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.
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.