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:iconcandela-di-vita: More from Candela-di-Vita


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Writing by oEnvy

Readable by Eearthe-Mayge

Poetry by Mendedpixie


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June 14, 2009
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Dear anxiety,

I went to the psychologist today
and was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.  
                It all fits:
                the tense muscles,
                the unremitting shyness,
                                the insomnia,
                                the visits from murderers in my nightmares,
                                the indefatigable worry.
                                                I finally understand what my problem is.

                                                                              It's you.


Dear anxiety,

Your poisonous tendrils
wrap themselves around
my panicky, thumping heart
and squeeze it until it almost stops.  
                                If I was ever able to pry them apart,
                                I’m sure they would leave permanent bruises
                                in the ugliest shades of olive and mauve.

                                                                                (Let me go
                                                                                 let me go
                                                                                let me go.)


Dear anxiety,

I have a ten ton weight resting
on my taut, rigid shoulders thanks to you.  
                My heart always knows your presence,
                trembling uncontrollably
                with your mere suggestion.  
                                Thoughts about being negatively judged
                                chase each other throughout my mind and
                                tangle themselves into an intricate, jumbled mess
                                until I don’t know what I am thinking anymore.

                                                                               See what
                                                                             you've done
                                                                                 to me?


Dear anxiety,

I discovered the reason
behind why you’ve stuck
with me all these years.
                You’ve been there for me
                since day one of my existence
                when I was born too early
                and only a pound and a half
                of skinny bones and fragile, discolored flesh.
                                Surrounded by beeping monitors
                                and stabbed with intravenous needles
                                for nine weeks before I could escape the chaos,
                                that is where you first discovered me.

                                                                              Now I'm not
                                                                           so sure I can tell
                                                                              you to leave.


Dear anxiety,

Two years
since I was granted medication
to relieve myself of the burden of you,
I still can’t let you go.
                You’re a constant presence
                in my now peaceful, serene mind,
                tormenting me with vivid hallucinations
                of fear and humiliation like I had once known.
                                You take advantage of my
                                every weak and vulnerable moment.

                                                                               When will you
                                                                                 ever let me
                                                                                    rest in
                                                                                    peace?


Dear anxiety,

I want to walk among the stars
and soar among the heavens
                but you won’t let me.

                                                                                 It's time
                                                                               I've learned
                                                                                   to live
                                                                               without you.
PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS PIECE WITHOUT MY WRITTEN PERMISSION.

This poem was originally intended to be submitted as an entry for =TheLeavesOfMemory's For a Cause contest ([link]) but since I couldn't find anything visual to go with it, I'm going to have to think of something else.

This is purely non-fiction. I was diagnosed with severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and now I'm meeting with a psychologist every week to learn to manage stress and worry.

Studies have come out that babies born prematurely and in the hospital for a long time just after their birth (like me) suffer from high anxiety the rest of their lives.

Well, it's a small price for being able to live.

Telling someone with GAD to "just calm down" is absolutely useless. We know that a lot of the things we're worried about aren't worth stressing over but with anxiety disorders, our worry is unmanageable and interfere with our day-to-day lives. We feel that we have to worry or else we'll be caught completely unprepared if the worst happens.

I hope that through this, you realize that anxiety disorders aren't something made up, a joke, or just some stupid excuse. They are lifelong disorders and certainly aren't able to be fixed in an instant. Even with medication, I struggle with it every day.

To all who have anxiety, this is a tribute to you. Know that at least one person knows what you're going through or what you have gone through. You're definitely not alone. :heart:

EDIT: In the spring of 2010, I realized that Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) seemed to be a more accurate diagnosis for what I was going through and so I worked with a therapist that specialized in SAD individually and with a social anxiety group. Initially, they rated me a 119 on the Social Anxiety Scale, which is very high to extreme, and by the time the group session was finished, I was a 39,which is considered to be below clinical diagnosis! It's gone up and down since then and it's still not entirely gone but I'm proud to say it's a whole heck of a lot better! =) So in the poem, I changed "generalized anxiety disorder" to "social anxiety disorder" and a few of the GAD symptoms to SAD symptoms.

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:
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:iconrrbspcreaturerox:
RRBSPcreaturerox Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014
Amazing....

I have anxiety and it's really killing me right now... i really don't know how to deal with it. I feel like crying. :'(
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:iconhorseyluver1999:
Horseyluver1999 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a generalized anxiety disorder as well, I hate it. People think I'm insane when they see me freaking out over something random.
Reply
:iconmidwinterain:
Midwinterain Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Student Writer
Ah, I know exactly what you mean. I'm more on the Generalized Anxiety side than the Social Anxiety, but I can still relate to your poem - which by the way, is absolutely gorgeous. The way you wrote it gets across how you're feeling perfectly, and I love how you arranged it visually as well.

I'm glad to hear that you're getting better, anxiety (of the above-average kind, at least) isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy.
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:iconmintyhippo000:
MintyHippo000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
anxiety is that negative and lying innervoice that loves tormenting you and making your decisions for you
Reply
:iconzeudy:
Zeudy Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012
I have generalized anxiety and reading this, and all the comments, helped me to understand that I am not alone. It's so good to hear you're better, and I pray that one day everyone will be better too.
Reply
:iconxanbuthereturned:
XanbuTheReturned Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I have social anxiety too, and to see this made me feel less alone. I'm glad you have improved in your condition. I only just figured out I had it, caused by being bullied for four years, and I hope that I can be as brave as you are. xxx
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:iconwhat-a-loser:
what-a-loser Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
thank you <3
and this is really good
Reply
:iconienvidevi:
iEnviDevi Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I almost couldn't finish reading this.As I do,my heart races and I feel panicked.I'm reading a description of a hell akin to mine.
Reply
:iconnessacity:
NessaCity Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love you forever for having the willpower and the confidence to put in words what most of us can't. Thank you, a thousand times. (:
Reply
:icondystopictrollop:
dystopictrollop Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I am working on a photo project to raise awareness of mental illnesses and disorders - to help people understand that they ARE real, and not just "in our heads". A sister of mine has SAD. Anyway, I would like to use this piece (and credit you, of course) on my tumblr, which I'm maintaining as part of this photo project. Please let me know if this is ok. You can check out the blog here: behindthegameface.tumblr.com and ask me anything you'd like. There aren't many posts yet...SAD is the first in the series I'm tackling.
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