Anxiety is Not

Anxiety is not

“I worry that people don’t like me”

Anxiety is not

“I’m nervous”

Anxiety is not

“I’m shy”


Anxiety is choking, breathing fast

because you’ve never been on this bus before

and every second you’re on it is like drowning


Anxiety is clawing at your skin until it bleeds

because the terror of what you’re trying to do

has made you physically too numb to feel the damage


Anxiety is three days of sleeplessness

because you’re rehearsing in your head

that moment of dread you’re anticipating


Anxiety is being paralysed,

unable to move, breathe, think,

your heart forgetting the rhythm it’s supposed to beat to,

numbness and too loud, too bright, too much

your nails don’t hurt but another person brushing by does


Please don’t tell me “don’t worry”

Please don’t tell me “it’ll be fine”

Please don’t tell me “don’t be silly”

Please don’t tell me “everyone gets nerves”

I’m not nervous, I’m not shy, I’m not insecure

I’m drowning


2 thoughts on “Anxiety is Not

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