I shouldn’t be writing about my anxiety

I shouldn’t be writing about my anxiety

I shouldn’t be writing about my anxiety

this is not poetry.
poetry is not staring at blurred lines on crosswalks until your footing gives out
and the weight in your stomach starts calling your name.
poetry is not the lick, lick, lick of your car’s wheels under a slick stick of hope
as you steel and brace your car,
going 90 on the freeway
because if you can’t feel what’s real,
you might as well run from it.

this is not poetry.
poetry is not visualizing your own lunch in a toilet bowl,
gracing the air with the smell of lost hope,
as if your body physically needs to dispel the lies the mind is telling it to cope.
poetry is not dissecting your lips until they gush red,
as if the mouth is the dumping ground for worst case scenarios left unsaid.
and the only way to prevent them is to see blood.

i am not poetic.
my dry heaves on a sunday morning do not form perfectly poised letters,
they act as a warning.
my trembling hands are not the curator of ink and life itself,
captivating stanzas into beautiful harmonies of sound.

i am not capable of making my brokenness profound.

its 9 pm on a wednesday and instead of going home i am circling my neighborhood,
knowing i can only pray the knot in my chest won’t explode when i touch my driveway.

its 9 pm on a wednesday and im sitting in my toyota, parked but im paralyzed.
as if my life is a game of jenga and quick movements are unauthorized.

its 9 pm on a wednesday and how do i tell my mom i can’t greet her at the door
because the devil of panic has rendered me volcanic and i can’t spill my stomach on her linoleum floors.

how do we forgive ourselves for the things we allow to consume us?

i wish i understood how to turn the devil into an art project, but until
i do maybe writing for myself can be the angel on my shoulder.
i never was good at metaphors but

maybe one day i will be poetry.
maybe one day i will hang in museums,
my words will bounce like springtime off the tongues of curious kids
who breathe hope to stay alive.

maybe one day i will write poetry.
maybe one day i will write poetry so loud that the girl who can’t hear the sound
of her own voice over her mind’s deceit will have to listen.
maybe one day i will write poetry so vibrant
that the boy breathing in spouts of panic
will be able to extinguish the cigarette that is his doubt.

maybe one day i will live,
and my mind will follow my body and know that when i feel like the earth is imploding
it is my own heart exploding, and if i just keep placing one foot of truth in front of the other
i may be able to transcend beyond the limitations of my soul
into what the established of us call

i am not writing poetry.
but one day, i may just look up to find that i created a song.

Sam Proctor ’18 || Lit Staff

4 thoughts on “I shouldn’t be writing about my anxiety”

  • This so beautifully written! As someone who can really relate to this, I’m really impressed with how well you can put these feelings into words so seamlessly. I love how you took a deeply personal topic that is pretty heavy and turned it around with a sense of optimism at the end.

  • Congrats to you for being able to write this entire piece. It’s so good. I think the ability for you to really go into depth about anxiety and how it affects you, is really impressive.

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