trigger warning: as you may be able to guess… this poem is about anxiety! beware! ahead lies heavy feelings!
anxiety is not fear. anxiety is fear, if fear were genetically modified and on steroids and was also rabid, chasing after you like you are everything it has ever wanted and no one taught it that running after your prey is not the best way to catch it, except actually in anxiety’s case it is, because anxiety’s stamina unlike my own seems unlimited. and the thing is if you run, it’s only going to chase after you faster, only going to scream louder until it feels like it’s blasting out all the parts of you that have ever listened to music, soft and slow and ok and safe, and you can’t honestly tell, if the threats are or are not empty. because. all i know is, anxiety does not try to hurt you. anxiety just takes your source of food away, day by day by day and gradually you forget what it feels like. to be ok. what it feels like, to trust completely, falling into the ocean of someone else without looking away. what it feels like to be happy. happy and ok. happy. when i say that word, it always makes me think of blowing bubbles watching them glow iridescent right around the time when the sun sets. and i remember, that night, telling you that i was a bubble person. at the time, i didn’t think there was anything deep to it. but now i realize what i meant was that my happy can be beautiful and confident, but the slightest gust of wind is enough to pop it. my happy is a sunny day in april. my happy is a dandelion seed clinging to the place where the flower used to be, hoping for some kind of job security. my happy is a mountain, but you’re on a day trip. and it’s ok. i guess i get it. my anxiety is this filter, shaping the words as they slide out of my mouth. my anxiety is a search engine in my mind that only gives you bad results. my anxiety is a paranoid bank teller that makes you sign your name three times, and then more. and then more. and then more. like the margin of error can just be eliminated if we spray enough weed-b-gone on the parts of the world that make our hearts feel like they’re cracking open. like if i close my eyes, the problems will go away. my anxiety is a student taking a test who reads over the blank page again and again and again because they keep losing their train of thought and they’re just not sure what to say. my anxiety is a potion that was supposed to make me shrink, and shrink, and shrink, like fruit if you leave it in the sunlight. only, maybe i’ve overdosed, because it isn’t making me smaller, it’s making me larger, and taller, and higher, and higher, and higher, and i’m scared i’ll break the ceiling with the waterfall of these feelings. my happy is fleeting. my dreams are clouds, and i’m not sure which ones are solid and which ones i’m just dreaming. my anxiety is a smoke alarm that’s slowly taking away my ability to hear anything, so if i’m screaming too loud please tell me because i can’t even hear myself breathing. in my head, there’s this space i call a stadium, a part of me that’s been hollowed out, a part of me like a blank blackboard. write whatever you want, put me in a cast and sign your signature, because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and therefore good parenting is crushing the dreams of your daughter. and i will let you do all this, because the anxiety is the kind of poison that leaves you in paralysis. i will let you do this, i’m scared; scared enough to hide under the bed trying to distance myself from all of this. and i’m not going to say it’s the worst coping mechanism, because it isn’t, and i’m glad i can do it. take deep breaths. not allow myself to get hooked in i just. i wish it wasn’t like this. i wish it didn’t scare me, that there are people who can spend all day swimming through other people’s feelings without even realizing. but i am not one of those people. my lungs, they were made for talking, and sometimes i hate that, but i don’t know if it matters because i am no longer and fuck you anxiety, so i do a lot of talking, so i do a lot of tightrope walking wondering where the highway of the past will merge into that of the future, and my heart is so open i feel like i am at the edge of putting myself into the public domain some days and other days, like my chest is a treasury of words no one can ever touch and yeah, that scares me. because this is fear, if fear were a tumor confidently destroying the rest of my body with a sureness i cannot seem to find, a confidence i am trying desperately to grow in palms like the stock images told me to, and nothing has come up yet so i’m not sure if it’s even working, but i do know i am trying. and maybe trying is selfish. that’s what she tells me. but. i am trying. i am trying. i am fighting. i am fighting. i am swimming. i am running. i am writing. i am climbing.
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