Spoken Word | Anxiety

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Do you know what it's like 
to be your own enemy

that’s how it feels
to live with anxiety
There is no escape from my own demons
which live comfortably within my mind
Pumping through my veins and heart
failing to be left behind 
I'm suffocated by the negativity
like i'm strangling my own neck and I can’t breathe
I'm constantly being judged
 everything has become too much
I'm holding a grudge
against these monsters that I cant touch
 I have no refuge, sanctuary, or shelter
from these thoughts that won’t depart
I always think I've gotten better 
but then it all restarts
I just want to be okay
I’m not asking for a lot
To make it through one day
without my stomach twisted in a knot 
My body is completely drained
I crave peace and quiet
That’s not the case when it comes to my brain
it just keeps starting a riot 
It says I'm a hopeless case 
an absolute disgrace
a waste of space
my heart’s out of pace
nightmares I hate to face
memories I want to erase
but I cant. 
I'm not worth love 
because I'm not good enough
and even though I try to act all tough
I just want to give up
Failure is my expertise
the only thing I do with ease
as I fall to my knees
begging God
Please, get rid of this disease 
Take whatever it is that is inside of me
and let me be free
so that for once in my life
I can be happy
I'm fighting what is mine
these beasts I can't defy
and I’m slowly running out of time
but its a war against me, myself, and I


Anxiety is very subjective.  It affects everyone at various severities, with a diverse set of triggers, and with a range of symptoms.  This poem is meant to show my take on how anxiety has affected me.  Here is a break down of each stanza in case you would like more insight for what inspired the poem and the emotions behind each sentence. 

"Do you know what it's like to be your own enemy? That’s how it feels to live with anxiety."
Anxiety fills me with self-doubt.  I question every move I make and feel defined by my failures and short-comings.  Like it is a battle between my mind and myself.  

"There is no escape from my own demons which live comfortably within my mind, pumping through my veins and heart failing to be left behind"
The 'enemy' are my own demons which control my thoughts.  It's like I am being consumed from inside-out and no matter what I do, or where I go, my thoughts will always follow. 

"I'm suffocated by the negativity like i'm strangling my own neck and I can’t breathe.  I'm constantly being judged, everything has become too much and I'm holding a grudge against these monsters that I cant touch"
Anxiety is not tangible.  You cannot feel it or hold it but it's very much present.  It cannot be seen but is so strongly felt.  I'm convinced that society or people are judging me: whether it be how I look, speak, or my mannerisms, like I'm on display or TV and being mediated.  The insecurities can build so much to a point where I genuinely cannot breathe.  I'm drowning internally from the negativity. 

"I have no refuge, sanctuary, or shelter from these thoughts that won’t depart.  I always think I've gotten better but then it all restarts"
There is no escape from these thoughts because this problem is coming from inside me not externally.  I think that I'm getting better, when life is going how I want, I'm happy and joyous, but suddenly I reach a downfall.  Anxiety has no timeframe and gives you strong highs and deep lows.

"I just want to be okay. I’m not asking for a lot. To make it through one day without my stomach twisted in a knot."
Anxiety can leave a heavy sickness in your stomach.  Like you caught the food bug but obviously that's not the case.  It's like constant eruptions.  And this feeling can last for seconds, hours, or even days.  

"My body is completely drained. I crave peace and quiet.  That’s not the case when it comes to my brain, it just keeps starting a riot"
A lot of sleepless nights occur.  I can feel physically exhausted but my mind does not stop to rest.  It's tiresome to go through this cycle. 

"It says I'm a hopeless case, an absolute disgrace, a waste of space, my heart’s out of pace, nightmares I hate to face, memories I want to erase, but I cant."
The poem changes dynamic.  This stanza and the next few represents  the dark thoughts that tend to occur due to anxiety.  A lot of self deprecation.  

"I'm not worth love because I'm not good enough, and even though I try to act all tough I just want to give up"
My insecurities cause me to shut off from other people and feel unworthy of being in a happy and long-lasting relationship whether it be family or friends.  I go into a shell and don't want to spend time in social environments.  The less I'm around people, the less chance they get to judge me.  I try to play it off like I'm busy, or that I'm well and happy and just have other plans, but in reality it's all this fear and hurt. 

"Failure is my expertise, the only thing I do with ease"
This is still the brain talking.  This unspoken pressure that I put on myself causes me to fumble and fluster, or full-on avoid situations in which I may not succeed.  It's a physical fear that prevents me from doing a lot of activities that I may love. It is the only thing that I can achieve without fail, but everything else that isn't 'failure' doesn't occur.  

"as I fall to my knees begging God, please, get rid of this disease"
For me, sometimes I feel my only outlet bar writing or spoken word, is talking to God.  I fear telling other people about the inner workings of my mind for the most part given that it can be used as a weapon or disregarded as unimportant.  I refer to anxiety as disease to emphasis how critical it is to look at mental illness with the same exact importance as physical illness.  It has prominence in scientific evidence, papers, and research that back up the truth behind mental illness.  It isn't made up.  it is, in fact, a condition or disease. 

"Take whatever it is that is inside of me and let me be free"
I am begging for God to take these demons or monsters that are within me away.  I stress that is inside of me to highlight that I cannot escape.  I am imprisoned from within.  

"so that for once in my life I can be happy"
It's so hard to be 100% when I feel chained to everything I want to be and that I am not.  It's sad.  I want to laugh whole-heartedly without regrets but sometimes I almost can't.  It's not a choice to be this way.  

"I'm fighting what is mine, these beasts I can't defy"
This is a very personal battle.  Only I can save myself. I feel like it's a losing fight because these 'beasts' or monsters/demons just seem to be winning.  

"and I’m slowly running out of time"
I am aware that a lot of my time is spent sad, worried, and pressured by myself and others to get better and do better.  It's very disheartening and panics me more so because I feel like I need to heal quickly but it's not as fast as I would like.

"but its a war against me, myself, and I"
No matter how much help I receive from other people, I have to want to get better.  I can be put in a timer but I am on my own time line.  This process of getting better cannot be rushed.  It is not between anyone else but you.  Yes, how others treated you or things they've said may have affected you deeply, but at the end of the day, how you process that information will determine your outlook on yourself and your life.  That's why, this is a war against me, myself, and I.  

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