The Living Pain

Pain is waking up wanting to be back asleep, as that is a lot safer as a world.

Pain is wanting those killer thoughts to go away.

Pain is wanting your heartbeat to slow down, just a little bit.


Heart racing, rushing thoughts and out of breath, I’ve only been awake for a minute! Every day in this prison. I take my usual steps, just one at a time.

  • Sit up in bed
  • Count to ten
  • Try and convince myself “It’s going to be ok; it’s going to be ok”.


I grab a shower, a cold one, just to knock myself back to the present, just to stop my mind racing into the scary future or wanting to be back in the past. Sometimes, I like to live in the past, as feeling depressed can feel a lot better than feeling anxious. I don’t know if any of my regular emotions are particularly my favourites, but I know anxiety is the worst.


I sit at the table, eating my toast and sipping my coffee.

“Kyle, what’s up? You look more lost than normal,” comments Dad.

Lost? Yeah, I wish it was just that.

“I’m ok,” I murmur.

“Shouldn’t you hurry up? You have to be in by 7:30 today, don’t you?” asks Mum.

I look at the clock and have the sudden realisation that she’s right. It will take me twenty minutes’ walk and it’s 7:05 currently. My heart starts racing again as I rush upstairs to put the rest of my work uniform—my personal training gear—on.

I then rush out the door. My heart races and my brain asks the questions:

‘What if I’m late?’

‘What if I get fired?’

‘What will they think of me?’


I get there in good time. In fact, five minutes early. I walk in and see my boss Gina with a smile on her face.

“Morning Kyle, how’s it goin’?” she asks politely in her strong cockney accent.

“Morning” I respond.

Gina is a nice boss as the manager of the gym; she must be only a few years older than me, in her late twenties. A very stunning girl.


I catch up with my mate and colleague, Andy, who has started putting together some of the timetables for the gym classes we have to run. It prompts me to remember to start writing some more personal training plans for people for today.

As I start writing these, I get more relaxed. I enjoy personal training and creating plans for people. My focus is on this only, not my terrifying thoughts.


It’s time for my first session of the day now it’s reached 8:30. I have an elderly client called Shaun who wants to work on his strengthening. I come out and shake his hand.

“Hey, I’m Kyle, you must be Shaun,” I say loudly and confidently.

“Hello,” replies Shaun in his croaky voice.


We walk past a group of young girls not doing a lot on the treadmill and begin his session. Shaun needs a lot of encouragement. So, I keep giving him good positive feedback.


I enjoyed that session, so I go back to the office and start to write up the notes. I see Andy come in whilst laughing a bit.

“Think those girls have a bit of a fan club going for you, mate,” says Andy.

“Oh… right,” I reply, feeling slightly embarrassed but getting back to writing.




The day has gone well at work, very busy as I like my mind to be. Now it’s time for me to head home. I leave the gym in fairly good spirits as I start to walk the route back. It’s late and starting to get dark.

Then it starts coming back. I find my heart racing, spots of sweat appearing at the top of my head and my breath is not right.

‘You’re a failure.’

‘You should be a lot further in life by now.’

‘What if you get fired in the morning?’

‘What if you live with your parents forever?’

‘What if you end up on the streets with no money?’

I try to find something… anything, to distract me from these thoughts but I am really struggling at this moment.

Then I try to find evidence against these horrible thoughts, but they just take over and grow stronger and stronger.





I fall onto my bed exhausted by the latest battles in my head. I want to go to sleep to escape the thoughts, but still they come, and still they keep me awake. I start to feel tears in the corners of my eyes which then become stronger.






My name is Kyle and the above story was me a year ago. The anxiety and fear in my life was intolerable when I wasn’t busy. I hated being alone with my thoughts. They absolutely terrified me.

One day, it hit breaking point and I had to speak to someone. I saved some money to speak to a therapist. That was a major breaking point for me, just being able to speak to someone about the feelings I had experienced. I was then able to talk to my family.

Then applying healthy habits such as meditation, regular walks, journaling and talking to people really helped me. The negative and worrying thoughts still come into my head but I can often reason with them and know they are just thoughts.



Important notice:

If you or anyone you know, are experiencing any of the symptoms or issues experienced in the story today, please encourage yourself or the individual to talk, and to see a professional if necessary. In lots of cases, people hide or keep their mental health challenges to themselves and it gets worse. I know from experience when faced with difficulties, that when I’ve talked to people it has always significantly improved my well-being each time.

Speak to family and friends where possible but there are some other sources available if you wish to talk to someone independently. There are many but a couple of key ones for the UK:


Jonny Pardoe


Jonny Pardoe © November 2019

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash



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