Two Poems To Read If You Have Anxiety

Two Poems To Read If You Have Anxiety

These two poems helped me come to terms with my anxiety.
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When I had my first anxiety attack in high school, there was no mistaking what it was. The combination of feelings almost like emotional and physical claustrophobia all at the same time was so uniquely terrible that I knew instantly I was having an anxiety attack. That first attack was quite some time ago, and my anxiety disorder has only become worse and harder to manage now that I am trying to juggle college courses, work, volunteering, relationships, and staying healthy. One of the worst things about anxiety, for me, is feeling disconnected from the rest of the world, feeling like I am the only one who understands what it is I am experiencing. In actuality, over 40 million adults in the United States, and millions more teens and even children, experience anxiety issues.

To help myself feel less alone and be stronger in my will to fight the anxiety I experience every day, I found poetry and short stories written by other people who experience the same thing. Anonymous Poetry on Tumblr is one of my favorite places to find this, but there are hundreds of other sites out there as well, including Hello Poetry, All Poetry, and AADA. These websites are full of first-hand accounts of how other people have struggled and yet prevailed through their anxiety. These two poems, both found on Anonymous Poetry on Tumblr with no author credited, were the most impactful to me personally about my own experience with anxiety.

“Then Anxiety Is” by Anonymous

If love is a mothers gentle, warm embrace--

Then anxiety is being forced into a strait jacket.

If hope is a butterfly flitting from flower to flower--

Then anxiety is a nuclear bomb plummeting to earth.

If compassion is an outstretched, helping hand--

Then anxiety is a gun to the back of the head.

If peace is the rise and fall of a sleeping infant’s chest--

Then anxiety is lightning striking an airplane.

If freedom is a bird soaring high in the sky--

Then anxiety is a shackled slave thrown into the sea.

If happiness is the laughter of a friend--

Then anxiety is the howling of a dying dog.

If tolerance is children playing, blind to skin color--

Then anxiety is being prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp.

If nature is the skyline from a mountaintop--

Then anxiety is the metal slab corpses rest on.

If togetherness is the soft kiss of a lover--

Then anxiety is the last living thing on the planet.

If possibility is a child gazing up at the stars,

Then anxiety is a dead rat in the sewers

If future is a woman holding her swollen, pregnant belly

Then anxiety is being nailed into a coffin

If life is the things that people do every day,

Then anxiety is living as a ghost, watching but not experiencing

“Mind, Body, and Anxiety” by Anonymous

I know that the sun shines above me

But the warmth fades before reaching my face

I know that the breeze swirls around me

But the air withers before entering my lungs

My mind is telling me not to lose hope

That there will be an end to the fear

That the anxiety will fade into the past

And that nothing has been changed

My body is telling me that there is no hope

My hands shake, there will be no end to the fear

My eyes blur, the anxiety will never fade into the past

My heart pounds, nothing has been changed

I know that music floats towards me

But the harmony dies before reaching my ears

I know that love flows through me

But the kindness chills before reaching my heart

My mind is telling me not to be anxious

That the anxiety does not have to control me

That there is no reason to be so overwhelming

And that I am loved and supported

My body is telling me I will always be anxious

That the anxiety will always be in control of me

That everything will always be overwhelming

And that I am only loved and supported by myself

Anxiety flows through my mind and body

Never resting, never stopping

Stress holds tightly to my emotions and my thoughts

Never relaxing, never fading

My mind is telling me to confront my anxiety

That I should not make decisions based on fear

That my feelings do not have to be ruled by “what if’s”

And that the anxiety does not define me

My body is telling me to accept my anxiety

That my decisions will always be based on fear

That the “what if’s” protect my feelings

And that my anxiety and I are one and the same

Anxiety resides in my heart and soul

Always present, always painful

Stress remains in my present and future

Always impacting, always effecting

My mind tells me that I can defy my anxiety disorder

That it does not have to impact who I love

That it does not have to tell me what to do

And that it does not have to change who I am

My body tells me that I am my anxiety disorder

That it will always impact who I love

That it will always tell me what to do

That my anxiety disorder is who I am

And that we will forever be one and the same


These poems have really captured how my anxiety feels, and I hope these authors will somehow know how helpful they've really been.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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