A Poem to Anxiety

I wake up and you are there

Before any thoughts
Before any other feelings
I sense you
Vibrating within me
Shaking unease into every cell of my body
Shouting “Danger!” to my system

And so the battle begins…

When you are there
Every task requires my uttermost self-control
Every thought is a fight between us

You are not stress
You are not worry
You are not depression
You’re a traitor in my biochemical system
An infiltrator manipulating the messages

I’m aware of your presence and I try to validate the messages
But it’s exhausting
This game of ours
It drains me, functioning on the outside
When you are there creating havoc on the inside

I can feel you as a persistent vibration in my cells
Or as a sudden electric heatwave throughout my body
I can feel you as a dark blanket suddenly thrown over my brain
Or as a billion thoughts, thought at once

You shake me
You hit me
You blind me
You overwhelm me

Those are your tactics

You’re attacking me from within
There’s nothing fair about your game
You give no reasons, only orders
And your harsh voice is echoing within me


And all I can do is compassionately reply

Stay calm!
Stay calm!
Stay calm!

What do you feel?

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