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  • Published: 18 Aug 2016
  • Updated: 21 Apr 2017
  • Status: Complete
A poem about anxiety and more specifically social anxiety and my experience with it.
**I feel I should add the disclaimer that this is only my own experience with anxiety, and it's so different for everyone. Please don't think I'm trying to be insensitive or claim mine is the only true experience.


1. Words

When you see me,

sulking at the back,

what do you see?

Do you see

the writhing in my stomach

as my insides twist and turn, 


the sharp pains in my chest,

the bulbously bloated and protruded stomach?

Can you tell

I continually zone out of your words 

that I focus on the patterns on the wall, ceiling, floors...ANYTHING!

Can you hear 

the million and one thoughts racing through my mind

a constant barage of analysing and assessing?

Do you note

the way I fidget, adjusting my hair, clearing my throat,

knotting my fingers together and nervously nibbling the nails? 

Do you follow

my gaze as it alternates from rapidly roaming the room

to silently staring past something?

I have words in my head; 

they jostle and clamour to be spoken aloud

but they pause on the threshold of my tongue,

unwilling to go beyond the teeth. 

They make my tongue feel heavy;

rising up in my throat, threatening to spill out,

a bile of unspoken thoughts constantly swallowed.

Sometimes I see that you're aware I'm about to speak,

and so, as any good conversationalist, you extend the sentence,

"Anything to add?"

And I, like a deer in headlights caught, am frozen,

left miserably mumbling and slipping on words 

til my point is unclear.

Words come easy;

it's getting them to leave that's hard.

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