Mental Illness Poem

Fighting Through Anxiety

I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. In April of this past year (2018) I landed myself in the psych ward after giving myself third degree burns. This poem explains some of my story--where I've been, the paths I've walked, and the new life I've stumbled upon.

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The Monster

©

Published: September 14, 2018

Dear Anxiety,

When they ask me what I am afraid of,
I lie.

I can never expose you,
never tell the truth about you
for fear of speaking you into existence.
You are my punisher and my captor,
my tormentor, my torturer.
You are the little voice inside of my head
telling me bad, bad things to do to myself,
things I can't talk about
for fear I'll forget who I am and turn into you.

You tell me we are one and the same, but I am not you.
I would never hurt a child the way you have hurt me.
I would never tell a young girl she is unlovable,
or fat,
or ugly,
or crazy,
or worthless.

I would never tell her to carve ugly, terrible words into her body,
to hold a flame to her skin,
until she has burned herself so badly that the pain goes out like a light
and her nerves are dead,
just like she should be.

I don't know why I listen to you
when you force me to my knees in front of the toilet.
When you send me running around the house in a panic,
searching in vain for a pencil sharpener I haven't already dismantled.
When you tell me the closest to love
I will ever come is sending naked pictures of myself
to disgusting hunters of young prey.

But I am not afraid of them.
I am afraid of the shadows of my mind
Of the twisted and warped reality I am living in.

And I scream, because it is all in my head.
I scream because none of it is real.
I scream because you are clawing your way up my throat,
stealing my voice, gouging out my eyes, eating away at the lining of my stomach,
turning my bones to jello and my hair to dust,
destroying, destroying, destroying, destroying, destroying, destroying.

ENOUGH.

I have had ENOUGH. I am not you.
I never was.
I never will be.
This is only a body, and you are only a feeling, and I will rise above.

I am above this, above you, above my thoughts, above it all.
And I will survive.
And I will love me.
And I will not let go.

Sincerely,
Olivia

more by Olivia M Likens

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