It’s always sitting there, choking and restricting. It sits clenched and tight at the base of my throat and seeps down to my chest and lungs and stomach. The panic and the fear, the sadness and the loneliness. Sometimes I can keep it there, pushed down inside me, barely buried but invisible nonetheless. Other times it rises up and overthrows all sense. I have been under siege and I have lost the battle these last few days. Today I’m fighting back. Every stage of the fight has to be an effort and has to be conscious. You can do this. Breathe. Stay calm. I repeat this battlecry over and over and the effort leaves me exhausted and shaking. The lump in my throat expands but for now stays hidden.