This is a poem I wrote a while ago when I was feeling rather anxious about an ongoing conversation about an upcoming event. I wrote some of the stuff that actually became lines in this poem and someone (as a writer would) said it would make a good story, so I tossed into a document and this is what came out.
The lines roll by in the conversation
The typing, the text
The pure joy and elation
Of deciding this and that, of picking out the best
I’m late to the party and I have to catch up
And in the time I’m reading more and more comes along
This thing in the future, which I said I’d attend
Because my work is in there
I want to participate, to be there, to have fun
The lines drag on
The pings bounce in
My mind is already whirling and reeling
My breath picks up and my heart is pounding
Trying to fight down the panic inside rising
Trying to jump in and be normal
To not say anything
Then I admit it
I’m feeling overwhelmed and I can’t make a decision
There are too many things going on, everybody all right
I can’t do this! I have to quit!
There is no way on earth my brain can handle this!
Because this conversation was rolling along, right?
And I’m trying to follow and more and more I can’t breathe because it’s too much
and I PROMISED I would stop not talking about
and now I’m talking about it
and now the conversation went a different direction
and the anxiety grows more with even bigger lies
and it just spirals out of control.
And I wish I would have just stuffed it deep down inside,
in that inner cave where I’ve stuffed everything for 15 years.
And I hold my breath and wait for the reaction
And instead of ignoring me or brushing me off
A wave of support crashes over me
“I’ve been there, too”
“I understand how you feel
Can I send you a tool that once helped me?”
“Totally normal, all of us writers are all broken”
And I realize that I am not alone
The lies that twist and tangle and make me believe
That nobody could possibly care about me
Start to unravel and fall to the floor
My heart slows down and breathing is deeper
Tears sting at my eyes
Sitting here in my kitchen at home
The sounds of kids playing just in the other room
And suddenly I’m no longer dying
Taking the step in front of me
I am not alone