Mental Illness Poem

Poem About 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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I know how you all feel. I have been struggling with anxiety since I was about 3 years old and I still am at 12 years old. I have tried many, many things that I don't want to remember, but I...

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The Monster

© more by Olivia M Likens

Published: September 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.


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.



more by Olivia M Likens

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Kieralee JAMES by Kieralee JAMES
  • 4 months ago

I know how you all feel. I have been struggling with anxiety since I was about 3 years old and I still am at 12 years old. I have tried many, many things that I don't want to remember, but I have had really good friends to help me through it!

  • Tasha Marshall by Tasha Marshall
  • 1 year ago

Wow, did your poem ever hit home for me! I've been struggling with anxiety and panic disorder since I was a kid after being molested by my grandfather from ages 3-12 and then in my early 20's getting brutally raped and almost killed. From there, I ended up in the psych ward for becoming homicidal and suicidal, and I'm still suffering every single day with my anxiety and still think of ending my life sometimes, so I know how you felt.

  • Neema by Neema
  • 1 month ago

I am a survivor of childhood abuse (physical and mental, along with 'mild' sexual molestation, and I lost my virginity to a much older guy by coercive rape). Reading your message has pushed me literally for the first time to share publicly and put these words one after the other. I sincerely hope that you're finding reasons to live and be positive. Your comment is one year old, so I sincerely hope you're doing well.

I have been suicidal all throughout my childhood and early adulthood. I have worked in mental health and social care for twelve years and that experience has incredibly helped me stay alive during the darkest times. I still haven't mentioned that later in life I survived two severely abusive relationships (I almost got killed four times by Mr. abusive and stayed completely alone since - it's going eleven years now). Thanks for inspiring me to share. Your life is valuable, you yourself are valuable, special, and unique. I truly wish you well!

  • Princess_Creepy by Princess_Creepy
  • 2 years ago

February 14, 2018 I landed myself in the hospital after I took 30 pain killers. I was in the hospital for 3 days and then I was transferred to a behavior ward with all other problem children. There were people who had killed their parents there, and they labeled me as one of them. I was so devastated. That place did the opposite of what it was supposed to do. It made me feel worse. But, nonetheless, I still got over that place I was in and I've gotten better, sort of.

  • Abby by Abby
  • 1 year ago

I know how anxiety feels and looks. I've gone through it since my house burned down.

  • Sofia Pierce by Sofia Pierce
  • 2 years ago

I’m sorry. I know how you feel. I feel like I can’t get away from myself sometimes, but I wish I could.

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