For too long, anxiety and depression have been the rulers of my life.
A ruthless king and his queen, with faces of iron and eyes of flame.
Trauma is the groom, waiting for PTSD, his soon-to-be wife.
Binding me in shackles, stripping me of everything but my name.
My demons walk hand-in-hand, leaving footprints only visible to me.
The stigma of “mental illness” mutes me, yet haunts my dreams.
I am a stranger to those I love; their eyes ask, “Who is she?”
I am loneliest in a crowd of friends. No one hears the screams.
No longer a member of society, I am something different; I am feared.
The constant lies: “It’s all in your head” or “Get over it, you’re fine.”
I’ve been broken since the very day my symptoms appeared.
I once had everything good in life, and now it’s all no longer mine.
When my roof starts to cave in, I can’t hide from the coming storm.
And yet acceptance is essential and vulnerability is the key.
Finding beauty and healing in the rain, even as the clouds form.
Art is my treatment; as I write this poem, I am setting myself free.