‘Anxiety’ — a Slam Poem by Sierra Vaillancourt

Anxiety feels like walking on a frozen pond.
Each step I take sends a chill up my spine,
One foot in front of the other, colder and colder, and then
A crack.
And I run,
I fly
And everything is crashing down.
My legs are burning,
My lungs are screaming,
And I’m crying but I didn’t ask for tears and then
Silence.
The ice is solid… for now.
Each time I hear a sound my heart starts racing,
My eyes water,
I jump
But I’m fine.
Anxiety feels like a blanket.
Anxiety is my friend.
It tells me to buckle my seatbelt,
Triple check the lock on the door,
Read my test over a million times because I might have added something wrong and that would ruin everything
So I check
And check again
And leave an hour early because I’m petrified of being late.
I follow anxiety like it’s my GPS because it is confident it knows where to go but it sends me in circles.
Anxiety turns air into liquid
And it weighs down my chest
And I hear a million voices and they’re all yelling
And anxiety is not a very good friend.
Anxiety feels more like an enemy.
It envelopes me in its magic and leaves me speechless, useless.
It puts me in a race and moves the finish line whenever I get close.
Anxiety is a singer
And it laces lullabies with poison.
It is a broken record I always pay to hear.
“You’re not good enough,” it says, and it means it.
“You’re not loved,” it says, and it knows.
“This will never get better,” is a phrase that cuts like a knife and then, quietly it says,
“I just want you to be happy.”
Me too.

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