Apostrophe to Anxiety

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 18:33 -- paigeb

Dear Anxiety,


It seems strange to be writing to you

When you feel just like another part of me,

An extra appendage that I can’t amputate

Or even attempt to ignore, no matter what.


I feel your arms around me in most moments,

Tightening, tightening, tightening,

Leaving me with no air left in my lungs,

Breathless and terrified of my chances of survival.


Even as I write this, I feel your presence

Sitting silently right next to me and smiling,

Believing you’ve won this unspoken debate

About who has power in this unhealthy symbiosis.


Maybe symbiosis isn’t the right term, however,

But instead I should say parasitism

Considering that I truly was here first

No matter how hard you try to take away all autonomy.


You make it difficult to talk with my family, friends,

Even listening to myself is a constant struggle and

Power play between who I know I truly am and the

Shell you’ve created from my skin and bones and fear.


I’ve tried everything from meditation to talk therapy

To medicine that I plead with, whispering softly,

“Do what you’re supposed to, cure me, save me,

Make me normal”; the medicine never listens, though.


Sometimes I wonder if I give you the power you have

Because of the situations I’m in, trapped in this public

Prison for all children that love to conform and fear

Anything out of their realm of normalcy in the suburbs.


Someday soon, I promise myself over and over again,

I will be free of the prejudice and fear and shaky hands

Just from saying hello to a friend, just from answering

A question in class, or wondering if I’ll look out of place.


I will no longer feel my skin melting off of my bones,

Leaving me vulnerable and feckless no more

My lungs will clear up with the cool breeze of freedom

And your grasp on me will disappear for the rest of my life.


Talk soon,


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