeniably.
It was a feeling that she could only associate with one event in her life, losing her father. That is why it returned to rear its ugly head every year, on the anniversary of his passing. She did not know when during that time it would return to pay her a visit – either a few days before, a few days after, or on D-day itself. She never knew how long it would stick around either. She tried her best to suppress the feeling, as she progressed closer to work, the wheels of her car not stopping to give her a moment to catch her breath. She wanted to drive her car off the road while drinking straight from a bottle of Jameson. She craved loud music to be overwhelming her ears, and deafen out the sounds of her own thoughts. She wanted to run for miles, days, and never stop. She wanted to get lost in a haze of intoxicants and parties until she no longer recognized where she was or who she was. The aching pressure that was building in her chest needed to be released, but only in the most detrimental of ways. She needed to scream from mountain tops, dance until her legs fell out from under her, and exhaust her mind until it was no longer functional. There were no mountain tops around for her to conquer, so she allowed a scream to escape in the privacy of her car. The pressure was alleviated for just a moment, but it was like a fire that was never satisfied with the amount of fuel she added – it always wanted to grow larger. She had tested its limits for years, but the fire inside of her had never been satisfied. Even after a year of being suppressed into submission, it revived its flames for the anniversary. She had a suspicion that this feeling would in fact never leave her in peace. She could not ignore it forever, yet she could not give it the attention it demanded. All she had managed to do at this point was bury it, deep, with the knowledge that it would return even stronger for being ignored. She told herself that the panic would pass, and to not take any rash actions, such as blowing by her place of work to play drunken-hookie by herself. She had made the choice, though, to be stronger than this. She had made the choice a while ago to continue living, and embracing this feeling only lead to death. She had allowed it to take her dangerously close to the point of no return and was done playing a cat and mouse game with her vitality. There was no denying how she felt, but there was the choice to not indulge and encourage those feelings. She had grown over the eight years that she had been without a father, and slowly, ever so slowly, was bringing herself back to life. For now though, she stored that familiar feeling away to be revisited another day.