Living with an anxiety disorder: a spoken-word poem

Your heart is racing,

And your mind won’t stop pacing.

Light-headed, confused and dizzy,

You may be entirely still but your mind is overwhelmingly busy.

A burden, a load, an imposition –

I can’t help it, it’s just my condition.

I feel like I’m in the way,

When my emotions are sprayed in an open array.

What have I done to deserve all this?

It’s all too much and not something I can dismiss.

You feel crazy, stupid and alone,

It’s not on the outside so it’s not even shown.

Pressure, goals and ambition,

I’ve put myself in a difficult position.

You can’t have it all, yet you work as though you can,

Your emotions are bottled up, but that’s a dangerous plan.

You can’t silence them forever. Not for long.

No human being could ever be that strong.

But don’t let it get to you – it could be far worse,

It’s a blessing in disguise although it might seem a curse.

Anxiety and panic – it won’t kill you,

But it may put your confidence, your presence, your well being askew.

You’ve worked way too hard,

And your mind is scarred.

Why do we push ourselves way too far?

It’s not the way we’re built and it’s not who we are.

But the worst is not your fight-or-flight action,

It’s everyone else’s baffled, repulsed reaction.

It’s not your fault that they don’t understand,

But all I need is a helping hand.

I’m neither weird nor deranged,

It’s just that my reactionary behaviour has changed.

It feels like the peak of vulnerability,

Of fear, humiliation and emotional instability.

I can wish all I want

That it wouldn’t be anxiety attacks that haunt.

But this is how it is, and I’ve got to learn

That things might just have taken an unfortunate turn.

But isn’t it good to know,

That despite all this you’re not unable to show,

Your talents, your passion, your dreams.

You’re not incapable, no matter the way it may seem.

It’s a bump in the road,

A heavy, annoying load.

But you are still you,

Although it may seem different from what you previously knew.


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