I would try to swim across the river every day,
Just to find myself sinking,
Filling my lungs with a rush of fire.
My whole body feeling like an anchor, not able to move, holding me back.
Feeling alone and stranded in the middle of it all.
I would swim each and every day,
Trying over and over to make it to the other side, to finally be able to swim all on my own,
But never coming close.
Each attempt only left me exhausted and frustrated,
Yet unable to change much.
But now I have learned to use floaties,
Like the little children use in swim lessons,
Small pieces of plastic filled with air, tightly secured around each tiny arm.
Now I take a deep breath and blow into my floats,
Inflating them as much as I can before I enter the water.
They don’t keep my body on top of the surface, but they keep me from drowning,
Only keeping my mouth and nose far enough out of the water to gasp a quick breath of air.
They aren’t much, but they get me to the other side,
Of a class presentation, a conversation, a day at school.
Swimming the river of anxiety is a constant battle against the water that wants to consume me.
“Positivity” is written all across my fluorescent pink floaties,
It is mandatory to customize something that you use so often,
As they are the only things getting me through the water.
I still swim the river every day,
Constantly having to re-inflate my tiny floaties,
Just to make it across that treacherous water,
To move onto my next journey.